CNN's Daryn Kagan and John King repeated two falsehoods frequently advanced by conservatives to attack former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV and his wife, former CIA operative Valerie Plame: that Wilson "did say in one television interview, and ... intimated in some others, that the vice president had sent him to Niger" to investigate reports that Iraq had sought to purchase yellowcake uranium from that country, and that the Senate Intelligence Committee found that Plame "sent" Wilson on the trip to Niger.
On CNN's The Situation Room, host Wolf Blitzer allowed Human Events Online editor Terence P. Jeffrey to repeat Robert Novak's claim that the Bush administration official who originally disclosed former CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity to Novak "had done it inadvertently." In fact, Novak has been inconsistent about the motivations of his sources and the explanation for the inconsistency.
CNN correspondent Brian Todd became the latest to discuss the recent allegations regarding Ann Coulter, who is accused of plagiarizing at least three passages in her recent book, Godless, as well as portions of several columns. Coulter reportedly refused to appear for the CNN segment.
Following President Bush's claim on Larry King Live that the United States had a functional missile defense system, numerous media outlets reported his statement without challenge. By contrast, a report on NPR's Morning Edition noted that the missile defense system "has been plagued with technical problems" and has never been thoroughly tested, citing Government Accountability Office reports that indicate the system has no proven ability to shoot down a hostile missile.
Now that right-wing pundit Ann Coulter has been accused of numerous instances of plagiarism, will the many media outlets on which she has made recent appearances to promote her latest book continue to provide her with a platform to shout her twisted rants, and if so, will they confront her with these charges?
A Media Matters analysis of the media coverage of the Iraq war debate shows that the favored Republican talking points on Iraq have gone largely unchallenged in the media and have even been adopted as truths by some media outlets and figures.
After featuring a segment in which he purported to explain why his CNN Headline News show "doesn't talk more about politics," Glenn Beck declared: "You get stupid people voting, you know who's president? John Kerry. No, I'm kidding." The following day, Beck stated that Democrats are now "so Hollywood in their approach, it's like they don't even understand the heartland of America." He later added that "I like George W. Bush," and vouched that Bush will "do what it takes to keep us safe and our families safe."
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In a commentary on CNN.com, Focus on the Family's James C. Dobson criticized senators who voted against a constitutional amendment that would have banned gay marriage for "turn[ing] their backs" on the "most basic social institution" and mischaracterized the debate to baselessly suggest that there is strong public support for the amendment. But while some recent polls indicate that most Americans believe same sex marriage should be illegal, that was not the issue before Congress.
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Recent reports on the reported activation of the U.S. ground-based missile defense system have overstated its ability to defend against an actual attack and uncritically reported administration claims about its effectiveness. Government Accountability Office reports indicate that the system has no proven ability to shoot down a hostile missile.
While CNN continued to hype the divisions among Democrats on the issue of U.S. redeployment from Iraq, stemming from the debate over two Senate proposals on the issue, the network entirely ignored a recent display of dissention within the Republican Party, as did Fox News and MSNBC.
CNN's Paula Zahn told Sen. Joe Biden that the Democratic Party is "getting creamed as the party of cut-and-runners, the wobbly, the weak," adding: "[D]o you understand why that divisiveness compromises the credibility of your party?"
As Senate Democrats debate two proposals regarding U.S. withdrawal from Iraq, news outlets have gone out of their way to frame the Democratic differences over how soon to redeploy forces as politically favorable for the Republicans while not reporting that the Democrats' position is shared by a majority of Americans, that the war supported by Republicans is deeply unpopular with the American public, and that the GOP's alternative plan appears to involve remaining in Iraq indefinitely.
CNN's Wolf Blitzer failed to challenge Republican National Committee chairman Ken Mehlman's false attacks on Democrats over the Iraq war and immigration policy.
On June 18, The Washington Post published a cable sent from the U.S. Embassy in Iraq that detailed the deteriorating conditions observed in Baghdad in recent months. Despite the clear significance of the document, the media have almost entirely ignored its publication.