CNN's David Ensor, reporting on the revelation that President Bush "authorized" the disclosure of classified portions of the 2002 National Intelligence Estimate pertaining to Iraq's purported weapons of mass destruction, simply asserted without elaboration that unnamed "experts" say Bush's actions were "legal," and that the president has "the right" to declassify such information. Similarly, Fox News' Brit Hume said that both Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney "have the legal authority under an executive order signed by the president to make public classified information. So that takes the unauthorized out of it." Neither Ensor nor Hume challenged the notion that the president has the authority to leak classified information, questioned whether Bush -- assuming he has that authority -- properly declassified the information, or made any effort to explore the ramifications of the president's exercise of that alleged authority.
Just days after the Democratic Party released a national security plan, CNN host Wolf Blitzer and NBC Today host Matt Lauer simply ignored the release and allowed -- and even encouraged -- Republican guests to suggest the Democrats have no "agenda." This continues patterns by CNN and Today of largely ignoring the Democrats' security plan, despite repeatedly reporting or commenting on the Democratic Party's purported lack of clear alternatives to the Republicans.
CNN host Lou Dobbs falsely claimed that "there have been more advocates of open borders and illegal immigration" on Lou Dobbs Tonight "than there have been opponents." In fact, a Media Matters review of the first three months of 2006 found that among guests who held positions on immigration reform, Lou Dobbs Tonight featured 26 appearances by guests who largely agreed with Dobbs's positions on immigration reform, compared with only 16 guests whom he might describe as "advocates of open borders and illegal immigration."
Several media figures have misrepresented public opinion polling on immigration issues in order to falsely suggest that the public opposes providing a temporary work program and a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. In fact, polling has consistently shown that most Americans favor some form of temporary guest worker program or path to citizenship for the illegal immigrants already in the United States.
Following recent demonstrations in which protesters marched against proposed legislation that would criminalize undocumented workers, some in the media have criticized the demonstrators for carrying Mexican flags. But these same media figures have not complained about people waving other nations' flags, such as Irish flags at St. Patrick's Day events, Italian flags at Columbus Day events, or Israeli flags at Israel Day events.
CNN Reliable Sources host Howard Kurtz noted that Christian Science Monitor reporter Jill Carroll, released on March 30 by Iraqi insurgents who had held her for 82 days, had "been criticized and had her motives questioned by skeptics, critics, and conspiracy theorists here at home." But Kurtz seemed to have forgotten that he had joined numerous right-wing media figures in questioning the motives behind her statements.
Over the past year, CNN hosts, anchors, and reporters have repeatedly commented on the Democratic Party's purported lack of a clear plan or concrete set of alternatives on issues ranging from Social Security to the war in Iraq. When a large coalition of Democrats stood together on March 29 to unveil a unified national security platform, CNN largely ignored the news.
Since a March 27 New York Times article confirmed that a leaked British memo appears to contradict President Bush's repeated claim prior to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq that he wanted to avoid war, media have failed to note the full significance of the document and in some cases ignored the story altogether.
A Media Matters study of guests on CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight shows that far more Republican and conservative guests have appeared on the show during the first two months of 2006 than have Democratic or progressive guests.
CNN correspondent John Roberts asked Democratic congressional candidate and Iraq war veteran Tammy Duckworth if her "narrow victory" in the recent Illinois primary election indicated "that maybe this idea of running Iraq war vets for the Democratic Party isn't as hot an idea as some Democrats originally thought it was?" Roberts later noted that some political analysts -- whom he emphatically described as "very smart" -- "don't think that the Iraq war veteran thing is going to work for the Democratic Party, that you're not going to win the overall race, and that you're being held out there as sacrificial lambs just to get the Democrats a little more credibility."
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The campaign against purportedly biased reporting on the Iraq war -- forwarded by President Bush, White House officials, and array of conservative media figures -- has continued on the airwaves and in print.
Lou Dobbs posed this question in his nightly poll: "Which do you believe Senator Hillary Clinton is most out of touch with?"
During a March 21 press conference, the White House press corps failed to challenge President Bush after he offered a misleading and evasive answer about his reasons for invading Iraq in response to a question asked by Hearst Newspapers columnist Helen Thomas.
CNN correspondent Candy Crowley and anchor Heidi Collins uncritically reported Republican rhetoric on President Bush's March 21 press conference, with Crowley stating that "[t]he White House says the president is best in these public forums," and Collins asking, "Is the president getting his political groove back?"
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On CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight, CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin asserted that "social, largely religious conservatives" forced the withdrawal of Harriet Miers's nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund responded to Toobin by naming two conservative religious leaders who had been Miers's "biggest backers" and claiming, "It was economic conservatives, including The Wall Street Journal, that were skeptical" of her nomination. In fact, following the disclosure of a speech by Miers in which she said that "self-determination" should guide decisions about abortion and school prayer, numerous social conservative groups and leaders demanded that Miers's nomination be withdrawn.