CNN reported a claim by Saddam Hussein's lawyer that the release of the verdict in his trial on charges of crimes against humanity two days before U.S. congressional midterm elections is timed to influence that vote, but CNN did not provide evidence that might lend credence to such an accusation: If true, this would be far from the first time that the Bush administration has timed an Iraq- or national security-related event for political advantage.
Responding to criticism of an RNC ad attacking Tennessee Democratic Senate candidate Rep. Harold Ford Jr. -- an ad described by former Republican senator and Secretary of Defense William Cohen as "overt[ly] racist" -- CNN political analyst Bill Bennett and Ron Christie, former special assistant to President Bush, revived the dubious claim that, in 2002, Maryland Senate candidate and lieutenant governor Michael Steele (R), who is an African-American, "had Oreos thrown at him" by Democrats as a racial insult. In fact, there is significant evidence that calls into question the Oreo cookie claims.
On The Situation Room, Wolf Blitzer said, "[C]orrect me if I'm wrong," but a controversial Playboy party ad against Democratic Senate candidate Rep. Harold Ford Jr., "has now gone away." Ken Mehlman, whom Blitzer was interviewing, concurred, saying, "my understanding is the same thing." In fact, The Tennessean reported on the same day that the ad "will continue airing ... as agreed to by the RNC."
MSNBC provided free air time for a new Republican National Committee (RNC) ad attacking Tennessee Democratic Senate candidate Harold Ford Jr. that critics, including an NAACP spokesman and former Republican Sen. William Cohen, have called racist.
CNN's Candy Crowley uncritically aired Tennessee Republican Senate candidate Bob Corker's false claim that he has "never said a negative word" about the family of his Democratic opponent, Rep. Harold Ford Jr. In fact, Corker has "question[ed]" Ford's father's employment as a lobbyist, and Corker's campaign has repeatedly attacked Ford's family as the "Ford Political Machine."
Glenn Beck claimed that "the forces of radical Islam and political correctness have conspired to slowly gain power and influence" in Europe and that "the continent is on the precipice of civil war." He further predicted that the United States "very well could be next ... [i]t may only be a matter of time before it happens in Detroit or New York or Chicago." He concluded, "We could be on the verge of a global religious civil war."
Michael Medved claimed that two recent CNN specials, Broken Government and War on the Middle Class, are evidence that CNN "has been anti-[Bush] administration." In fact, both specials included criticism of and attacks on Democrats.
During a segment that looked at the Democrats' prospects in the upcoming midterm elections, CNN's Candy Crowley devoted her report to reinforcing negative stereotypes about the Democratic Party promoted by Republicans and repeated in the media.
The Republican National Committee's (RNC) new political ad -- featuring clips of Osama bin Laden and other terrorists making threats against the United States and clips of explosions -- has not yet aired as a paid advertisement, but broadcast and cable news networks have already played portions of it several times as part of their news programming -- essentially giving the RNC the opportunity to fearmonger on their airwaves free of charge.