A Media Matters analysis found that, on the first two Sundays following the November 4 elections, in which a Democrat took the White House and the party added to its majority in the House and Senate, conservatives and Republicans dominated post-election analysis on both Fox News Sunday and Face the Nation -- a pattern that is consistent with their guest and panelist lineups in the first weeks after the November 2004 elections.
On CBS' Face the Nation, Fox News contributor Newt Gingrich falsely claimed that Indiana and Utah -- both governed by Republicans -- have the "lowest unemployment rates in their respective regions." However, according to the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics records, neither Utah nor Indiana has the lowest unemployment rate in its region, and several states with lower unemployment rates are governed by Democrats.
On Face the Nation, Bob Schieffer did not ask Rep. Heather Wilson about a recent Justice Department report that called for further investigation of actions she and others allegedly took surrounding the firing of former New Mexico U.S. Attorney David Iglesias. The report stated that their actions may have constituted an "attempt to pressure Iglesias to accelerate his charging decision" in a case and that if attempts to pressure Iglesias occurred, they could constitute obstruction of justice or wire fraud.
On CBS' Face the Nation, Bob Schieffer asserted that Sen. John McCain "suspended his campaign" to deal with the Wall Street crisis, ignoring evidence that after McCain announced he was going to suspend his campaign, his ads continued to run; his advisers repeatedly attacked Sen. Barack Obama on cable news networks; and he gave interviews with the three broadcast networks the following day.
In an RNC speech, former Sen. Fred Thompson said of Sen. John McCain, "[B]eing a POW doesn't qualify anyone to be president. But it does reveal character." Similarly, retired Gen. Wesley Clark, in a July appearance on CBS' Face the Nation, told host Bob Schieffer that McCain was "a hero," and that "I certainly honor his service as a prisoner of war," but that "I don't think riding in a fighter plane and getting shot down is a qualification to be president." But while Schieffer suggested in July that Clark "denigrate[d]" and "attack[ed]" McCain's "military service," he did not ask McCain about Thompson's remarks during a September 7 interview on Face the Nation.
On Face the Nation, Bob Schieffer alleged that "[Sen. Barack] Obama's people are trying to denigrate the war hero's military service," referring to Sen. John McCain. Schieffer did not explain which of "Obama's people" he was talking about, but a few days earlier he said that "[retired Gen.] Wesley Clark, who was speaking for Obama, tried to marginalize John McCain's military service" in a June appearance on Face the Nation. In fact, Clark did not "denigrate" McCain's "military service"; rather, he questioned the relevance of McCain's combat experience as a qualification to be president.
On Face the Nation, Bob Schieffer stated that Sen. Barack Obama "seemed to have a slightly different take" on withdrawing troops from Iraq in July 3 remarks, as compared with a speech he made on March 19. But Schieffer omitted Obama's statement in the March 19 speech that he would set Iraq policy in consultation with military commanders.
On Face the Nation, Bob Schieffer claimed that Sen. Hillary Clinton is "saying it looks like ... maybe the surge is working in the sense that there is less violence there." But as Media Matters for America has repeatedly noted, Clinton actually said: "We've begun to change tactics in Iraq, and in some areas, particularly in Al Anbar province, it's working. ... We're just years too late changing our tactics. We can't ever let that happen again."
In appearances by Karl Rove on Sunday morning talk shows on Fox, CBS, and NBC, not one interviewer asked whether an August 19 Washington Post article was accurate in stating that, according to White House officials, one of Rove's "two basic rules" in putting together briefings for political appointees was "to make sure they complied with the Hatch Act," a federal law that limits political activities by federal employees. As the article noted, "the Office of the Special Counsel ... has concluded that the Hatch Act was violated" during a briefing that was conducted by a Rove aide for political appointees in the General Services Administration.
On Face the Nation, Bob Schieffer did not challenge Vice President Dick Cheney's false claim that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid "now has said he's adamantly opposed to any funding for the troops." In fact, Reid voted for the supplemental funding bill that the Senate passed March 29.
On Face the Nation, Bob Schieffer failed to correct Dan Bartlett's false claim that Bob Woodward, in his latest book, State of Denial, asserts that insurgents in Iraq conduct "900 attacks daily" on U.S. and coalition forces. In fact, Woodward wrote that attacks on coalition forces in Iraq are "exceeding 3,500 a month" (or around 875 per week, not per day, as Bartlett stated).
Face the Nation's Bob Schieffer baselessly asserted that the September 22 deal struck by Republican senators and President Bush on the detention, interrogation, and trial of detainees "shows how we do things in a democracy -- out in the open, and in accordance with the law, even when dealing with the worst of the worst." In fact, the details of the agreement are largely unknown. Schieffer also allowed Sen. John McCain to suggest that Democrats are the reason, in Schieffer's words, that Congress "can't seem to get anything done," even though Republicans control both houses of Congress and the presidency.
A Media Matters review of major media outlets found that only The Washington Post highlighted the major differences between remarks by Republican Sens. John McCain and Bill Frist on separate Sunday morning news shows on August 24. While McCain stated that "waterboarding and other extreme measures such as extreme deprivation -- sleep deprivation, hypothermia, and others" could be illegal under new rules for U.S. interrogations of terrorism suspects, Frist asserted that "no responsible person" is going to "comment on individual techniques" that would or would not be permitted under the new law, because doing so "helps the terrorists."