Echoing previous comments by conservative media figures suggesting that Democrats want the United States to lose the war in Iraq, Fox News' Brit Hume asserted: "The American people don't like the Iraq war, they probably never will. But they're not rooting for us to lose; they don't seem invested in our losing the way the Democrats so often do." Hume offered no evidence that any Democrats are "invested in our losing" or "rooting for us to lose" in Iraq.
Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace did not challenge Defense Secretary Robert Gates' assertion that troop drawdowns "between December and July " will be due to "successes" in Iraq. In fact, due to strain on the military, the troop reduction would have been necessary regardless of conditions on the ground.
Following President Bush's address to the nation on Iraq, Fox was the only broadcast network not to air the Democratic response. Instead, Shepard Smith gave a short description of the response and stated: "Our coverage continues on the Fox News Channel on cable and satellite with the Democratic response and more. Right now, back to your local Fox programming." ABC, NBC, and CBS all aired the Democratic response.
On KTTV, Fox's Los Angeles affiliate, correspondent John Schwada reported that "there are several new plans to further boost the power of California voters," referring to separate Republican and Democratic ballot initiatives that would change the way the state's electoral votes are awarded. But Schwada did not explain how the Republican initiative to award votes by congressional district would "boost the power of California voters." Under the state's current winner-take-all system, California currently awards 55 electoral votes to its winner, far more than any other state. Under the GOP plan, the state would give far fewer electoral votes to its winner. This, by definition, reduces the power of California voters.
On Fox News Sunday, Brit Hume asked Juan Williams, "Who are we fighting there [in Iraq] now, Juan?" then answered his own question: "Al Qaeda in Iraq. They were there before we got there, and they're there now." In fact, U.S. military and intelligence officials have reportedly stated that Al Qaeda in Iraq didn't exist before the U.S.-led invasion in 2003, didn't pledge its loyalty to Osama bin Laden until October 2004, and isn't controlled by bin Laden or his top aides. Further, the 9-11 Commission found "no evidence" that contacts between Saddam Hussein's Iraq and Al Qaeda "developed into a collaborative operational relationship" before the Iraq invasion.
Supporters of the Iraq war -- rather than waiting for testimony by Gen. David Petraeus and U.S. ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker on the effect of President Bush's troop increase in Iraq -- have engaged in a campaign to convince the media and public that progress is being made in Iraq and that the "surge" is "working." Media Matters has compiled some of the most pervasive myths and falsehoods advanced by opponents of withdrawal in service of the "surge is working" message, which many in the media have been complicit in perpetuating.
Karl Rove asserted that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton "enters the general election campaign with the highest negatives of any candidate in the history of the Gallup Poll," and added: "The only person who comes close is ... hers are at 49. The only other candidate to come close was Al Gore with 34, I believe." In fact, Gallup's polling results show that President Bush's unfavorability ratings as he entered the 2004 general election campaign were consistently above what Rove claimed to be "close[st]" to Clinton's unfavorability rating -- "Al Gore with 34" percent.
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.