On Good Morning America, Sean Hannity accused Michael J. Fox of, as host Diane Sawyer put it, "shilling" for Democrats, claimed without elaboration that Fox's campaign ad in support of Missouri Democratic Senate candidate Claire McCaskill contained "factual inaccuracies," and baselessly defended Rush Limbaugh's accusation that Fox was "exaggerating the effects of the disease" in the ad. Similarly, on The O'Reilly Factor, Culture Campaign president Sandy Rios falsely claimed that Fox was "lying" in his advertisement.
MSNBC and Fox News uncritically reported claims by the Bush administration, including that "wages for the average middle-class American today are actually higher than they were just a couple of years ago," ignoring a report alleging that the median hourly real wage has "declined 2 percent since 2003."
Fox News host Neil Cavuto stated that an October 23 report in Barron's that predicted the GOP would retain control of both houses of Congress in the midterm elections was "a possible reason for the uptick" in the stock market that day while not challenging Barron's Washington bureau chief Jim McTague -- who declared, "[T]he numbers don't lie" -- about the false suggestion in the Barron's report that it has used a consistent methodology in predicting Republican victories in 2002, 2004, and now in 2006.
Fox News' Brett Baier failed to challenge Rep. Peter Hoekstra's claim that his decision to suspend a Democratic House Intelligence Committee staffer for allegedly leaking portions of a National Intelligence Estimate was based on "sufficient evidence." A Washington Post report debunked a previous claim by Hoekstra about the staffer's involvement.
Numerous conservative media figures have attacked CNN for broadcasting video footage of insurgents attacking U.S. soldiers in Iraq: Pat Buchanan said that CNN "ought to be treated like Al Jazeera"; Michael Savage even claimed CNN had "committed murder" by airing the video; Brent Bozell asserted that CNN was "cavorting with the enemy to get video to put on the air in the United States to break the will of the American people."
Newt Gingrich and Fred Barnes both falsely suggested that the media have ignored allegations that Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid improperly reported a land deal and have focused exclusively on Republican scandals. In fact, Time, CNN and Fox News have devoted significantly more coverage to the Reid deal than to a controversial land deal that benefited Republican House Speaker Dennis Hastert.
Fox News' Neil Cavuto did not challenge Tony Snow's false claim that "since the president cut taxes in 2003, the Dow Jones is up 60 percent. The Nasdaq is up 80 percent." But even under the most favorable criteria, Snow's statistics are plainly wrong. And when adjusted for inflation, the value of both stock indices has decreased since President Bush's first major tax cut package in June 2001.
On his radio and television programs, Bill O'Reilly repeatedly stated that Oprah Winfrey has hosted more "secular-progressives" and "liberals" than "conservatives" and "traditionalists" on her television show. He also complained that "Oprah has declined to interview me, even though I had four number-one best-selling books." After days of attention to the subject, O'Reilly announced on ABC's The View that he would be appearing on Winfrey's show.
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.