During a report on the Military Commissions Act of 2006, Fox News' Bret Baier uncritically reported the Bush administration's assertion that, under the bill, noncitizen detainees have a right to challenge their detention and designation as "unlawful enemy combatant[s]" and that critics of the bill who say otherwise are "just flat wrong." In fact, a detainee's ability to challenge his or her detention effectively depends on the government's willingness to provide an initial hearing, which the government can postpone indefinitely.
CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC dedicated a considerable amount of airtime to a purported threat to NFL stadiums in seven cities, despite the fact that the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI both characterized the threat as not credible. Further, with one brief exception, at no point was there any reference on any of the three channels to evidence that the Bush administration has used terrorism-related announcements for political gain.
On Your World, Neil Cavuto falsely claimed that "most Americans, when they're polled on the likability of this president, he polls highly in that regard." In fact, recent surveys demonstrate that more people -- over 50 percent in major October polls -- give Bush an unfavorable rating.
Fox News programs in recent weeks have aired false and misleading Republican campaign advertisements attacking Democrats or Democratic congressional candidates and have hosted guests to defend the attacks, smears, and falsehoods put forth in the ads. But in all but one of the segments about the ads, Fox News failed to air a counter-ad by a Democratic candidate or host any progressive or Democrat to respond to the smears in the advertisements; the other aired only part of a Democratic ad and did so without sound.
On MSNBC and Fox News, Amanda Carpenter touted the purportedly damaging charge in her new book that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton will use "foreign money" made by her husband to mount a potential presidential campaign for 2008. Carpenter asserted that it is "alarming ... that there are millions of dollars in foreign money available to fund Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign as we speak."
Conservatives in the media have attacked Rosie O'Donnell for comments she has made regarding Christianity and Catholicism, and several have even called for O'Donnell to be fired. But those same conservatives have yet to comment on disclosures in a newly released book that the Bush White House has pandered to Christian conservatives for votes, while breaking promises on policy and referring to them as "the nuts," "insane," and "ridiculous" behind closed doors.
On Hannity & Colmes, Sean Hannity joined authors Melanie Morgan and Catherine Moy in comparing Cindy Sheehan's purported interest in online pornography to sexually explicit instant messages former Rep. Mark Foley allegedly sent to underage congressional pages. Morgan asserted that "[t]here's a double standard and hypocrisy at work" in the fact that there was far greater attention and criticism focused on the Foley scandal.
Fox News host John Gibson falsely claimed that former Clinton administration National Security Adviser Sandy Berger -- in a previous interview with Gibson -- "admitted that he and his cohorts were wrong" in reaching a 1994 agreement with North Korea known as the Agreed Framework. In fact, Berger praised the Agreed Framework, noting that "[n]o plutonium was made during the Clinton administration" and that the "agreement fell apart during Bush II."
On his radio program, Bill O'Reilly baselessly claimed that "secular-progressive judges on the [Supreme C]ourt" are "more likely to come about if Nancy Pelosi and her crew" control the U.S. House of Representatives. However, the constitutional process for the nomination and confirmation of Supreme Court justices does not involve the House of Representatives.