Fox News host Steve Doocy repeatedly touted Operation Mountain Thrust, in which coalition forces killed 600 Taliban fighters in Afghanistan, as "a real success story," adding that the operation's purported success is "going to allow U.S. forces to withdraw in some measure." At no point during the segment did Doocy mention why the operation might have been necessary -- according to recent reports by USA Today and Reuters, the Afghan insurgency is a greater threat than at any point since the U.S.-led effort to expel the Taliban in 2001.
On July 26, Bill O'Reilly baselessly attacked both The Oregonian and The Guardian newspapers for purportedly breaking "professional standards" and "attack[ing]" O'Reilly.
Numerous conservative pundits offered highly optimistic predictions about the U.S. invasion of Iraq regarding the conflict's duration, difficulty, and human and financial costs -- nearly all of which have proven to be wrong. But rather than hold these "Pollyanna pundits" accountable for their past misjudgments, the media have again provided a platform for their views about the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hezbollah. And echoing their rhetoric on Iraq, these conservative pundits have advocated further military action by the United States and its allies.
A Media Matters for America review has found that a July 24 report from a task force of the American Bar Association (ABA) on President Bush's use of so-called "signing statements" has been ignored by several media outlets, including the Los Angeles Times, all three television networks, and Fox News prime-time shows. The ABA report concluded that Bush's practice of attaching signing statements to congressional legislation "weaken[s] our cherished system of checks and balances and separation of powers."
The July 25 edition of MSNBC's Hardball, as well as the July 24 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, hosted self-identified "Middle East analyst" Michael Evans to discuss the current conflict in the Middle East. Evans's chief experience appears to be in the area of biblical prophecy.
On his radio show, Bill O'Reilly apparently modified his false claim that the New York Times' editorial board is "sitting ... out" the current conflict between Israel and Hezbollah, stating that the Times was "basically sitting ... out" [emphasis added] the issue. Yet during the same day's edition of The O'Reilly Factor, O'Reilly repeated his previous claim that the Times was "absolutely sitting it out editorially." In fact, the Times has now published four editorials on the conflict.
Reporting on the 2006 Minnesota Senate campaign between Republican Rep. Mark Kennedy and Democrat Amy Klobuchar, Fox News' Carl Cameron falsely compared the results of "recent polls" that "gave Klobuchar a double-digit lead" with "the latest Zogby Internet poll [which] shows Kennedy within seven points." But the "Zogby Internet poll" Cameron cited is not a "scientific" poll of randomly selected participants.
Following a recent trend of portraying bad news for President Bush as a blessing in disguise for Republicans and the White House, various news outlets and media figures have uncritically echoed the Bush administration's claim that the recent outbreak of violence between Israel and Hezbollah represents a "leadership opportunity" for Bush.
On Fox News Sunday, Brit Hume failed to challenge House Speaker Dennis Hastert's assertion that the "disruptive" "foreign influence" in Iraq is "getting shut down." In fact, a Congressional Research Service report found that foreign influence -- political, economic, and military -- in Iraq, particularly by Iran, remains considerable and is not likely to subside in the near future.
On Fox News Sunday, Brit Hume used the pronoun "we" in reference to the Republican-led House of Representatives, which recently passed a bill to cut the estate tax. Hume said: "We've passed" a measure that would eliminate the tax "for nearly everybody," but that the measure is "stuck in the Senate."
Morton Kondracke stated that if Ned Lamont defeats Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) in Connecticut's Democratic Senate primary, it will be "bad news" because Lamont "represents a triumph" for "the MoveOn.org-Howard Dean-Daily Kos-Michael Moore left wing of the Democratic Party," which is "just as nasty and mean on the left as Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage ... on the right." Fred Barnes responded that these Democrats and progressives are "[m]uch meaner."
On Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, guest co-host Rich Lowry asserted that Rep. John P. Murtha was "again sounding like the grim reaper when it comes to the war on terror." Lowry also asked whether Murtha has "already decided to undermine another American war effort." Former CIA operative Wayne Simmons attacked Murtha for "running a psy-op [psychological operation] against his own people and against his own military," adding that Murtha "has come out and talked poorly about the military."
On Fox News' The Beltway Boys, Morton M. Kondracke falsely claimed that former President Bill Clinton "has not said" whether he will support challenger Ned Lamont if he defeats Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman in the Connecticut Democratic primary. In fact, Clinton's spokesman told the New York Daily News that Clinton "will support the candidate that wins the Democratic primary."