Discussing Sen. Gordon Smith's December 7 Senate floor statement denouncing the war in Iraq, neither ABC's George Stephanopoulos nor CNN's Wolf Blitzer challenged Smith on the timing of his statement, when it had become clear long before that no weapons of mass destruction would be found in Iraq and that the function of coalition troops had become essentially that of, in Smith's words to Blitzer, "street cops in a sectarian civil war."
While discussing Sen. John McCain's potential presidential candidacy, CNN's Wolf Blitzer ignored McCain's inconsistencies on taxes and abortion and essentially contradicted himself about McCain's position on Iraq. Blitzer also noted the names and experience of other political figures with presidential exploratory or campaign committees but did not describe their positions on any issues.
CNN's Your World Today devoted 16 minutes to live coverage of a press briefing by Tony Snow, which focused on the controversy over Sen. John Kerry's recent remark about Iraq. When questions turned to President Bush's Iraq policy, however, CNN cut away from live coverage after two minutes.
In a weblog post, ABC News' Jake Tapper reported that two Republican senators told Sen. Joseph Biden that they plan to "break with the White House Iraq strategy," but only after the midterm elections. Only three other media outlets have reported the disclosure.
MSNBC's Norah O'Donnell accepted as true Sen. John McCain's false assertion that he "refuse[s] to use" the words "cut and run" to describe plans to redeploy U.S. forces out of Iraq. In fact, McCain has repeatedly used those words to describe such plans, and to attack Democrats who support them.
CNN's Paula Zahn told Sen. Joe Biden that the Democratic Party is "getting creamed as the party of cut-and-runners, the wobbly, the weak," adding: "[D]o you understand why that divisiveness compromises the credibility of your party?"
On the Focus on the Family radio show, FOF CEO James Dobson and president Jim Daly lambasted opponents of a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, comparing the amendment to civil rights legislation and the abolitionists' campaign to end slavery, and predicting that if it failed, "civilization will go down."
On NBC's Meet the Press, host Tim Russert, during an interview with Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-DE), asked Biden if same-sex marriage was one of the issues "that the Republicans used successfully to demonstrate that the Democrats were out of sync on cultural -- and values." But leading up to the 2004 election, polls found that the public was split equally on which party better represented their values, and more recent polling indicates that more people think Democrats better represent their values than do Republicans.
On Fox News' Your World, Neil Cavuto falsely claimed that Sen. Jospeh R. Biden Jr.'s recently released plan for Iraq is "one that divides the country into three countries separately by religion." In fact, Biden's plan "is to maintain a unified Iraq by decentralizing it" into three "largely autonomous regions," Kurd, Sunni, and Shiite, "with a viable but limited central government in Baghdad."
After playing an audio clip of Democratic senators arguing that oil company mergers have led to price hikes, Rush Limbaugh said: "This is Stalinist. This is Stalinist and Marxist."
In an appearance on NBC's Meet the Press, Sen. Joseph R Biden Jr. (D-DE) challenged host Tim Russert's previous suggestion that Democratic lawmakers seized on the recent ports controversy in order to build their national security credentials. Biden pointed out that since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Democratic lawmakers have repeatedly put forth proposals to bolster port security nationwide -- proposals that have consistently been met with stiff Republican resistance.
Advancing a line put forth by the administration, several conservative media figures have argued that the revelation of President Bush's warrantless domestic surveillance program has effectively rendered it worthless because its existence and practices have been disclosed to terrorist groups. However, Media Matters for America has previously noted the absurdity of this claim.
In his February 10 column, The Wall Street Journal's Daniel Henninger baselessly asserted that the public disclosure of President Bush's warrantless domestic surveillance program had made it ineffective. However, news reports suggest that, even before the program's public disclosure, it had been ineffective.
During MSNBC's live coverage of Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito Jr.'s confirmation hearing, scrolling onscreen text falsely suggested that Alito was in the majority in the Bray v. Marriott anti-discrimination case. In fact, Alito dissented in the decision that reversed the lower court's ruling on the case.