On ABC's World News, senior congressional correspondent Jonathan Karl stated that "Republicans, even those close to Senator [Ted] Kennedy, are not buying" the argument that health care reform should be passed to honor Kennedy's memory, then aired a clip of Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) claiming Kennedy "wouldn't want it passed if it wasn't good." But ABC did not note that Kennedy voted by proxy to pass the Senate HELP committee's health care legislation -- a bill Hatch criticized -- and advocated for progressive policies included in the bill, such as universal health care coverage and a public plan.
ABC's Jonathan Karl claimed that if "last night's town hall meeting in Phoenix is any indication" of whether Sen. Ted Kennedy's death will "inspire newfound unity on health care reform," "the answer seems to be no." But the video Karl aired to support his claim was from an August 25 event that occurred before Kennedy's death, not from "last night."
From the August 7th edition of ABC's World News:
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Media figures repeated Sen. Tom Coburn's claim that stimulus funds are being used "to renovate an abandoned train station that hasn't been used in 30 years." But while the station house has long been closed, "[t]he station's platform currently serves more than 80,000 passengers a year," as Coburn's report noted.
Four evening news programs uncritically aired discredited claims Dick Cheney made suggesting that detainees provided information after -- and only after -- "enhanced interrogation techniques" were used.
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Discussing the House vote to levy a 90-percent tax on executive bonuses, NBC, ABC, and Fox News all advanced the false Republican allegation that by passing the recovery bill, Democrats created the right for AIG to pay bonuses. In fact, the bill did not create the right for AIG -- or any company -- to pay bonuses; rather, it restricted the ability of companies receiving TARP money to award bonuses in the future.
On NBC's Nightly News, Chuck Todd reported that President Obama "drew more criticism from Republicans [...] thanks to a new report claiming the stimulus will take years, not months, to improve the economy" and aired a clip of House Minority Leader John Boehner criticizing the stimulus plan. However, Todd did not mention the Democratic leadership's response: that the Congressional Budget Office report ignored faster-moving provisions in the stimulus, creating a "false impression" of the plan's effects.
ABC News' Jonathan Karl uncritically quoted Sen. John Cornyn's assertion that "[o]ne can't help but wonder why Senator [Chuck] Schumer believes Al Franken should be seated without an election certificate signed by both the Secretary of State and Governor, as Minnesota law requires." In fact, Schumer has not advocated bypassing legal requirements; he reportedly said that "it is now clear that Al Franken won the election," but added that "there are still possible legal issues that will run their course."