CNN's Kyra Phillips allowed Katrina survivor Rockey Vaccarella to repeatedly praise or deflect blame from President Bush over his handling of Hurricane Katrina, yet failed to note that Vaccarella once ran for local office as a Republican. Phillips also failed to challenge Vaccarella's various attempts to excuse the federal government's slow response.
Several media outlets, in their reporting on a response President Bush gave in his August 21 press conference to a question on Iraq, either excised or omitted Bush's admission that "sometimes I'm happy" when hearing about the situation there.
Since the recent U.K. terrorism arrests, numerous media outlets have suggested that the news would help increase President Bush's approval in the polls. In fact, the three major polls at least partially conducted since the arrests show little or no improvement in Bush's overall job approval rating.
CNN's Betty Nguyen left unchallenged the suggestion by blogger Charles Johnson that photographs taken after the July 30 Israeli air strike in Qana, Lebanon, were staged "for propaganda purposes," and that "Hezbollah controls a lot of the pictures and a lot of the media that you see coming out of Lebanon." In fact, Reuters, the Associated Press, and Agence France-Presse -- each of which has published photos from Qana -- have all denied allegations that photographs were staged.
With Kyra Phillips's discussion of the Apocalypse and the Middle East conflict with Christian authors Jerry Jenkins and Joel C. Rosenberg -- who share the view that the Rapture is nigh -- CNN has, for the second time in three days, featured a segment on the potential coming of the Apocalypse, as indicated by current conflicts in the Middle East.
A Media Matters analysis of the media coverage of the Iraq war debate shows that the favored Republican talking points on Iraq have gone largely unchallenged in the media and have even been adopted as truths by some media outlets and figures.
Recent reports on the reported activation of the U.S. ground-based missile defense system have overstated its ability to defend against an actual attack and uncritically reported administration claims about its effectiveness. Government Accountability Office reports indicate that the system has no proven ability to shoot down a hostile missile.
After the release of a picture depicting White House counselor Dan Bartlett and press secretary Tony Snow wearing helmets and flak jackets while riding in a helicopter in Iraq, CNN chief national correspondent John King reported that President Bush also wore protective gear during the helicopter ride, but that members of the media "did not get to photograph" Bush because official personnel "didn't want us to get any pictures" of him entering or exiting the aircraft. In contrast, on Fox and Friends, co-hosts Steve Doocy and E.D. Hill claimed Bush wore no protective gear, but cited no evidence supporting their claim.
On NBC's Today, Philadelphia-based radio host Michael Smerconish falsely claimed that "no one died at Abu Ghraib" -- a detention facility operated by U.S. forces in Iraq -- and that the abuse of prisoners by U.S. personnel at Abu Ghraib was merely "a lot of ridiculous actions ... carried out by nine knuckleheads." Additionally, in a report that aired repeatedly on CNN, senior Pentagon correspondent Jamie McIntyre falsely reported that "[n]one of the abused prisoners at Abu Ghraib died." In fact, detainee Manadel al-Jamadi reportedly died at Abu Ghraib during an interrogation by CIA personnel on November 4, 2003. The Pentagon has labeled al-Jamadi's death a "homicide," indicating that it resulted from the treatment he received at the prison -- not from natural causes.
Following President Bush's announcement of his proposal to deploy as many as 6,000 National Guard troops to the Mexican border, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff defended the administration's plan to bolster border protection in numerous media appearances and interviews. But in their coverage, media generally failed to mention that in December 2005, Chertoff characterized the deployment of the National Guard for border protection as "a horribly overexpensive and very difficult way to manage this problem."
In reporting on new White House press secretary Tony Snow's first televised press briefing, CNN's Suzanne Malveaux and Ed Henry praised Snow's "candor," "bluntness," and "honesty" while overlooking Snow's false or, at best, misleading answers to questions from reporters at the briefing.
On CNN's Live From, CNN White House correspondent Ed Henry suggested that only Democrats are criticizing the just-exposed National Security Agency program that collects phone call records of millions of Americans, as first reported by USA Today. Henry ignored immediate questions and criticism from prominent congressional Republicans such as Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Arlen Specter (PA), Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (SC), and House Majority Leader John Boehner (OH).
CNN's David Ensor, reporting on the revelation that President Bush "authorized" the disclosure of classified portions of the 2002 National Intelligence Estimate pertaining to Iraq's purported weapons of mass destruction, simply asserted without elaboration that unnamed "experts" say Bush's actions were "legal," and that the president has "the right" to declassify such information. Similarly, Fox News' Brit Hume said that both Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney "have the legal authority under an executive order signed by the president to make public classified information. So that takes the unauthorized out of it." Neither Ensor nor Hume challenged the notion that the president has the authority to leak classified information, questioned whether Bush -- assuming he has that authority -- properly declassified the information, or made any effort to explore the ramifications of the president's exercise of that alleged authority.
While interviewing White House deputy press secretary Trent Duffy on the March 2 edition of CNN's Live From... about newly released video of President Bush receiving warnings that the New Orleans levees might fail, news anchor Fredricka Whitfield joined a growing list of journalists who seem to have entirely forgotten that Bush claimed, two days after the storm, that "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees."