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.
Numerous media figures highlighted the alleged "partisan" nature of Coretta Scott King's funeral but failed to comment on the politicization of Ronald Reagan's funeral.
The Los Angeles Times and The Wall Street Journal reported on February 3 that the revised 10-year cost estimates of President Bush's Medicare prescription drug plan were less than earlier projected -- $678 billion, as opposed to $737 billion estimated in August 2005. In fact, while they were less than August 2005 projections, they were far more than the $400 billion estimate the administration provided Congress when trying to get the votes to approve the plan.
In a January 23 speech defending his warrantless domestic surveillance program, President Bush claimed that Congress' 2001 authorization of force, upheld by the Supreme Court in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, establishes his authority to conduct the program. But numerous legal authorities have objected to Bush's claim that the high court affirmed his authority to wiretap U.S. residents without a warrant. Despite these objections, several news outlets repeated Bush's claim without challenge.
The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and Knight Ridder reported on a 2002 Justice Department statement explaining its refusal to support a bill proposed by Sen. Mike DeWine (R-OH) to amend the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). The statement appears to undermine several of the Bush administration's key arguments for conducting warrantless domestic surveillance. While these papers have highlighted the 2002 Justice Department statement, the media have yet to report that the administration's response to that disclosure from 2002 contradicts numerous statements it has made in defense of the surveillance program.
The Los Angeles Times printed an op-ed by David Horowitz regarding academic freedom on college campuses despite his history of false statements and unsupported allegations on this very topic. The op-ed marked the 29th time Horowitz has been published in the Times, according to a Nexis search.
Numerous media outlets repeated without challenge White House senior adviser Karl Rove's defense of President Bush's warrantless domestic surveillance program, in which Rove falsely claimed that "some important Democrats clearly disagree" with the proposition that "if Al Qaeda is calling somebody in America, it is in our national security interest to know who they're calling and why." In fact, no leading Democrat has said that it is not in our interest to monitor Al Qaeda's communications.
Los Angeles Times columnist Max Boot claimed that the National Security Agency's (NSA) warrantless domestic surveillance program led to the arrest of Al Qaeda accomplice Iyman Faris. But contrary to Boot's assertion, a New York Times report indicated that information gleaned from the NSA eavesdropping program did not play "a significant role" in Faris's capture.
News outlets reported that the Republican-sponsored ethics reform package would ban lobbyist-paid travel. But the proposed reform measure would still allow lobbyist-paid meals and trips as long as they were offered as campaign fundraising activities.
CBS, the Los Angeles Times, and The Washington Post reported without challenge the disputed claim that President Bush has the legal authority to instruct the National Security Agency to conduct electronic surveillance of people in the United States without obtaining warrants.
The Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post reported that President Bush's meeting with a bipartisan group of former secretaries of state and defense to discuss Iraq war policy lasted one hour. By contrast, The New York Times reported that the actual discussion lasted only 5 to 10 minutes, and the rest of the time was devoted to an "upbeat" briefing on the war.