On The Beltway Boys, Mort Kondracke conflated primary election and general election funding, falsely asserting that Sen. Barack Obama will be "violating a promise" if he "forgo[es] public financing ... between now and August" -- that is, during the primary. In fact, Obama did not pledge to accept public funds during the primary, and long ago opted out of public financing for the primary election. Rather, he has said that he will attempt to reach an agreement with Sen. John McCain to use public financing in the general election.
Weekly Standard executive editor Fred Barnes stated on Fox News' The Beltway Boys that "MoveOn.org -- which hates the war, hates the military, hates America -- endorsed [Sen. Barack] Obama [D-IL]." Media Matters for America has documented numerous media attacks on MoveOn.org.
MSNBC's Keith Olbermann named Roll Call's Mort Kondracke the "winner" of his nightly "Worst Person in the World" segment for asserting on Fox News' Special Report: "I'm sure [waterboarding] feels like torture, you know, it doesn't result in any lasting damage, but it feels like torture." Olbermann also named Fox News' John Gibson the "runner-up" for criticizing an "NBC news anchor" for offering Sen. Barack Obama advice on what he "needs to say" about Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton -- one day after Gibson himself had offered Obama advice.
In a Fox News "All-Star" panel discussion, Morton Kondracke said of the interrogation technique known as waterboarding, "I'm sure it feels like torture, you know, it doesn't result in any lasting damage, but it feels like torture." But a physician who heads a program for torture survivors told a Senate committee that techniques such as waterboarding "are intended to break the prisoners down, to terrify them and cause harm to their psyche, and in so doing result in lasting harmful health consequences." He also said: "There is a real risk of death from actually drowning or suffering a heart attack or damage to the lungs."
During the "All-Star Panel" segment on Special Report, the Washington Examiner's Bill Sammon and Roll Call's Mort Kondracke blamed the Louisiana state and local governments for their handling of Hurricane Katrina while excusing or ignoring the failures of the federal government. Sammon concluded that "to the extent that anybody failed [during Katrina], I think it was state and local, and in this case [the California wildfires], the state and locals have stepped up." However, two congressional reports -- while not excusing the state and local governments -- extensively detailed the federal government's failures in its preparation for and response to Katrina.
Morton Kondracke said that the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings on the Bush administration's firing of nine U.S. attorneys have "discovered nothing specifically nefarious that any of -- that these firings had anything to do with, except, maybe, the failure to prosecute voter fraud cases." In fact, two of the fired prosecutors have said that they investigated voter fraud allegations but found insufficient evidence to warrant prosecution or a grand jury investigation, while administration officials have stated that a third was fired for reasons unrelated to his performance.
On Special Report, Mort Kondracke called the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee investigating the firing of eight U.S. attorneys "a hanging party," explaining that he chose the characterization "because every time there's an inconsistency in somebody's testimony, however minute ... they're ready to pounce and accuse [the witness], basically, of perjury or violating the law or something like that." Kondracke also accused Sen. Patrick Leahy of "McCarthyism," for questioning the reasons behind Monica Goodling's decision to invoke her Fifth Amendment right and refuse to testify if called upon by Congress.
Several media outlets uncritically reported President Bush's claim that he delayed the release of his new "way forward in Iraq" strategy from before Christmas to until January 2007 to allow new Defense Secretary Robert Gates to join the policy discussion and visit Iraq. These media outlets did not mention that the White House scheduled Gates' swearing-in ceremony fully 12 days after his Senate confirmation in order for him to attend commencement at Texas A&M before resigning as the school's president.