On MSNBC News Live, Norah O'Donnell cherry-picked the findings of a new Gallup poll to suggest that the American public is divided over the prospect of a Democratic Congress, pointing to the fact that 82 percent of respondents believed that a Democratic Congress would set a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq, which, she said, "two-thirds of people" support, and contrasting it with the fact that a majority of respondents also believed Democrats would raise taxes, which, she said, "three-quarters of the American people disapprove of."
Rush Limbaugh defended his criticism of Michael J. Fox, claiming: "Daffy Duck could have done a commercial for Claire McCaskill, saying the same things that Fox did, misleading about stem cell research ... and my reaction would've been the same." MSNBC's Melissa Slager said that Fox "has not said whether or not he took" his Parkinson's medication during the shooting of his political ads, even though The New York Times reported that a Fox spokesman "said his tremors were caused by his medication."
MSNBC's Chris Jansing falsely claimed that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton "frankly acknowledged it's legitimate to consider in the voting, we just heard it -- that she is laser-focused on the presidency and not on representing the people of New York." Jansing was referring to a video clip shown moments earlier in which Clinton said: "I have made no decisions about any future plans, and if that is a concern to any voter, they should factor that into their decision on November 7th."
The Republican National Committee's (RNC) new political ad -- featuring clips of Osama bin Laden and other terrorists making threats against the United States and clips of explosions -- has not yet aired as a paid advertisement, but broadcast and cable news networks have already played portions of it several times as part of their news programming -- essentially giving the RNC the opportunity to fearmonger on their airwaves free of charge.
Loading the player leg...
During a segment on vulnerable members of Congress on MSNBC News Live, John Gizzi of Human Events Online omitted -- and anchor Contessa Brewer failed to point out -- the Democrats Gizzi named are all leading in polls.
MSNBC anchor Melissa Slager falsely claimed that one of the three House members who resigned this year because of ethical scandals was a Democrat; in fact, all three who resigned over the past year were Republicans. MSNBC's Norah O'Donnell presented a "scandal scorecard" noting that Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid (NV) "is facing a Senate ethics probe," overstating the amount of profit Reid allegedly made in the deal and ignoring a transaction in which House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-IL) reportedly made an even bigger profit on the sale of land near a highway project for which he reportedly included an earmark in a transportation bill.
Norah O'Donnell failed to correct Republican strategist Brad Blakeman's false claim that Rep. Barney Frank "admitted" to "running a prostitution ring out of his townhouse." In fact, a House investigation cleared Frank of such allegations in 1989.
Many television news outlets touted a USA Today/Gallup poll putting President Bush's job approval rating at 44 percent as a success for Bush, asserting that his rating is "the highest it's been in a year." But four days earlier, the same news organizations ignored a Pew Research Center poll showing Bush's approval rating at 37 percent.
Discussing former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani's performance before, during, and after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks with author Wayne Barrett, Norah O'Donnell asked Barrett: "[Y]ou can't honestly say he [Giuliani] could have predicted that that area [the World Trade Center complex] would have been attacked?" In response, Barrett pointed out that the World Trade Center complex "was at the top of the vulnerability list that [Giuliani's] own police department prepared."
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.
Given Michael Smerconish's history of intolerant, inflammatory comments, Media Matters asks: Why is MSNBC allowing him to host one of its programs?