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?
MSNBC hyped Ann Coulter's interview with CNBC's The Big Idea host Donny Deutsch, during which she said of former President Clinton: "[T]hat sort of rampant promiscuity does show some level of latent homosexuality." The interview, characterized by MSNBC as "must-see TV," coupled with an upcoming appearance on Hardball with Chris Matthews, will mark at least the sixth and seventh times NBC, or one of its cable news channels, has hosted Coulter since the publication of her latest book, Godless.
Following the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the news that Karl Rove would not be indicted in the CIA leak case, and other events, media figures have declared that the Bush administration is experiencing "a surge of momentum." But such assertions ignore the White House's numerous current problems.
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."
On MSNBC News Live, host Contessa Brewer admonished right-wing activist David Horowitz for calling Citizens for Legitimate Government founder Michael Rectenwald -- appearing opposite Horowitz -- a "communist," "pro-terrorist," and "a menace." Brewer said: "All right. OK, here's what we're not going to do, is to call guests names on the air."
ABC World News Tonight anchor Elizabeth Vargas failed to note the apparent conflict between a newly released videotape that shows President Bush receiving a warning that New Orleans levees could be topped and Bush's later comment that "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees." MSNBC chief White House correspondent Norah O'Donnell similarly failed to note this contradiction during an interview with deputy White House press secretary Trent Duffy.
MSNBC Live anchor Alex Witt falsely claimed that Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid received political contributions from former lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
Chris Matthews claimed that a comment made by President Bush in April 2004 that "[a]ny time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires ... a court order" was "pre-9-11."
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.