While reporting on polling that places President Bush's approval ratings at an all-time low, NBC News' Kelly O'Donnell and MSNBC's David Shuster both falsely suggested that President Clinton's job approval ratings sank during the Monica Lewinsky controversy and his subsequent impeachment. In fact, Clinton's job approval ratings remained high throughout the period of the Lewinsky controversy and reached their highest level ever at the time of his impeachment by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.
A Media Matters study of guests on MSNBC's Scarborough Country shows that far more Republican and conservative guests have appeared on the show during the first three months of 2006 than have Democratic or progressive guests.
On MSNBC's Scarborough Country, Michael Smerconish suggested that "maybe law enforcement ought to step in" at pro-immigration demonstrations and consider "gathering ... up" illegal immigrants.
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On Hardball, NBC News' David Gregory repeated the Bush administration's defense of President Bush's alleged authorization of a leak of classified information to the press in 2003. Gregory cited White House officials' argument that "the reality is, once the president makes a decision to authorize the release of information, it's no longer classified, it's instantly declassified." Host Chris Matthews challenged Gregory's assertion, noting that it "doesn't hold up."
On Hardball, NBC News' David Gregory repeated the false statement that Joseph C. Wilson IV "alleges" that Vice President Dick Cheney "set up" Wilson's CIA-sponsored trip to investigate reports that Saddam Hussein's regime had purchased yellowcake uranium from Niger, and "that Cheney knew ... that [Wilson] was going and knew of his findings." In fact, Wilson has never claimed that Cheney or Cheney's office sent him to Niger; rather, Wilson has maintained that he was dispatched by the CIA and that Cheney did not know that Wilson went to Niger.
On MSNBC's Hardball, Chris Matthews once again suggested Democrats would abuse the congressional subpoena authority if they regain control of one or both houses of Congress in the 2006 elections. In a conversation with former Rep. Vin Weber (R-MN), Matthews asserted that in 2006, Republicans will likely campaign on the claim that if elected, Democrats "are going to try to lynch the president."
On MSNBC's Hardball, Chris Matthews asked Democratic strategist Bob Shrum if he could "promise" that, if the Democrats regain control of the House after the midterm elections, "they will not use the subpoena power to go after the president."
MSNBC host Joe Scarborough devoted an entire segment of Scarborough Country to purported housekeeping differences between First Lady Laura Bush and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY), asking whether Clinton neglected housekeeping because she was "too busy trying to play assistant president."
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Chris Matthews falsely conflated those members of Congress who have publicly supported Sen. Russ Feingold's resolution to censure President Bush over his warrantless domestic eavesdropping program and the far larger group who has said that Bush might have acted illegally in authorizing the program.
Following recent demonstrations in which protesters marched against proposed legislation that would criminalize undocumented workers, some in the media have criticized the demonstrators for carrying Mexican flags. But these same media figures have not complained about people waving other nations' flags, such as Irish flags at St. Patrick's Day events, Italian flags at Columbus Day events, or Israeli flags at Israel Day events.
Commemorating the third anniversary of his MSNBC show, Keith Olbermann devoted a segment to his long-standing rivalry with Fox News host Bill O'Reilly; Olbermann aired a compilation of clips mocking O'Reilly. He also declared radio host Neal Boortz that evening's "Worst Person in the World" for saying that Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) "looks like a ghetto slut."
Imus in the Morning executive producer Bernard McGuirk and co-host Charles McCord refused to apologize for their recent remarks about kidnapped journalist Jill Carroll. Because of Carroll's statements upon her release from kidnappers in Iraq that she was "treated very well" and "was not harmed" or "threatened," McGuirk claimed on the March 30 Imus broadcast that Carroll "strikes" him "as the kind of woman who would wear one of those suicide vests" to "try and sneak into the Green Zone," and added the next day that Carroll "is carrying [terrorist leader Abu Musab al-] Zarqawi's baby." McCord agreed with McGuirk on the March 30 program, stating that "[s]he cooked with them [terrorists], lived with them" and adding that "there is no evidence to suggest" that Carroll was not representing terrorists or insurgents with her statements.
On March 30, Chris Matthews said of the presidential chances of Sen. George Allen (R-VA), "I think George Allen might be a stretch." But a day earlier, after interviewing Allen, Matthews said, "I say he's running, I say he's one of the two top guys to watch, he and [Sen. John] McCain [R-AZ]."
Continuing to mischaracterize polls showing that the public prefers Democrats over Republicans on handling taxes, Chris Matthews acknowledged that "the latest polling shows that people trust Democrats more" on taxes, but still stated that the polls referred to "tax cutting" and suggested that the results were surprising because "nobody has ever accused the Democrats of tax cutting." In fact, the polls asked more broadly about tax policy, not merely "tax cutting," and contrary to Matthews's suggestion that Democrats do not cut taxes, numerous Democrats have enacted or proposed tax cuts in recent years.
Chris Matthews claimed that House Republicans who recently passed a bill that would apparently criminalize undocumented immigrants, their employers, and those who provide aid to them "have a right to fear" a "cultural change" that would result in their home states and towns "becom[ing] overwhelmingly Mexican."