On ABC's Nightline, co-anchor Terry Moran characterized "the U.S. claim that Saddam Hussein's regime had weapons of mass destruction" as "a total intelligence failure at the CIA." In fact, while much of the intelligence produced by the CIA before the Iraq war was indeed faulty, many of the Bush administration's most dramatic prewar claims had been called into question by the CIA or other intelligence agencies.
On ABC's Nightline, correspondent John Donvan misrepresented the scope of the controversy about ties between Rep. Katherine Harris (R-FL) and disgraced defense contractor Mitchell Wade. Donvan reported that Wade "made illegal contributions to her campaign" but added: "[T]hough she gave the money back, it's what reporters in Florida keep asking about. Even this week it came up." In fact, in the past week, while Florida newspapers have continued to raise questions about the illegal campaign contributions, they have also focused on Harris's subsequent request to the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee for a $10 million earmark that would have benefited Wade's company.
In an ABC Nightline segment featuring Rev. Franklin Graham's controversial comments about Islam, ABC News' John Donvan reported: "So, Franklin Graham may not get a diplomacy prize, either. And yet, his message when he's preaching is actually quite positive."
Vice President Dick Cheney's recent hunting accident offered yet another example of an unmistakable pattern with the Bush administration, which few in the media have noted. When faced with potential political damage stemming from its actions or decisions, the Bush White House attacks those fomenting the criticism; Cheney or President Bush then take to the airwaves and appear to temper the debate -- while benefiting from whatever discrediting their surrogates' smears brought on their targets.
Following Vice President Dick Cheney's exclusive February 15 interview with Fox News' Brit Hume, the media widely reported that he took "full responsibility" for accidentally shooting Harry Whittington while hunting. But numerous news outlets have ignored that Cheney's acceptance of responsibility contradicts his friends' prior statements that Whittington was to blame.
An ABC Nightline report noting that Samuel A. Alito Jr., if confirmed, would make the Supreme Court majority Catholic stated that "liberals do have some concerns about such a Catholic court." But the report quotes no identifiable liberals or Democrats expressing this view. Nor does it mention it is supporters of President Bush's nominees who have raised the issue of their religious affiliations while attacking critics as anti-religion.