A day after interviewing Howard Dean, MSNBC's Norah O'Donnell sat down with his Republican counterpart, Ken Mehlman, affording Media Matters for America the opportunity to make a direct comparison of the two interviews.
During separate one-on-one interviews with Howard Dean and Sen. George Allen, MSNBC's Norah O'Donnell gave starkly different treatments to each -- asking Dean to respond to Republican attacks on Democrats for most of his interview, while favoring Allen with only two questions that asked him to address criticism of Republicans.
Following the publication of a New York Times article on the purported state of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) and former President Bill Clinton's marriage, numerous news outlets ran reports and aired discussions on the story. The 2,000-word article by Times reporter Patrick Healy was based on the accounts of "some 50 people," "many" of whom "were granted anonymity to discuss a relationship for which the Clintons have long sought a zone of privacy."
MSNBC's Norah O'Donnell failed to challenge Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's (R-TN) suggestion that drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) is necessary to reduce America's "60 percent dependen[ce]" on foreign oil. In fact, according to the Department of Energy, drilling in ANWR would reduce projected U.S. dependence on oil imports by only 4 percent over the next 20 years, from 68 percent in 2025 to 64 percent.
In reporting on Sen. Russ Feingold's call for the censure of President Bush for authorizing the National Security Agency's warrantless domestic surveillance program, numerous media outlets have repeated the Republican talking point that Feingold's action provides an opportunity for Bush and the GOP to regain ground by turning the public's attention back to national security.
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.
Numerous media outlets repeated without challenge White House senior adviser Karl Rove's defense of President Bush's warrantless domestic surveillance program, in which Rove falsely claimed that "some important Democrats clearly disagree" with the proposition that "if Al Qaeda is calling somebody in America, it is in our national security interest to know who they're calling and why." In fact, no leading Democrat has said that it is not in our interest to monitor Al Qaeda's communications.