In their coverage of Sen. Trent Lott's election as minority whip, several media outlets have either failed to note Lott's 2002 comment praising Strom Thurmond's 1948 pro-segregation presidential campaign or failed to place Lott's remark in the context of his previous statements and actions that have been attacked as racially insensitive.
Newt Gingrich and Fred Barnes both falsely suggested that the media have ignored allegations that Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid improperly reported a land deal and have focused exclusively on Republican scandals. In fact, Time, CNN and Fox News have devoted significantly more coverage to the Reid deal than to a controversial land deal that benefited Republican House Speaker Dennis Hastert.
On Fox News' The Beltway Boys, Morton M. Kondracke aired portions of two advertisements about the "war on terror" by Progress for America and the Center for Security Policy, but he identified these organizations only as "basically pro-defense groups" and did not note their misrepresentations of the criticism directed at the Bush administration over its conduct of the "war on terror" and the war in Iraq.
Fox News anchors and commentators seized upon a Washington Post editorial falsely asserting that the revelation that former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage was the original source for syndicated columnist Robert D. Novak's column exposing CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity disproved the notion of a coordinated effort within the White House to discredit former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, using the occasion to repeat a host of false claims about the CIA leak case.
On The Beltway Boys, Fred Barnes baselessly asserted that congressional Democrats opposed a bill that would have increased the minimum wage because "Democrats have decided, 'We're not going to help Republicans on anything. ... We're going to object to it ... even when they're offering us things like hiking the minimum wage that we like.' " Barnes did not mention that House Republicans tied the wage increase to a bill that would cut the estate tax, a proposal Democrats vehemently opposed for providing a disproportionate benefit to the wealthiest Americans.
On The Beltway Boys, Fred Barnes falsely claimed that Al Gore "used to be a hawk" and that he has "flipped on Iraq." In fact, Gore has consistently opposed the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.
Members of the media, including Tucker Carlson, Fred Barnes, Juan Williams, and George Stephanopoulos, have continued to suggest that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's criticism of Donald Rumsfeld during a recent Senate committee hearing was motivated solely by politics.
On Fox News' The Beltway Boys, Fred Barnes again denied the broad scientific consensus that human activity is contributing to global warming.
Morton Kondracke stated that if Ned Lamont defeats Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) in Connecticut's Democratic Senate primary, it will be "bad news" because Lamont "represents a triumph" for "the MoveOn.org-Howard Dean-Daily Kos-Michael Moore left wing of the Democratic Party," which is "just as nasty and mean on the left as Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage ... on the right." Fred Barnes responded that these Democrats and progressives are "[m]uch meaner."
On Fox News' The Beltway Boys, Morton M. Kondracke falsely claimed that former President Bill Clinton "has not said" whether he will support challenger Ned Lamont if he defeats Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman in the Connecticut Democratic primary. In fact, Clinton's spokesman told the New York Daily News that Clinton "will support the candidate that wins the Democratic primary."
A Media Matters analysis of the media coverage of the Iraq war debate shows that the favored Republican talking points on Iraq have gone largely unchallenged in the media and have even been adopted as truths by some media outlets and figures.
Numerous conservative media figures have lashed out at The New York Times and its executive editor, Bill Keller, over an article describing a secret Bush administration program designed to monitor international financial transactions, arguing that the publication of the article was a treasonous act and suggesting that the newspaper is "sid[ing] with al Qaeda" and "aiding and abetting the terrorist movement."
Fred Barnes claimed that "only the press" refers to former Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) as "the Hammer." But The New York Times reported that a tribute dinner held by DeLay supporters in Washington, D.C., in May 2005 included numerous references to DeLay's nickname: "Mr. DeLay was served a red-white-and-blue cake festooned with sparklers and plastic hammers -- a reference to his nickname, the Hammer -- while the band played 'If I Had a Hammer.' "