A Drudge Report headline, which linked to an Associated Press article by John Solomon and Kathleen Hennessey, misrepresented a business transaction involving Sen. Harry Reid as a "sweetheart land deal." Rush Limbaugh read the AP report on his radio program, praising Solomon as "an AP writer that I have trusted. John Solomon's stuff is good." However, as Media Matters for America has documented, Solomon has a history of misleading reporting on Senate Democrats.
The media have helped advance a number of excuses and explanations offered up by conservatives and the GOP for Republican House leaders' handling of information about alleged misconduct by then-Rep. Mark Foley that, even if true, would have no bearing on the underlying issues raised by the scandal.
Seeking to minimize the extent to which the House Republican leadership can be blamed for the scandal surrounding former Rep. Mark Foley, several congressional Republicans, media figures, and conservatives have posited various conspiracy theories and placed blame on just about everyone and everything else -- including liberals, Democrats, the media, "politically correct culture," gays in Congress, and congressional pages.
The White House released a series of statements, reportedly initiated by new press secretary Tony Snow, attacking specific media reports and editorials as misleading. Conservatives in the media have touted the statements as indicative of a new willingness on the part of the White House communications office, led by Snow, to call the press on its misinformation. But Media Matters for America has found that, of the six "Setting the Record Straight" releases issued from May 8 to May 11, at least four are highly misleading.