Most major news outlets did not report the dispute over Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Arlen Specter's refusal to swear in Attorney General Alberto Gonzales at the committee's hearing on the Bush administration's warrantless domestic surveillance program.
A February 6 New York Times article by reporter Scott Shane reprinted, without challenge, a Republican senator's defense of President Bush's warrantless domestic spying program, failing to note reports that, contrary to Sen. Pat Roberts's claims, the Bush program has intercepted the communications of people in the United States with no apparent connection to Al Qaeda.
An International Herald Tribune article -- also published on The New York Times' website -- asserted that some Democrats who had been briefed on the Bush administration's warrantless domestic surveillance program before it was publicly revealed "say" they "expressed concerns or objections" at the time -- suggesting that their claims are the only evidence that they did in fact express concern. The report ignored a letter written more than two years ago by the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee describing his "lingering concerns" about the program.
The Associated Press, The New York Times, and ABC's World News Tonight reported on Republican efforts to present new House Majority Leader John A. Boehner (R-OH) as a clean break from GOP corruption scandals, but they ignored criticism Boehner received for passing out checks from a tobacco industry group on the House floor moments before a key tobacco vote, as well as other ethical questions raised by Boehner's record.
Few major news outlets have covered the fact -- first reported by the New York Daily News -- that in a letter to I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby's defense attorneys, special counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald said that numerous emails from 2003 are missing from the White House computer archives.
New York Times reporter Sheryl Gay Stolberg wrote -- without citing evidence -- that "[t]he president's poll numbers, which plummeted last year, are beginning to inch up." In fact, a review of eight major polls released in the week preceding Stolberg's report revealed that polls showing President Bush's approval rating either declining or remaining steady outnumbered polls showing an increase.
In a New York Times op-ed, former National Security Council senior director Philip Bobbitt appeared to contradict the 9-11 Commission by suggesting that restrictions on electronic surveillance under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) prevented the U.S. from identifying the hijackers who later committed the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Articles in The Washington Post and The New York Times painted a surprisingly sunny picture of the political environment for President Bush and the Republicans; downplayed Bush's dismal poll numbers and growing scandals involving prominent members of the Republican Party.
Various media outlets have failed to challenge the claims of Republican senators that they disregarded ideology when voting to confirm Supreme Court justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer in the 1990s. In fact, both Ginsburg and Breyer were consensus nominees, suggested to President Clinton by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), and had reputations and judicial records of moderates at the time of their nominations.
The January 25 edition of The New York Times featured an op-ed by John R. Lott Jr., a resident scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute who has a long record of dishonesty and misinformation in his scholarly works. The New York Times allowed Lott to trumpet his "new" study -- completed December 2004 -- and to allege "liberal bias" in the American Bar Association's ratings for federal district and circuit court nominees.
Numerous media outlets have cited Gen. Michael V. Hayden's defense of the Bush administration's warrantless domestic surveillance program while ignoring a Justice Department statement from June 2002 that contradicted Hayden's claims. Now that the statement has surfaced, will those media outlets now report the facts undermining Hayden's defense?
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.
On MSNBC's Hardball, Chris Matthews asked Sen. Trent Lott about Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's Martin Luther King Jr. Day speech, in which she said the Republican-led House of Representatives "has been run like a plantation." However, Matthews failed to note that Lott was forced to resign the Senate leadership following racially charged remarks he made at late Sen. Strom Thurmond's 100th birthday party.
A New York Times article covering the third day of Samuel A. Alito Jr.'s Supreme Court nomination hearing ignored an example presented by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) to Alito to highlight what she characterized as an apparent contradiction in Alito's explanation for why he would not discuss his assessment of Roe v.Wade -- the Supreme Court case that legalized abortion -- but had no apparent reservations about discussing another principle relevant to a case that is currently before the court: "one man, one vote."