Several media figures and news outlets have uncritically repeated or lent credence to the false Republican talking point that Democrats, for all their criticism of the Bush administration's Iraq war policy, have no plan of their own to deal with Iraq, terrorism, and national security in general. In fact, Democrats have offered several plans for addressing various issues related to U.S. involvement in Iraq and national security.
In his third appearance on an NBC-owned channel in two days to promote his new book, Pat Buchanan asserted that "the Mexican government is interested in basically the reconquista of the American Southwest." Meanwhile, on The O'Reilly Factor, Michelle Malkin claimed the idea of reconquista is "mainstream" among immigrants.
Bill O'Reilly baselessly claimed that the federal judge who struck down the Bush administration's warrantless domestic wiretapping program "would oppose every anti-terror measure the Bush administration has put in just because they are the Bush administration." In fact, the judge made a ruling in the administration's favor, dismissing the claim that the National Security Agency's "data-mining practices" are unconstitutional.
In the wake of the recent thwarting of an alleged terrorist plot in Britain, numerous media outlets have posed the question of whether news of the event would benefit President Bush, often letting conservatives or Republican officials spin the news in favor of the administration. Many of the reports neglected to consider whether the news could actually hurt Bush politically.
Addressing "anti-Semitic stuff directed at [Sen.] Joe Lieberman," Bill O'Reilly stated that "the far left in America is dominated by haters, people who despise their own country," adding that "[t]he smear merchants are now all over the mainstream media and have spread like lice on the net."
On The O'Reilly Factor, Bill O'Reilly accused liberal columnists of consistently "labeling people" with whom they may disagree "bigots." By contrast, O'Reilly claimed, "we have researched right-wing columnists" and "[w]e didn't come up with anybody on the right who did" the same. In fact, O'Reilly himself has.
Several news outlets portrayed Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's harsh criticism of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld as a purely political maneuver to "find the exact middle" in the Democratic Party or to position herself for a potential 2008 presidential run.
On his Fox News program, Bill O'Reilly called Mel Gibson's recent anti-Semitic comments "inexcusable," but said it is "more important" to discuss the "point where the media and individual Americans start to enjoy the suffering of rich and powerful people." Guest Geraldo Rivera later suggested that O'Reilly refer to "that schmuck from MSNBC," apparently MSNBC host Keith Olbermann; Rivera added that the "schmuck from MSNBC" is a "lowlife." Rivera also asserted that Comedy Central hosts Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert "make a living putting on video of old ladies slipping on ice and people laughing" and that they "exist in a small little place where they count for nothing."
Bill O'Reilly baselessly attacked Oregonian columnist Peter Ames Carlin for "vilifying" O'Reilly "by using far-left website propaganda material." Carlin had written a column noting specific examples of O'Reilly's personal attacks, many of which Media Matters had previously documented.
On July 26, Bill O'Reilly baselessly attacked both The Oregonian and The Guardian newspapers for purportedly breaking "professional standards" and "attack[ing]" O'Reilly.
Numerous conservative pundits offered highly optimistic predictions about the U.S. invasion of Iraq regarding the conflict's duration, difficulty, and human and financial costs -- nearly all of which have proven to be wrong. But rather than hold these "Pollyanna pundits" accountable for their past misjudgments, the media have again provided a platform for their views about the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hezbollah. And echoing their rhetoric on Iraq, these conservative pundits have advocated further military action by the United States and its allies.
In a discussion about a lawsuit filed over the presence of a large cross at a war memorial in San Diego, Bill O'Reilly falsely claimed that the Red Cross "historically ... adopted" its emblem "because of the Christian philosophy of giving alms and giving assistance to people in need." In fact, according to the American Red Cross website, it was "[i]n honor of the Swiss ... [that] the symbol of a red cross on a white background (the reverse of the Swiss flag) was identified as a protective emblem in conflict areas."
On his radio show, Bill O'Reilly apparently modified his false claim that the New York Times' editorial board is "sitting ... out" the current conflict between Israel and Hezbollah, stating that the Times was "basically sitting ... out" [emphasis added] the issue. Yet during the same day's edition of The O'Reilly Factor, O'Reilly repeated his previous claim that the Times was "absolutely sitting it out editorially." In fact, the Times has now published four editorials on the conflict.