Following recent demonstrations in which protesters marched against proposed legislation that would criminalize undocumented workers, some in the media have criticized the demonstrators for carrying Mexican flags. But these same media figures have not complained about people waving other nations' flags, such as Irish flags at St. Patrick's Day events, Italian flags at Columbus Day events, or Israeli flags at Israel Day events.
Over the past year, CNN hosts, anchors, and reporters have repeatedly commented on the Democratic Party's purported lack of a clear plan or concrete set of alternatives on issues ranging from Social Security to the war in Iraq. When a large coalition of Democrats stood together on March 29 to unveil a unified national security platform, CNN largely ignored the news.
The campaign against purportedly biased reporting on the Iraq war -- forwarded by President Bush, White House officials, and array of conservative media figures -- has continued on the airwaves and in print.
CNN correspondent Candy Crowley and anchor Heidi Collins uncritically reported Republican rhetoric on President Bush's March 21 press conference, with Crowley stating that "[t]he White House says the president is best in these public forums," and Collins asking, "Is the president getting his political groove back?"
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In an interview with Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, CNN's Wolf Blitzer failed to challenge Gonzales's dubious claim that "if the need were not there for the United States of America to detain people that we catch on the battlefield, then we would not be having to operate" the military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Blitzer could have noted recent news reports pointing out that many -- if not a majority -- were not caught by American soldiers on the battlefield but turned over to the U.S. by third parties.
CNN's Wolf Blitzer said that when President Bush "puts his mind to something, he usually gets his way, at least over these past five years." In fact, while Bush has threatened to veto legislation he opposed during his five years in office, he has never actually done so. Additionally, he has reversed course in cases where he initially vowed to see his agenda realized despite any opposition and has rebuked Congress only to change his stance later.
Numerous media outlets and commentators have gone to great lengths to avoid using some version of the simplest construction to describe Vice President Dick Cheney's accidental shooting of a hunting partner, Harry Whittington: Cheney shot Whittington. Instead, the media have come up with alternative formulations that have the effect of distancing Cheney from the incident.
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In a report on hunting and politics, CNN's Bruce Morton commented that President Bush "likes to hunt quail with family and friends" and Vice President Dick Cheney "loves to hunt," but -- using language that echoed that of Cheney during the 2004 campaign -- said Sen. John Kerry "spent time posing with guns" during the 2004 presidential campaign, and that "voters probably saw more of him pursuing exotic sports, windsurfing and so on."
On the February 13 edition of CNN's The Situation Room, CNN's Dana Bash uncritically reported the White House's claim that Katharine Armstrong, the host of Vice President Dick Cheney's February 11 hunting party, went to the press to report Cheney's shooting accident only after conferring with Cheney, a claim that directly contradicted what CNN's Suzanne Malveaux had reported earlier. But Bash failed to note the contradiction, which Malveaux had highlighted in a question to White House press secretary Scott McClellan earlier in the day.
On CNN's The Situation Room, Bill Bennett claimed that "people" who got "a good, close look" at Muslims rioting over perceived anti-Islamic cartoons would say that "these people ["Islamists"] are unhinged."
During a discussion on civil rights leader Rev. Joseph Lowery's address at Coretta Scott King's funeral, CNN aired a video clip of part of Lowery's remarks, in which he mentioned the failure to find WMDs, cropping out 18 seconds of applause and the standing ovation he received without indicating that the clip had been doctored.
During an interview with Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, CNN Justice Department correspondent Kelli Arena failed to question Gonzales about his 2005 confirmation hearing, in which he responded to a question from Sen. Russ Feingold about whether the president could authorize warrantless domestic wiretaps. At the hearing, Gonzales suggested that Feingold had described a "hypothetical situation," despite the fact that the warrantless surveillance program had been in place since 2001 and that President Bush had reauthorized it numerous times.
CNN national security correspondent David Ensor suggested that Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV was disingenuous in his criticism of the Bush administration's apparent failure to fully inform Congress about its warrantless domestic surveillance program because he had been briefed on the program in 2003. But Ensor failed to note that, immediately after being briefed, Rockefeller wrote a letter to Vice President Dick Cheney expressing strong reservations about the program and restrictions on information he needed to evaluate it.