In an August 26 Washington Post article exploring the political effects of Hurricane Katrina on the Bush administration, Jonathan Weisman and Michael Abramowitz uncritically reported the GOP claim that public opinion of Bush's handling of the crisis has rebounded over the past year, ignoring recent polling showing otherwise. Further, they repeated the White House assertion that Bush now has a "strong story to tell" about his recovery efforts along the Gulf Coast but failed to quote a single Democrat in response.
Several media outlets, in their reporting on a response President Bush gave in his August 21 press conference to a question on Iraq, either excised or omitted Bush's admission that "sometimes I'm happy" when hearing about the situation there.
Various media outlets ignored President Bush's statement during an August 21 press conference that the United States will not withdraw its forces from Iraq as long as he is president. Those outlets simply reported that Bush pledged to keep U.S. forces in Iraq until "the mission is complete," and offered no indication that Bush pledged to keep troops there for the remainder of his term.
In reporting on Sen. George Allen's use of the racially derogatory word "macaca" to refer to one of his opponent's campaign volunteers and his claim not to know what the term means or why he used it, the majority of media outlets left out a fact that might shed light on the claim's veracity -- Allen's mother was born and raised in Tunisia, a former French colony in North Africa, as Allen has repeatedly noted in the past.
In an August 13 Associated Press article, Nedra Pickler suggested that the controversial aspect of the Bush administration's domestic surveillance program is that it is secret, rather than that it bypasses the law requiring court warrants for such surveillance. The Washington Post's Josh White similarly referred to "secretly wiretapping [terrorism] suspects" as one of several "controversial Bush administration programs," without noting the specific nature of the controversy.
When asked in an online discussion why Vice President Dick Cheney "saying basically that people who exercised their constitutional right to vote for change (ie: Conn. primary) are helping terrorists" was "not the headline of a story," Washington Post staff writer Jonathan Weisman responded: "The vice president also said the insurgency in Iraq is in its death throes, and that U.S. troops would be greeted as liberators. I'm afraid to say his utterances are losing their news value."
ABC News' George Stephanopoulos and MSNBC's Chris Matthews, among others, repeated, without challenge, the false attacks from Tony Snow, Ken Mehlman, and Dick Cheney that Democrats "purged" Sen. Joe Lieberman from the Democratic Party and that Ned Lamont's primary victory over Lieberman represents a takeover of the Democratic Party by the far left.
The Washington Post has routinely touted terrorism and other national security issues as political advantages for Republicans, even though the Post's own polls show that a plurality of Americans trust Democrats over Republicans to handle the "campaign against terrorism" and "the situation in Iraq."
In his monthly Washington Post column, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace senior associate Robert Kagan assailed Al Gore for what he called an "astonishing reversal" on the United States' Iraq policy. Kagan did not identify the specific issue on which Gore has supposedly reversed himself.
ABC White House correspondent Jake Tapper and Washington Post staff writer Jeffrey Birnbaum both uncritically reported conservatives' argument that a minimum-wage increase will eliminate existing jobs and discourage the creation of new ones. However, several studies show that minimum-wage increases do not hurt employment.
The New York Times and The Washington Post credited GOP "moderates" with forcing the Republican leadership to allow a vote on increasing the minumum wage, burying the fact that Democrats have been pushing for years to increase the minimum wage. The Times and the Post also uncritically repeated the argument, often put forth by opponents of a wage increase, that a higher minimum wage will result in job losses and discourage job creation.
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.
A Washington Post article by staff writer Dan Balz uncritically reported RNC spokeswoman Tracey Schmitt's misleading claim in support of President Bush's economic record: that "5.4 million jobs have been created in the last three years alone," leaving the impression that job growth had also occurred earlier in Bush's presidency. In fact, Bush presided over a net loss of 2.6 million jobs, from the beginning of his presidency through July 2003.
A June 20 Washington Post article reported that a Republican Party fundraiser featuring a speech by President Bush the day before had raised $27 million to be given to the National Republican Congressional Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee. But recently filed campaign finance reports show that by the end of June, the committees could not have possibly received as much as the Post had claimed they raised at the event. Will the Post investigate the discrepancy?