Despite running numerous stories on Democratic fundraisers currently under indictment, a September 20 article was only the first from The Washington Post to mention the connection between Mitt Romney and Alan Fabian, who was recently "charged in a 23-count indictment," and his ties to Robert Lichfield, the "subject of lawsuits alleging abusive treatment" at boarding schools Lichfield founded. However, the Post has yet to report on a member of Rudy Giuliani's presidential campaign team currently the subject of a class-action lawsuit involving allegations of fraud.
In articles on Sen. Hillary Clinton's health care proposal, several media outlets reported Mitt Romney's attack on the plan without mentioning that, as governor of Massachusetts, he signed into law a health care bill that requires every state resident to obtain health insurance -- one of the central tenets of Clinton's plan.
A Washington Post article on President Bush's Iraq speech reported that "Bush reached out to Democrats last night." The article added that "[t]he president's call for critics to 'come together' behind his new approach appeared to fall on deaf ears among congressional Democrats." However, Bush's endorsement of Gen. David Petraeus' recommendation to begin withdrawing troops from Iraq is not a compromise or "reaching out to Democrats," but a bow to reality, as Petraeus himself testified.
A Washington Post article asserted that Gen. David Petraeus "did not toe the White House line completely" during his recent congressional testimony regarding progress in Iraq, citing as evidence an exchange between Petraeus and Sen. John Warner in which Warner "[a]sked [Petraeus] whether fighting in Iraq makes the United States safer, as Bush argues, [and] he answered, 'I don't know.' The article did not report that Petraeus backtracked later in his testimony, embracing the White House position that the United States has "very serious national interests in Iraq" and that "achieving those interests has very serious implications for our safety and for our security."
After reporting on National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell's claim that the recently approved law expanding the government's ability to eavesdrop on U.S. citizens contributed to arrests in Germany, The Washington Post and CNN have not subsequently reported that McConnell has since acknowledged that the newly passed law did not factor into the German arrests.
In articles on President Bush's expected endorsement of Gen. David Petraeus' recommendation to begin drawing down U.S. troops from Iraq in early 2008, The Washington Post and USA Today uncritically reported that "White House aides" said "the president plans to emphasize that he is in a position to order troop cuts only because of the success achieved on the ground in Iraq," and that, according to "senior administration officials," "[t]he final number [of troops withdrawn] will be based on security conditions at the time." But Petraeus himself has stated that "active brigade combat teams were going to come out of" Iraq anyway and that "the strain on the force ... was very much one that informed the recommendations."
Supporters of the Iraq war -- rather than waiting for testimony by Gen. David Petraeus and U.S. ambassador to Iraq Ryan Crocker on the effect of President Bush's troop increase in Iraq -- have engaged in a campaign to convince the media and public that progress is being made in Iraq and that the "surge" is "working." Media Matters has compiled some of the most pervasive myths and falsehoods advanced by opponents of withdrawal in service of the "surge is working" message, which many in the media have been complicit in perpetuating.
Two New York Times articles and a Washington Post article on a report by the Independent Commission on the Security Forces of Iraq did not mention that the report called on the U.S. military to reduce its "footprint" in Iraq because its presence there conveys an "unintended message" of "permanence" as "an occupying force."
The Politico and The Washington Post selectively quoted remarks by Rep. Tim Mahoney (D-FL) in a manner that suggested he supports continuing President Bush's escalation strategy in Iraq.
During a washingtonpost.com online chat, Lois Romano asserted that "the only report that matters now on the Hill ... is the greatly anticipated report by General [David] Petraeus -- which will give assessment of the conflict" in Iraq, despite the fact that her own newspaper published a report noting challenges to the U.S. military's recent assertions -- and scrutinizing a specific claim Petraeus is expected to make -- that sectarian violence in Iraq is declining.