In an appearance on NBC's Meet the Press, Sen. Joseph R Biden Jr. (D-DE) challenged host Tim Russert's previous suggestion that Democratic lawmakers seized on the recent ports controversy in order to build their national security credentials. Biden pointed out that since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Democratic lawmakers have repeatedly put forth proposals to bolster port security nationwide -- proposals that have consistently been met with stiff Republican resistance.
On NBC's Meet the Press, Tim Russert failed to challenge several misleading claims made by Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in support of his assertion that the Iraq war is "going very, very well."
Several journalists and media figures have taken to describing Democratic criticism of the Bush administration's approval of a deal allowing state-owned Dubai Ports World to assume control of six major U.S. ports as an attempt by Democrats to move "to the right" of President Bush and Republicans in Congress on issues of national security. In fact, some of the Democrats who have most strongly denounced the deal have been among the most active proponents of enhancing port security since the 9-11 terrorist attacks.
This Sunday, NBC's Meet the Press plans to feature three guests -- all of whom are Republicans.
NBC's Tim Russert suggested that Democrats have seized on the Dubai Ports World takeover of a British company -- in which Dubai Ports, a company owned by the government of Dubai, a member state of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), would assume control of six major U.S. seaports -- in order to build their national security credentials. Russert was able to make this claim by omitting any reference to numerous calls by Democrats in both houses of Congress for increased port security and various pieces of port-security legislation proposed by Democrats that have been, in most instances, opposed by Republicans.
Stating on Meet the Press that Americans support President Bush's domestic spying program, Tim Russert selectively cited data from an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll to prove his point. Russert cited a question about whether people support Bush's "approach" to the domestic spying program, while ignoring poll questions regarding privacy concerns raised by the program and whether warrants should have been obtained before wiretapping.
NBC's Tim Russert falsely suggested that the members of Congress who escorted President Bush into the House chamber prior to the State of the Union address had all been briefed on the warrantless domestic surveillance program. In fact, only three of the 20 lawmakers on the "escort committee" received briefings on the controversial program prior to its public disclosure. Furthermore, members of Congress from both parties have challenged the adequacy of those briefings.
Tim Russert revived his prior false claim that Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer were perceived as very liberal when they were nominated to the Supreme Court and that their confirmations indicate that Alito should also be easily confirmed.