Time reported that Democrats "got an unwelcome distraction this week when Senate minority leader Harry Reid ... found himself embroiled in a real estate scandal," but the magazine has ignored reports from June that House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert made almost $2 million on the sale of land in Illinois after reportedly taking an active role in the inclusion in a transportation spending bill of an earmark for a highway project near the property.
The scandal surrounding the sexually explicit electronic communications former Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) allegedly sent to underage former congressional pages -- and the House Republican leadership's alleged cover-up of Foley's behavior -- have produced a wave of misinformation. To aid members of the media in covering the scandal, Media Matters for America has compiled a list of the top myths, falsehoods, and baseless assertions surrounding the controversy.
A Time article on the resignation of former Rep. Mark Foley reported Republican concerns about losing Foley's seat in the November elections, but the article failed to address the ethical questions that surround the House Republican leadership's handling of Foley's alleged actions.
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.
Rehashing a slew of GOP talking points, Time magazine White House correspondent Mike Allen's online column on Democratic candidate Ned Lamont's victory over Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman in the Connecticut Senate primary concluded that Lamont's victory gives Republicans "a potentially powerful new weapon to use against the Democrats this fall."
A Time profile of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice included only the impressions of "Bush aides," "Bush-family aides," and her "friends" but quoted no criticism of Rice from Democrats, progressives, or foreign policy experts.
Following a recent trend of portraying bad news for President Bush as a blessing in disguise for Republicans and the White House, various news outlets and media figures have uncritically echoed the Bush administration's claim that the recent outbreak of violence between Israel and Hezbollah represents a "leadership opportunity" for Bush.
In an article on President Bush's threat to veto legislation expanding federal funding for stem cell research, Time magazine reported that "you could argue" that Bush "has made a career of ... holding fast to positions that many voters reject, as a sign of strength in these dangerous times." In fact, as Media Matters for America and many others have pointed out, Bush has a long history of reversing course on issues, particularly when it is politically expedient or necessary to do so.
An article in Time magazine reported that "a strategic makeover" of the Bush administration's foreign policy "is evident in the ascendancy of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice," and that "Rice is a foreign policy realist, less inclined to the moralizing approach of the neoconservatives who dominated Bush's War Cabinet in the first term." But the suggestion that the administration is moving away from the so-called "Bush doctrine" and toward Rice's "realist" approach ignores Rice's central role in promoting the "Bush doctrine" and in particular her role in selling the Iraq war to the American people.
Time columnist Joe Klein continued his pattern of denigrating liberals while praising conservatives, this time reviving a quote from Washington Post columnist Michael Kinsley who, in purporting to characterize politics in the 1980s, said that while "liberals hunt down heretics ... conservatives happily chase converts." However, in 1996, Klein used the same Kinsley quote but argued that "[i]t's been the opposite in the '90s."
On Fox News Live, Time magazine White House correspondent Mike Allen declared that the guilty verdicts for former Enron CEOs Kenneth L. Lay and Jeffrey K. Skilling are "going to be very helpful to the president [George W. Bush] because it shows that even friends of the president, even big business, longtime supporters of the president are prosecuted, and there is justice even for big fish."
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In a profile of Gen. Michael V. Hayden, President Bush's nominee for director of the CIA, Time magazine senior editor Nancy Gibbs wrote that Hayden "was credited with so effectively defending the National Security Agency's no-warrant wiretapping program after it was exposed in December that he helped turn a simmering scandal into a political win for the Administration." However, Gibbs's reporting omitted a key point: In defending the surveillance program, Hayden made statements that were mutually inconsistent and that contradicted those of other administration officials.
Time columnist Joe Klein -- the magazine's "most liberal commentator" -- continued a pattern of attacking Democrats, the "Democratic left," and liberals. While purportedly critical of White House senior adviser Karl Rove, who he said will launch "another nefarious" campaign against Democrats in the run-up to the 2006 elections, Klein argued that Rove will "be aided by those on the noisome left" and singled out three prominent African-American House Democrats as particularly susceptible to such attacks.