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.
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on the ground in Iraq," and that, according to "senior administration officials," "[t]he final number [of troops withdrawn] will be based on security conditions at the time."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."
In reports on a recent advertisement buy by Freedom's Watch in support of the Iraq war, media reports have failed to resolve the question of which members of Congress the ad buys are targeting, despite the apparent newsworthiness of the issue. For instance, The Washington Post suggested that the ad campaign is an attack on Democrats, a suggestion repeated by Time's Karen Tumulty; other reports have not even mentioned the issue; while still others have asserted that the ads target both Democrats and Republicans. However, according to analyses by war opponents, the buys target mainly Republicans, a charge Freedom's Watch called "propaganda by our enemies."
In reports on President Bush's speech arguing that withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq would "lead to widespread death and suffering as it did in Southeast Asia" following the Vietnam War, numerous media outlets failed to point out Bush's previous statements disavowing parallels between Iraq and Vietnam, while other reports did not note any criticism of the speech.
In an editorial, USA Today suggested that President Bush's proposal to "partially privatize Social Security" would have addressed the program's "underfunding time bomb, set to detonate in about a decade." But as Media Matters for America has repeatedly noted, even the administration has acknowledged that its plan for private Social Security accounts -- on their own -- will do nothing to address the "time bomb."
The New York Times and USA Today uncritically reported President Bush's attacks on Democrats over congressional investigations of Alberto Gonzales, but neither newspaper noted that criticism of Gonzales has been bipartisan: numerous Republicans have called for Gonzales' resignation, several have criticized the administration's lack of cooperation with congressional investigations, and senior Republican Judiciary Committee members have joined Democrats in voting to authorize subpoenas of Bush administration officials as part of investigations involving Gonzales.
In an editorial, USA Today advanced misleading attacks against two Democratic presidential candidates -- former Sen. John Edwards and Sen. Barack Obama. The editorial asserted that Edwards "charged a public university $55,000 for giving a speech" and that Obama misspelled the word "flak" in a recent press release. Further, the editorial presented both as examples of "gaffes and unguarded moments that are frequently trivial but sometimes seem to reveal deeper truths or reinforce misgivings about the candidates."