Wall Street Journal OpinionJournal.com editor James Taranto has yet to acknowledge that his theory of media bias -- that "the mainstream media ... are generally biased in favor of liberals and Democrats, but this ends up helping conservatives and Republicans by breeding complacency on the Democratic side" -- did not pass his own test. In a May 30 column, Taranto challenged readers to find an article from 1994 or 1980 "speculating about the possibility of a Republican landslide." Media Matters answered Taranto's challenge by presenting eight articles from 1994 that met his criteria. Since then, Taranto has twice addressed Media Matters' response but has ignored the fact his theory of media bias failed his test.
Following President Bush's nomination of Henry M. Paulson Jr. to replace Treasury Secretary John Snow, major newspapers largely ignored a deceptive -- at best -- answer Bush gave last week about whether Snow would be leaving the administration. When asked during a May 25 press conference whether Snow "had given [Bush] any indication that he intends to leave his job any time soon," Bush responded: "No, he has not talked to me about resignation. I think he's doing a fine job." Yet press secretary Tony Snow told reporters that Bush had already selected John Snow's replacement by May 21.
James Taranto issued a challenge to test his theory that the "mainstream media" are "generally biased in favor of liberals and Democrats, but this ends up helping conservatives and Republicans by breeding complacency on the Democratic side." Taranto asked: "Can you find a similar article ... speculating about the possibility of a Republican landslide in 1994, when there actually was one?" Media Matters for America answers Taranto's challenge.
On Fox News Live, anchor Bill Hemmer interviewed Wall Street Journal columnist and former Gov. Pete Du Pont (R-DE) about An Inconvenient Truth, a new documentary on former Vice President Al Gore's campaign to raise awareness of global warming. During the interview, Hemmer repeatedly characterized as "convincing" Du Pont's Journal column, which presented a series of assertions on global warming that misrepresent the underlying scientific research and relied on a misleading, industry-funded study on climate change to claim that the "truth about 'global warming' is much less dire than Al Gore wants you to think."
Wall Street Journal columnist Pete Du Pont claimed that carbon dioxide is "not a pollutant" and repeatedly cited a misleading, industry-funded study on climate change to prove that the "truth about 'global warming' is much less dire than Al Gore wants you to think." Similarly, Rush Limbaugh noted that the "Antarctica ice sheeting is actually increasing" as evidence that global warming theory is "unsupportable by facts."
Wall Street Journal deputy editorial page editor Daniel Henninger suggested that Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's assertion that "secret prisons in Eastern Europe" do not comport with laws, religious values, or human rights "correlate[s] with the views of whoever in the CIA leaked the prisons' existence" to The Washington Post.
James Taranto attacked Bloomberg News for its article about a suicide bombing in the Iraqi city of Tal Afar that also mentioned President Bush's record-low job approval rating of 31 percent. Taranto went on to attack "the media and the Democratic Party" and praised the Bush administration for "dealing with" Iraq as "a real problem, not merely a political one." However, Taranto did not mention that it was Bush who politicized Tal Afar to begin with -- hyping the city as an Iraq success story despite Tal Afar's rising sectarian conflict.
Wall Street Journal articles on the $70 billion GOP tax bill ignored entirely the disproportionate benefit to the wealthy of the GOP package.
Stephen Moore selectively cited Internal Revenue Service statistics in order to buttress his assertion that "[i]n the aftermath of the Bush investment tax cuts, the federal income tax burden has substantially shifted onto the backs of the wealthy." In fact, the reason that the total share of income tax paid by those making more than $200,000 increased between 2002 and 2004 is that the number of people earning at least that much increased substantially, as did the average income of people within that bracket. However, filers earning at least $200,000 actually paid an average of 4 percent less federal income tax in 2004 than they did in 2002, even though their average incomes increased 10 percent during the same period.
On the third anniversary of President Bush's premature declaration of victory in Iraq, Media Matters has compiled examples of media that sounded alarms over Iraq's purported weapons of mass destruction capabilities now sounding similar alarms over Iran.
In reporting on the disclosure that President Bush authorized a leak of classified information to the press in 2003, The Wall Street Journal ignored the apparent contradiction between the president's actions and his oft-stated aversion to leaks of classified information.
In a column for The Wall Street Journal's OpinionJournal.com, deputy editorial page editor Daniel Henninger claimed that the use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) by insurgents in Iraq "qualifies as a weapon of mass destruction" because the "mass media distribute the dead, dismembered victims into our living rooms morning and night."
In articles on President Bush's appointment of Joshua B. Bolten as his new chief of staff, The Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times ignored the rising deficits that are the defining characteristic of Bolten's three-year tenure as director of the Office of Management and Budget, the White House's budget operation.
Since a March 27 New York Times article confirmed that a leaked British memo appears to contradict President Bush's repeated claim prior to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq that he wanted to avoid war, media have failed to note the full significance of the document and in some cases ignored the story altogether.
In a recent column, Pete du Pont quoted Washington Post columnist David Ignatius's claim that "human activity is accelerating dangerous changes in the world's climate," and responded to Ignatius by claiming that "it is not clear that human activity is wholly responsible" for global warming. Ignatius, however, did not assert that humans are "wholly responsible" for global warming -- he claimed that humans are "accelerating" global warming, as the quote du Pont provided clearly indicated.