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.
The campaign against purportedly biased reporting on the Iraq war -- forwarded by President Bush, White House officials, and array of conservative media figures -- has continued on the airwaves and in print.
Wall Street Journal editorial writer Stephen Moore claimed that the Preble's meadow jumping mouse -- a small rodent native to Colorado that was placed on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's "Threatened" list in 1998 -- is "not endangered" and "isn't even a unique species," citing a 2003 study. However, a more recent and more exhaustive study conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) found that Preble's meadow jumping mouse is, in fact, a distinct subspecies, qualified for protection under the Endangered Species Act.
President Bush and senior aides have claimed that Americans are increasingly disillusioned about the Iraq war because the mainstream media report only the violent and tragic events occurring there -- an accusation that has simultaneously been advanced by an array of conservative media figures.
James Taranto once again misrepresented Media Matters for America's position, this time in response to an item noting his false characterization of Media Matters' coverage of Rep. John Murtha's call for the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq.
James Taranto falsely claimed that Media Matters for America "cheered" Rep. John Murtha's call for the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq but also "denied that he had done any such thing." In fact, Media Matters neither endorsed nor condemned Murtha's proposal, nor did we deny Murtha called for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. Media Matters instead corrected those in the media who falsely claimed that Murtha called for an "immediate withdrawal" or who falsely referred to Rep. Duncan Hunter's one-sentence resolution calling for immediate withdrawal as the "Murtha amendment."
A Wall Street Journal article suggested that Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist paved the way for Senate Republicans to oppose President Bush's push for the completion of a deal that would have permitted Dubai Ports World to take over port operations in six U.S. cities. However, while Frist initially expressed concern over the deal, he later shifted his position and aligned himself with supporters of the deal, distancing himself from strong opponents of the deal in both parties.
A Wall Street Journal editorial described a recent agreement between GOP Senate Intelligence Committee members and the Bush administration concerning its warrantless domestic surveillance program as a "White House mugging by Republicans." However, far from a "mugging," the agreement essentially legitimizes the controversial program, which currently operates in apparent violation of the law.
A Wall Street Journal article on the constitutionality of South Dakota's recently passed abortion ban stated that Supreme Court Justice Samuel A. Alito "expressed skepticism about abortion rights while working for the Reagan administration." However, the suggestion that Alito merely "expressed skepticism" about abortion rights mischaracterizes his clearly articulated view that there is no constitutional right to abortion.
Articles in The Wall Street Journal and Los Angeles Times both noted that the state-owned Dubai Ports World has agreed to a 45-day investigation of the potential national security implications of its bid to acquire operational control of six U.S. ports. However, both articles omitted the highly relevant fact that the Committee on Foreign Investments in the United Sates opted not to conduct such an investigation when it first reviewed the deal.
The Wall Street Journal's Daniel Henninger repeated the false claim that the Robb-Silverman commission exonerated the Bush administration from the charge that it had misled the public about evidence of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction. In fact, the commission did not even consider the question.
On the second day after the release of videos showing President Bush was warned of possible catastrophic flooding in New Orleans because of Hurricane Katrina, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and The Wall Street Journal published no news articles following up on the controversy.
Faced with widespread criticism in recent weeks, the Bush administration and some of its supporters have promoted numerous false and misleading claims intended to downplay the approval of a deal that would turn over control of terminal operations at six U.S. ports to Dubai Ports World (DPW) -- a company owned by the government of Dubai, a member state of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) -- and cast critics of the transaction as racist, politically opportunistic, or both. The media, in turn, have often repeated these claims without challenge or correction.
Most major print and broadcast media outlets offered no coverage of House Homeland Security Committee chairman Peter King's March 1 claim that there was "no investigation into terrorism whatsoever" during the Bush administration's initial review of the proposed deal that would allow Dubai Ports World (DPW) to assume control of terminal operations at six major U.S. ports.