Several major print outlets ignored statements by President Bush's nominee to lead Central Command that indicated he has "not gotten into the detail" of Bush's plan to increase the number of U.S. troops in Iraq and does "not know the details of how he [Bush] plans to use" the additional troops.
Accusing the Bush administration of "surrender," a Wall Street Journal editorial falsely claimed that the "legality" of the administration's warrantless domestic wiretapping program "was not really in question." However, aside from the August 2006 U.S. District Court ruling that the program was unconstitutional -- a ruling the editorial dismissed -- senators from both parties have criticized the administration for flouting the law.
A Wall Street Journal editorial repeated the claim that the deficit-neutral "pay-as-you-go" (PAYGO) budget rules that House Democrats intend to reinstate did not contribute to the elimination of the budget deficits in the 1990s. But both former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan and former Congressional Budget Office (CBO) director Dan L. Crippen have pointed to PAYGO as instrumental in establishing the fiscal discipline that gradually decreased the deficit during the 1990s and ultimately led to large surpluses.
Media Matters for America has identified six findings in the Iraq Study Group's report that major news outlets have largely overlooked. They include: that the Pentagon has significantly underreported the extent of violence in Iraq, that U.S. officials possess little knowledge about the sources of the ongoing attacks, and that the situation in Afghanistan has grown so dire that U.S. troops may need to be diverted there from Iraq.
A December 4 Washington Post article pointed out that the newspaper's own reporting from October 2002 on the House's passage of the Iraq war resolution failed to quote a single Democrat expressing concerns about "postwar challenges," though many had done so. Media Matters found that contemporaneous articles from three other major print outlets also left out any mention of such warnings.
The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, and The Wall Street Journal all asserted that it may be difficult for congressional Democrats to deliver on their pledge to reform the Medicare drug plan over the opposition of the Bush administration, congressional Republicans, and the pharmaceutical industry, but did not report an internal drug company memo that warned of bills that would allow imported drugs and force price competition.
In their coverage of Saddam Hussein's November 5 guilty verdict, several print news outlets reported U.S. officials' assertions that the announcement had not been timed to coincide with the midterm elections but ignored reporting that conflicts with these denials -- in particular, the fact that the full verdict in Saddam's trial is not set to be released until November 9.
A Wall Street Journal editorial asserted that the Army's achievement of exceeding its goal of recruiting or retaining 80,000 troops for fiscal 2006 demonstrates that "many troops believe in the mission." But the editorial omitted the fact that the Army exceeded its goal by "recruit[ing] more than 2,600 soldiers under new lower aptitude standards this year," according to an AP report.
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.