Following the publication of a New York Times article on the purported state of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) and former President Bill Clinton's marriage, numerous news outlets ran reports and aired discussions on the story. The 2,000-word article by Times reporter Patrick Healy was based on the accounts of "some 50 people," "many" of whom "were granted anonymity to discuss a relationship for which the Clintons have long sought a zone of privacy."
While discussing immigration on CNN's Larry King Live, a group of the cable channel's political reporters and contributors, which host Larry King called "the best political team on television," touted President Bush's support for the bipartisan Senate bill that would provide a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants and suggested falsely that his position on immigration has been consistent. In fact, before Bush came out in support of the Senate bill, he had praised a competing House bill and, according to the House bill's author, Rep. James Sensenbrenner, pushed for the inclusion of some of its most controversial provisions, including one making it a felony to be in the United States illegally and another making it a felony to provide assistance to illegal immigrants.
After airing a clip of Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld being questioned by an audience member at an event in Atlanta about his prewar statements regarding Saddam Hussein's possession of weapons of mass destruction and ties to Al Qaeda, CNN's Wolf Blitzer went on to conduct "some quick fact-checking," noting Rumsfeld's comment on March 30, 2003: "We know where they [WMD] are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south and north somewhat." Nonetheless, Blitzer then referred to the audience member's criticism as "anti-Rumsfeld ranting."
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On CNN's The Situation Room, Wolf Blitzer discussed the growing calls for Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld's resignation with CNN political analysts William Bennett and Donna Brazile. But Blitzer failed to ask Bennett about his remark earlier in the day that New York Times reporters James Risen and Eric Lichtblau and Washington Post staff writer Dana Priest -- who won Pulitzer Prizes for their reporting on Bush administration's warrantless domestic surveillance program and the CIA's use of secret interrogation sites -- should be jailed. "I don't think what they did was worthy of an award," Bennett said on his radio show. "I think what they did was worthy of jail."
In reporting on the scandals and issues confronting the Bush administration, various media outlets have imputed to President Bush and members of his administration comments or statements they have not actually made. These phony statements often arise as a result of reporters misinterpreting an administration official's statement or inaccurately attributing a position or statement to an administration official.
CNN's Wolf Blitzer and two Washington Post articles downplayed and even mischaracterized the loud, sustained chorus of boos that greeted Vice President Dick Cheney as he emerged from the dugout for the ceremonial first pitch at the Washington Nationals' home opener against the New York Mets and continued until he left the field.
Just days after the Democratic Party released a national security plan, CNN host Wolf Blitzer and NBC Today host Matt Lauer simply ignored the release and allowed -- and even encouraged -- Republican guests to suggest the Democrats have no "agenda." This continues patterns by CNN and Today of largely ignoring the Democrats' security plan, despite repeatedly reporting or commenting on the Democratic Party's purported lack of clear alternatives to the Republicans.
Over the past year, CNN hosts, anchors, and reporters have repeatedly commented on the Democratic Party's purported lack of a clear plan or concrete set of alternatives on issues ranging from Social Security to the war in Iraq. When a large coalition of Democrats stood together on March 29 to unveil a unified national security platform, CNN largely ignored the news.
In an interview with Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales, CNN's Wolf Blitzer failed to challenge Gonzales's dubious claim that "if the need were not there for the United States of America to detain people that we catch on the battlefield, then we would not be having to operate" the military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. Blitzer could have noted recent news reports pointing out that many -- if not a majority -- were not caught by American soldiers on the battlefield but turned over to the U.S. by third parties.
Reporting from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), CNN's Wolf Blitzer declared that there is "no doubt" that security is "very tight" at UAE ports managed by Dubai Ports World, the government-owned company that could assume control of terminal operations at six U.S. ports.
CNN's Wolf Blitzer said that when President Bush "puts his mind to something, he usually gets his way, at least over these past five years." In fact, while Bush has threatened to veto legislation he opposed during his five years in office, he has never actually done so. Additionally, he has reversed course in cases where he initially vowed to see his agenda realized despite any opposition and has rebuked Congress only to change his stance later.
During CNN's live coverage of Samuel A. Alito Jr.'s hearing, Wolf Blitzer once again accused the Democrats -- but not Republicans -- of prejudging the nomination.
In an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer, CNN senior analyst Jeff Greenfield repeated a false claim by former Republican National Committee chairman Ed Gillespie that John Roberts "never said" that Roe v. Wade was "settled law" during his Supreme Court nomination hearings. Blitzer failed to challenge or correct this false statement.
In an interview with Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) during CNN's live coverage of Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito Jr.'s confirmation hearing, host Wolf Blitzer asked Kennedy: "It sounded, based on your opening statement, as if you have already made up your mind. You are going to oppose this nominee. Is that right?" Yet during a subsequent interview with Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN), Blitzer never questioned whether Frist had already decided how he was going to vote on the Alito nomination even though Frist repeatedly praised Alito.