On a special edition of CNN's Larry King Live specifically focused on reaction to President Bush's Iraq address, Larry King failed to challenge Rudy Giuliani's assertion that "our goal is in Iraq is no different now than it was at the very beginning. The goal of the mission in Iraq is to provide safety and security so we can have an ally in Iraq against the Islamic terrorists. And that was the mission that most of the Democrats agreed to in 2003." In fact, the Bush administration has frequently changed its "goal of the mission in Iraq," which at various times it has articulated as disarming Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, building democracy, and providing stability and security in the Middle East.
On Hannity & Colmes, Republican pollster Frank Luntz cited Republican focus group responses to an exchange over Iraq policy between Mike Huckabee and Rep. Ron Paul, and, echoing Huckabee's assertion about needing not "to lose our honor," declared: "Clearly, principle won out in this exchange." Luntz cited no evidence that the focus group participants favored Huckabee's comments because they thought that the comments -- in contrast with Paul's -- were based on "principle." In fact, Paul's position on the Iraq war has been consistent, though originally sharply at odds with public opinion.
On Kudlow & Co., Larry Kudlow allowed Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani to mischaracterize two statements by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton to portray her as being opposed to free markets. In fact, in one instance, Clinton went on to say that "there is no greater force for economic growth than free markets," and in the other, she said that "the market is the driving force behind our prosperity."
On MSNBC, Pat Buchanan asserted that Rep. Barney Frank "had a fellow running a -- basically a full-service whorehouse in his basement." In fact, the House ethics committee found that the man's initial public assertions that he had run a prostitution ring out of Frank's residence were contradicted by evidence and the sworn testimony of third parties.
During a Fox & Friends segment discussing an August 28 column by Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, on-screen text falsely asserted, "CASTRO'S DREAM TEAM: WANTS CLINTON AND OBAMA IN '08," referring to Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Also during the segment, an on-screen graphic depicted Castro, Clinton, and Obama enclosed in a red heart. In fact, at no point in his column did Castro endorse Clinton or Obama. Indeed, he attributed to Clinton and Obama a pro-democratic view that he called an "error," and he said of Clinton and Obama, "They are not making politics: they are playing a game of cards on a Sunday afternoon."
From 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET on August 27, Fox News devoted only 3 minutes and 47 seconds to segments discussing Sen. Larry Craig's lewd-conduct arrest. By contrast, MSNBC aired 8 minutes and 26 seconds of coverage on the story, while CNN aired 20 minutes and 38 seconds.
In a column, Los Angeles Times senior editorial writer Michael McGough asserted that "it is far from a slam dunk ... that a Gore administration wouldn't have done at least some of the things for which Bush has been pilloried" and that Gore "might well have followed suit after 9/11 with his own versions of the Patriot Act and the Terrorist Surveillance Program." However, McGough did not mention Gore's strong criticism of the Bush administration's warrantless domestic surveillance program or that Gore has called for the repeal of the Patriot Act.
Washington Post columnist David Broder asserted that "[Karl] Rove had drunk deeply of the magic potion dispensed by Lee Atwater, the South Carolina whiz who had absorbed the anger and frustration of the white Southern blue-collar families with whom he was raised." But Broder did not mention Atwater's repeated attempts to play on white voters' sentiments about race.
In articles on Sen. Hillary Clinton's speech to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, several media outlets reported that Clinton said the Bush administration's so-called "surge" policy is "working." Clinton actually said: "We've begun to change tactics in Iraq, and in some areas -- particularly in Al Anbar Province -- it's working. We're just years too late changing our tactics."