In reporting on a newly released ABC News/Washington Post poll on the favorability of presumptive 2008 presidential nominees Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Sen. John McCain, the Post and ABC's Good Morning America focused almost entirely on numbers that indicate Clinton is "polarizing" and on the percentage of respondents who "would definitely not vote for" her in 2008. In its article, the Post also included an assertion about how people view Clinton that was contradicted by the poll results.
In his Washington Times column, Donald Lambro repeated the oft-debunked claim that Democrats received money from Jack Abramoff and used months-old polling data to claim that a "plurality" of Americans view congressional ethics scandals as affecting both Democrats and Republicans equally. In fact, more recent polling indicates that the public views ethics scandals as more of a Republican problem than a bipartisan issue.
New York Times columnist David Brooks claimed that Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff visited the White House only "twice, in 2001 and 2004," citing recently released Secret Service visitor logs. But as Media Matters for America previously noted, the White House has acknowledged several Abramoff visits not mentioned in the logs, and the White House and the Secret Service have both admitted that the records released "would not present a complete picture of Abramoff's" visits.
The Washington Times' Donald Lambro claimed that New Jersey state Sen. Thomas H. Kean Jr., a Republican, "is running even" with Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) in the 2006 New Jersey senatorial race. In fact, the most recent polling shows that Menendez is six points ahead of Kean.
On MSNBC's Hardball, Chris Matthews once again suggested Democrats would abuse the congressional subpoena authority if they regain control of one or both houses of Congress in the 2006 elections. In a conversation with former Rep. Vin Weber (R-MN), Matthews asserted that in 2006, Republicans will likely campaign on the claim that if elected, Democrats "are going to try to lynch the president."
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.
O'Reilly Factor guest host and former Rep. John Kasich (R-OH) falsely claimed that 2004 presidential candidate Sen. John F. Kerry (D-MA) lost "every place that Bruce [Springsteen] went," referring to the Vote for Change tour and Kerry rally concerts leading up to the election. In fact, Springsteen performed in a total of six states, four of which -- Pennsylvania, Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin -- Kerry carried in the election, as well as the District of Columbia, where Springsteen also performed.
Chris Matthews falsely claimed that Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) -- "quite sacrificially" -- engineered a redistricting in Texas that reduced his home district to "only about a 55 percent Republican district now," in order to raise GOP percentages in other districts and strengthen the Republican majority in Congress. In fact, the congressional district that DeLay represents is 65.9 percent Republican following DeLay's redistricting plan.
On Your World, blogger and radio host Hugh Hewitt explained in an interview with Neil Cavuto why those who are currently "calling the president, 'damaged goods' ... can be prepared to eat their own words." Hewitt predicted that media figures "are going to have to answer to themselves again how they could have been so wrong, again." During the entire interview, an onscreen caption read, "Coming Soon: The Great Bush Comeback?"
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On C-SPAN's Washington Journal, Washington Examiner senior White House correspondent Bill Sammon claimed that the U.S. Supreme Court halted the Florida recount in the 2000 presidential election by a 7-2 margin; and that a study of the 2000 presidential vote in Florida, commissioned by a consortium of major media outlets, "concluded essentially that [George W.] Bush would have won even if the Supreme Court hadn't stopped the counting." Both of these statements are false
An article in the Capitol Hill newspaper The Hill made a poorly substantiated claim that "tax experts" believe that Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a nonprofit government ethics watchdog group, may have violated IRS regulations governing nonprofit organizations by filing ethics complaints with the Justice Department and Federal Elections Commission against mostly Republican members of Congress. The claim against CREW was forwarded by Republicans, but the article downplayed the claim's partisan nature. In fact, no complaint has been filed with the IRS, and two of the three "experts" cited in the article demonstrated either incomplete or inaccurate knowledge of the issue.
MSNBC host Chris Matthews claimed that a recently reported data-mining initiative led by Harold Ickes -- an adviser to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) -- is "just like we saw the NSA doing" in conjunction with President Bush's controversial warrantless domestic eavesdropping program. But the initiative run by Ickes, according to news reports, relies on commercially and publicly available information that Republicans have used for years in their data operations. Matthews made no mention of these Republican operations.
On MSNBC's Hardball, host Chris Matthews praised conservative Philadelphia-based radio host Michael Smerconish, despite Smerconish's history of controversial statements. But as Smerconish has made several recent appearances on Hardball, neither he nor Matthews has mentioned that Matthews's brother Jim, who is the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor in Pennsylvania, appeared at a political event in Pennsylvania that Smerconish moderated.
In listing examples of the "left-wing media" that "dominates the newspaper industry," Bill O'Reilly mentioned five newspapers that endorsed George W. Bush in the 2004 presidential election.
Rush Limbaugh invented a racial element to explain Iraq war veteran Paul Hackett's departure from the Ohio Democratic Senate primary race against Rep. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), asserting, "And don't forget, Sherrod Brown is black. There's a racial component here, too." In fact, Brown is Caucasian -- a point on which Limbaugh was corrected later in the program.