On November 6, all three major network evening news broadcasts pointed to "new polling" to assert that the midterm elections are "tightening." In doing so, these outlets ignored several polls released during the same period that indicate the gap between Democrats and Republicans is stable or widening.
Appearing on NBC's Today, Chris Matthews claimed the economy is "fabulous" based on his false assertion that the "market's up around 13,000." In fact, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 11,986.04 on November 3. Matthews also misleadingly suggested President Bush is popular in most Western states and that the Iraq war "isn't terrifically hated" in Missouri.
On MSNBC's Battleground America, discussing races in which the Republican candidate has been accused of physical abuse, Tucker Carlson stated, "I thought, post-Clinton, your personal sexual conduct was not supposed to be relevant to anything unless you broke the law," adding: "[I]t's very odd all of a sudden to see Democrats attacking Republicans for their weird sex lives -- basically."
During an interview with Howard Dean, Norah O'Donnell selectively cited polls to suggest that the Democratic advantage in the generic congressional ballot has been considerably reduced. However, several other recent polls show Democrats with leads in excess of 15 percentage points.
On Fox News Sunday, National Public Radio's Juan Williams acknowledged that "most people are telling pollsters that they trust the Democrats more on taxes than they do the Republicans," but then said, "To me, that's crazy." On The Chris Matthews Show, Chris Matthews again falsely suggested that the issue of taxes favors Republicans, even though recent polling shows otherwise.
In a November 4 Associated Press article, reporter Liz Sidoti uncritically reported GOP attacks against Democrats, including that if Democrats win control of Congress next week, they will "let the terrorists win," institute "bigger government and higher taxes," and stand "on the border with open arms welcoming people across." Sidoti did not include any responses or rebuttals from Democrats.
Contradicting her earlier reporting, The Washington Post's Ellen Knickmeyer reported that "U.S. officials close to the trial deny" that they have the "power to set [the] date" for the announcement of Saddam Hussein's verdict. Knickmeyer had previously reported that the U.S. government "run[s] much of the day-to-day arrangements for the trial."
CNN's Wolf Blitzer again failed to identify a member of Sen. George Allen's campaign who spoke favorably of Allen; this time, Mary Matalin, who was identified as a "Republican Strategist," on-screen, while Blitzer called her an "informal adviser" to Dick Cheney and "close family friend" of the Cheneys. Blitzer also failed to challenge Matalin's repetition of the GOP smear that Nancy Pelosi has gone into hiding in the week before the midterm elections.
Fox & Friends co-hosts Brian Kilmeade and Gretchen Carlson touted articles on right-wing website WorldNetDaily.com and in the The New York Sun purporting to show that, in Carlson's words, "[s]enior terrorist leaders" have indicated "that they hope Americans sweep the Democrats into power because of the party's position on withdrawing from Iraq."