On ABC's This Week, host George Stephanopoulos failed to correct a series of misleading statements by former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) concerning the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and potential sources of oil off the coastal United States.
A Washington Times editorial that advocated drilling in the Alaskan Arctic National Wildlife Refuge exaggerated estimates of the refuge's oil reserves and the amount of daily oil production that could be achieved through exploration there.
In his Time magazine column, Joe Klein advocated drilling for oil in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Reserve (ANWR) as a means of lowering gasoline prices. Contrary to Klein's suggestion, however, a U.S. Department of Energy study found that oil production in ANWR would have a relatively insignificant impact upon crude oil prices.
Fox News' Neil Cavuto hyped the Bolivian government's recent decision to nationalize its energy industry as a "socialist threat" to the United States. Cavuto asked Fox military analyst Col. David Hunt: "Colonel, I'm wondering whether this is a military threat -- leave aside the energy concerns -- but a military threat to our country now?" Hunt replied: "Yeah. There is no question," adding that "oil is a weapon ... and why wouldn't ... states getting close to being a terrorist state ... like Bolivia ... consider it?"
On Fox News' The Journal Editorial Report, Wall Street Journal editorial board member Stephen Moore falsely claimed that "in the outer continental shelf," the United States has "more oil available than Saudi Arabia." Similarly, the New York Post claimed in an editorial that drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) "could eventually produce close to what America now imports from Saudi Arabia" -- a claim also contradicted by U.S. Department of Energy estimates.
Fox News analyst Mara Liasson touted President Bush's endorsement of a proposal by Senate Republicans to grant the executive branch authority to set fuel-efficiency standards for cars. But despite noting the opposition of some Democratic and Republican lawmakers to raising fuel-efficiency standards for cars, Liasson did not inform viewers that Bush had also opposed raising those standards -- as recently as February. Fox News host Chris Wallace also noted Bush's endorsement of the proposal but left out the fact that this represents a shift in policy for the Bush administration.
In two separate reports, Fox News' Major Garrett omitted key conclusions pertaining to the White House, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Defense in a recently released Senate report on the government response to Hurricane Katrina, while highlighting findings implicating the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and state and local officials.
MSNBC's Norah O'Donnell failed to challenge Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's (R-TN) suggestion that drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) is necessary to reduce America's "60 percent dependen[ce]" on foreign oil. In fact, according to the Department of Energy, drilling in ANWR would reduce projected U.S. dependence on oil imports by only 4 percent over the next 20 years, from 68 percent in 2025 to 64 percent.
Both the CBS Evening News and NBC's Nightly News reported that President Bush endorsed a proposal by Senate Republicans to grant the executive branch authority to set fuel-efficiency standards for cars -- a power that currently resides with Congress. CBS and NBC failed to note, however, that this move by Bush represents a significant shift for the White House, which opposed, as recently as February, increasing efficiency standards for passenger cars.
Fox News host John Gibson contradicted himself twice while discussing whether Democrats have a plan to combat high gasoline prices. He first referred to one part of their "plan," then said he "never heard an actual Democrat plan," and finally noted that President Bush was following the advice of Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-NY) by ordering an investigation into possible price gouging.
On the April 25 edition of ABC's World News Tonight, co-anchor Elizabeth Vargas reported that President Bush "unveil[ed] an ambitious plan to lower the cost of oil and gas." Yet later in the same broadcast, ABC News chief White House correspondent Martha Raddatz reported that the Bush administration "acknowledges that this plan will likely not bring down the price of gas anytime soon."
Bill O'Reilly falsely claimed that both the "state and federal" government are "making more money now that the gasoline prices are higher because their tax goes up." In fact, for the federal government and more than three-fourths of the states, gasoline taxes remain constant regardless of gas prices because they are measured in cents per gallon, not as a percentage of total gasoline sales or wholesale prices.
On April 24 and 25, CNN and ABC reported that congressional Republicans, including Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, were calling for President Bush to investigate possible price gouging by the oil industry. But none of the reports noted that Democrats had previously called for a price-fixing probe, including Sen. Chuck Schumer, who had called for such an investigation at a press conference a week earlier.
In reporting on President Bush's announcement that he would suspend fuel deposits into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in an effort to reduce rising gasoline prices, numerous news outlets failed to note that Bush had previously criticized both the Clinton administration and Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) for proposing to use the reserve to lower prices.
Fox News' Neil Cavuto failed to challenge House Homeland Security committee chairman Peter King's (R-NY) misleading claim that "Democrats voted" for a provision in the House immigration reform bill that makes illegal presence in the U.S. a felony. Cavuto also left unchallenged King's false claim that Alaska's oil reserves are "equivalent" to those of Saudi Arabia.