On Meet the Press, Tim Russert cited a flawed AP article, which omitted key facts that undermined its suggested connection between Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid and disgraced former lobbyist Jack Abramoff, in order to link Reid to "money from Jack Abramoff."
A Washington Post article on the ethics-reform bill passed by the House of Representatives buried a crucial fact: The bill had provoked widespread criticism from Democrats and government watchdog groups. In addition, the article noted that eight Democrats crossed party lines and voted for the bill, but did not similarly note that more than twice as many Republicans crossed party lines to vote against it. Other major print outlets similarly omitted crucial context regarding the House bill.
NPR's Andrea Seabrook reported that one of Democrats' "big problems right now" is "convincing voters that the so-called 'culture of corruption' is a Republican thing." According to Seabrook, "there's a growing list of ethics allegations against Democrats in Congress," and as examples, she noted: "Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid [D-NV], Michigan Senator Debbie Stabenow, and others took campaign contributions from Indian tribes that were associated with [disgraced former lobbyist] Jack Abramoff." In fact, neither Reid nor Stabenow are facing allegations of ethical misconduct regarding Abramoff contributions, and the mere receipt of contributions from Abramoff clients is not an indication of corruption.
An April 19 New York Times article and an April 19 Associated Press article noted that the federally chartered home mortgage company known as Freddie Mac had agreed to pay a record $3.8 million to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to settle allegations that it violated federal election law by using company resources to host fundraisers for members of Congress, illegally funneling employee contributions to federal candidates, and making an illegal $150,000 contribution to the Republican Governors Association. But the articles did not disclose that the vast majority of the the illegal fundraisers hosted by Freddie Mac benefited Republican lawmakers.
On C-SPAN's Q&A, Washington Post staff writer Susan Schmidt -- one of three Post reporters to be awarded a 2006 Pulitzer Prize for investigating the influence-peddling schemes of Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff -- repeated the false claim that Abramoff gave "a lot of money to Democrats." In fact, as Media Matters has noted repeatedly, no Democrats received contributions from Abramoff directly.
Fred Barnes claimed that "only the press" refers to former Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) as "the Hammer." But The New York Times reported that a tribute dinner held by DeLay supporters in Washington, D.C., in May 2005 included numerous references to DeLay's nickname: "Mr. DeLay was served a red-white-and-blue cake festooned with sparklers and plastic hammers -- a reference to his nickname, the Hammer -- while the band played 'If I Had a Hammer.' "
Fox News host Neil Cavuto interviewed Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) only two days after DeLay announced his intention to resign his congressional seat. But during the entire interview, Cavuto asked DeLay nothing about why he abandoned his re-election bid after winning a contentious primary or why he decided to leave office altogether, even though Cavuto claimed he "can't believe" that he had done so. Neither did Cavuto once mention DeLay's alleged ties to Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff or the guilty pleas of two of his former top aides, Michael Scanlon and Tony C. Rudy, for conspiring with Abramoff.
The USA Today described the House ethics committee as being "gridlocked since January 2005 because of partisan disputes over its rules, staff and procedures." At that time, House Republicans weakened the ethics committee by granting either party complete power to block a complaint against a fellow party member.
An April 5 Washington Post editorial asserted that Rep. Tom DeLay's (R-TX) departure from Congress will make it "much tougher for Democrats to flog their 'culture of corruption' message," offering only a quote from DeLay in support of the assertion -- but a Post article published the same day quoted a Democratic leader saying the opposite. The editorial then went on to undermine its own argument by noting that the political culture fostered by DeLay -- rather than the man himself -- represented the Republicans' "real problem."
On Fox News, numerous media figures asserted that Rep. Tom DeLay's (R-TX) decision to resign from Congress will hurt Democrats' ability to campaign against congressional Republicans' record of corruption -- and DeLay's part in it -- during the November 2006 midterm elections. But such predictions overlook the widening ethics scandals involving DeLay and the Republican Party.
In an interview with former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX), Brit Hume misleadingly claimed that the scandal involving former lobbyist and DeLay associate Jack Abramoff has resulted in "charges against one of" DeLay's former aides and "possibly against a second." In fact, two former DeLay staffers have pleaded guilty to felonies in connection with the Abramoff scandal, and a third former DeLay staffer is reportedly under investigation.
On MSNBC's Hardball, Chris Matthews asked Democratic strategist Bob Shrum if he could "promise" that, if the Democrats regain control of the House after the midterm elections, "they will not use the subpoena power to go after the president."
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.
Reporting on the disappointed reaction of Sen. John McCain to the lobbying reform bill that was passed by the Senate on March 29, CBS' Gloria Borger mentioned McCain's pledge that continued congressional investigations into the Jack Abramoff scandal should "light a fire under [McCain's] colleagues." However, Borger ignored reports that, as chairman of the Indian Affairs Committee, McCain steered the investigation into the Abramoff scandal away from examining any potential wrongdoing by his Republican colleagues.
In an interview with Secretary of the Interior Gale A. Norton, Fox News' Neil Cavuto never asked Norton about her resignation from her post, announced less than two weeks earlier.