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.
When Fox News host Sean Hannity featured Rep. Katherine Harris (R-FL), a candidate for the U.S. Senate in Florida, he failed to challenge her about her relationship with disgraced defense contractor Mitchell Wade. While Hannity did ask Harris to comment about $32,000 in illegal campaign contributions received from Wade, he did not press Harris about her request to the Defense Appropriations Committee for a $10 million counterintelligence project that would have benefited Wade's company, MZM Inc.
CNN ran a headline on its website referring to a political attack by RNC chairman Ken Mehlman as "Dems Indicted."
A Reuters article on former Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff's disclosure to Vanity Fair that he "worked closely with many top Republicans, despite their claims to the contrary" ignored Abramoff's claims, in the same magazine article, of close ties with President Bush, White House senior adviser Karl Rove, and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).
Hours after the Associated Press reported that former Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff told Vanity Fair magazine he had close ties with President Bush and White House senior adviser Karl Rove, New York Times reporter Anne Kornblut cited what she called "good news" for the White House, which is that "no one's talking about Jack Abramoff anymore."
During a March 3 report on the sentencing of former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham for corruption, Fox News correspondent Anita Vogel did not once mention that Cunningham is a Republican.
In reporting that the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs rejected a proposal to create an independent Office of Public Integrity to investigate ethics violations by members of Congress, March 3 articles by The New York Times and The Washington Post ignored Democratic support on the committee for the measure. In fact, more Democrats on the committee voted for the proposal than against it, while only one Republican supported it.
On the February 17 broadcast of his radio program, Focus on the Family president James C. Dobson and Tom Minnery, the organization's vice president of public policy, sought to fend off questions arising from reports of their alleged collusion with convicted felon and former gambling industry lobbyist Jack Abramoff in a scheme to shut down competition to his clients' casinos. While both Dobson and Minnery deny working with Abramoff, email exchanges between Abramoff and associates Ralph Reed and Michael Scanlon appear to contradict Dobson and Minnery's claim that Focus on the Family's activities in opposition to the expansion of a Louisiana casino had nothing to do with requests from Abramoff or Reed.
In an article covering the Pennsylvania U.S. Senate race between Sen. Rick Santorum (R) and likely Democratic nominee Robert P. Casey Jr., The Washington Post mischaracterized issues surrounding mortgage deals each candidate made. By reporting that each candidate had received a loan from a bank whose board members had made campaign contributions to him, the Post falsely suggested that their transactions were comparable when, in fact, Santorum's deal may have violated Senate ethics rules.
A Washington Post editorial adopted several claims that the Bush administration has made in defense of its agreement to let a company owned by the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) manage six U.S. ports, even though those claims are contradicted by the Post's own news reporting. News reports in the Post and The New York Times also cited without challenge the administration claims about the length of the review, even though their own previous reporting directly contradicted the claims.