The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported as fact the false allegation that Sen. Harry Reid received political contributions from Jack Abramoff. While Reid received contributions from Abramoff's firm's PAC (to which Abramoff did not contribute) and from some of Abramoff's partners and clients, a Center for Responsive Politics breakdown of Abramoff's donations confirms that Abramoff himself made contributions only to Republicans, not Democrats.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution uncritically quoted a Republican National Committee spokeswoman's false assertion that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid "took nearly $68,000 from [former Washington lobbyist Jack] Abramoff." In fact, Abramoff made contributions only to Republicans, not Democrats.
Evening news broadcasts on CBS and NBC failed to cover a new report finding that the actions of top aides in the Justice Department who used political considerations in hiring "violated federal law and Department policy, and also constituted misconduct." ABC's World News, meanwhile, devoted less than 30 seconds to the report. Despite the potential implications for U.S. counterterrorism efforts, all three networks ignored the finding that "an experienced career terrorism prosecutor" was denied a counterterrorism assignment while "a much more junior attorney who lacked any experience in counterterrorism issues and who officials believed was not qualified for the position" was hired instead.
On his radio show, Fox News' Sean Hannity touted a Washington Examiner blog post claiming that Sen. Barack Obama got a "discount" and a "Countrywide-like sweetheart mortgage deal" from Northern Trust for the purchase of his house. But the Examiner's only source for that claim in the blog post was a Washington Post article that did not cite any evidence that the interest rate Obama received was in any way out of the ordinary or in any way the result of preferential treatment.
In an article about Sen. John McCain's early political career, the Los Angeles Times' Richard A. Serrano described Charles H. Keating Jr. as "[a]nother influential friend" who "raised more than $100,000 for McCain." Serrano noted that Keating eventually went to prison for his role in a savings and loan scandal, but did not mention McCain's own alleged involvement in the scandal, or that Keating's relationship to McCain reportedly extended beyond simply raising money for his congressional campaigns.
NBC News Washington bureau chief Tim Russert, who in February stated that "the story about Senator [John] McCain and lobbyists and ethics and money -- that continues," again ignored the issue of "McCain and lobbyists and ethics and money" on the May 25 edition of Meet the Press, despite numerous recent, related developments bearing on that issue.
CNN and MSNBC.com's First Read blog uncritically repeated McCain campaign adviser Charlie Black's claim that campaign manager "Rick Davis and nobody else at his firm [Davis Manafort] either has been a registered lobbyist in five years." In fact, public disclosure reports filed with Congress show that Davis was registered to lobby in 2005 for Davis Manafort -- three years ago, not five. In addition, in 2006, while no longer registered as a lobbyist, Davis reportedly helped arrange a meeting with McCain on behalf of a Russian aluminum magnate with whom he was "seeking to do business."
On April 22, The Daily Show's Jon Stewart highlighted two recent reports concerning national security that have been largely ignored by most television news outlets and NPR: a New York Times article reporting that "the Bush administration has used" media military analysts, many of whom have clients with or seeking Pentagon contracts, "into a kind of media Trojan horse -- an instrument intended to shape terrorism coverage from inside the major TV and radio networks"; and a Government Accountability Office report that found that the "United States has not met its national security goals to destroy terrorist threats and close the safe haven in Pakistan's FATA."
On Hardball, Chris Matthews repeatedly referenced allegations that New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer was linked to a prostitution ring to call into question the role of superdelegates in the Democratic nominating process. Matthews stated: "I have to bring into question the prudence, the justice, the judiciousness of these superdelegates."
An Associated Press article reported that Sen. John McCain was asked "whether Republican Rep. Rick Renzi should resign from office," but the article did not note that McCain named Renzi a co-chairman of his presidential campaign in Arizona months after it was reported that Renzi was under federal investigation.
On Meet the Press, discussing the New York Times article about Sen. John McCain's relationship with a lobbyist, David Brooks said he "do[esn't] really understand the case" involving McCain and the letters he wrote to the Federal Communications Commission about an issue involving Paxson Communications, then suggested that McCain "only wrote two letters" as chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee. But the Times reported that McCain sent a series of letters to the FCC in a separate case, including "an unusually blunt letter to the head of the Federal Communications Commission, warning that he would try to overhaul the agency if it closed a broadcast ownership loophole."
While discussing a New York Times article on Sen. John McCain's relationship with a lobbyist, Bill O'Reilly aired a clip of McCain's attorney Robert Bennett defending McCain against the article's allegations, but did not disclose that Bennett represents McCain and was reportedly hired for the explicit purpose of dealing with the controversy.
Discussing reports about Sen. John McCain's ties to lobbyist Vicki Iseman, Pat Buchanan asserted: "I don't have a problem with John McCain writing a letter there, depending on what he says in the letter," adding, "[B]ut McCain shouldn't be denying that, I don't think, because it seems to me that's in the normal course of business of a congressman." But contrary to his description of McCain's actions as "the normal course" for a congressman, the FCC chairman at the time criticized McCain for his request, calling it "highly unusual."