In reporting on the United Arab Emirates (UAE) ports controversy, NBC's Brian Williams failed to inform viewers that Dubai Ports World is owned by the government of Dubai, a member of the UAE. NBC's David Gregory later indicated that the company is state-owned but entirely ignored the significance of this. In doing so, they obscured the source of the controversy surrounding the Bush administration's approval of a deal to grant the company control of six U.S. ports.
In detailing the evaluation process the Bush administration purportedly undertook before agreeing to permit a company owned by the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to manage port terminals in six major U.S. cities, several media outlets reported that the administration approved of the deal only after a thorough review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). But none of the reports noted the glaring inconsistency in the administration's account: that Donald Rumsfeld, a key member of CFIUS, acknowledged in a February 21 press conference that he possessed "minimal information" about the deal because he had "just heard about this over the weekend."
CNN anchors and reporters repeatedly described Dubai Ports World -- the company set to assume control of six U.S. ports -- as an "Arab company" or a "Dubai-based company." However, in describing the company as such, these reporters are ignoring a key factor in the bipartisan controversy surrounding the takeover deal, which is that the company is a state-run business in the United Arab Emirates.
In an article about President Bush's renewable energy tour, The Washington Post overlooked the White House's retreat from Bush's pledge to "replace more than 75 percent of our oil imports from the Middle East by 2025." The article also reported on Bush's planned visit to the National Renewal Energy Laboratory without mentioning that just before his visit, the federal government had reallocated $5 million to restore the jobs of 32 employees who had been laid off as a result of administration budget cuts.
Fox News' Major Garrett falsely claimed that the House of Representatives report on Hurricane Katrina verified Fox News reporting that Louisiana officials prevented the American Red Cross from delivering needed supplies to the Louisiana Superdome in the aftermath of the storm. In fact, the report highlighted the testimony of Red Cross senior vice president Joseph C. Becker, who said, "[W]e were asked by state and federal officials not to enter New Orleans."
The Los Angeles Times reprinted an abridged version of a flawed Associated Press story about links between disgraced former lobbyist Jack Abramoff and Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid. The Washington Times' Donald Lambro also selectively cited the article in a column.
In airing Brit Hume's interview with Vice President Dick Cheney, Fox News omitted Cheney's comments about drinking a beer the day he shot his hunting companion. Fox News even excluded the comments from what it said was the "full interview" posted on its website.
On CNN's Live From..., anchor Kyra Phillips and White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux reported that, in an interview conducted with Fox News that day, Vice President Dick Cheney accepted full responsibility for accidentally shooting Texas attorney Harry Whittington during a February 11 hunting expedition. However, both Phillips and Malveaux failed to note that Cheney reportedly has been telling friends privately that Whittington was at fault and that Katharine Armstrong, whom he had designated to report the incident to the media, blamed Whittington for the accident.
Media reports regarding when the Kenedy County Sheriff's department actually interviewed Vice President Dick Cheney have varied widely and have sometimes conflicted, a fact that the media themselves have largely ignored.
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Fox News correspondent Molly Henneberg claimed that vice presidents "rarely, if ever" hold press conferences. In fact, Vice President Al Gore conducted at least 15 press conferences while in office; Cheney has so far conducted three.
CNN's Suzanne Malveaux falsely reported that Vice President Dick Cheney first learned of the worsened medical condition of Harry Whittington, the Texas attorney whom Cheney accidentally shot during a February 11 hunting expedition, "around 12:30 [p.m.]" on February 14. In fact, a statement released by Cheney's office that day indicated that Cheney had learned of the decline in Whittington's condition early that morning.
An Associated Press article failed to inform readers that White House press secretary Scott McClellan, during his noon press briefing on February 14, withheld from reporters the fact that the man Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot had suffered a heart attack earlier that morning. Moreover, the AP article left the false impression that McClellan had indeed informed reporters of this development.
Reporting on a Government Accountability Office (GAO) study that found that the Bush administration has spent $1.6 billion in public relations contracts since 2003, Brit Hume noted the White House claim that its use of "video news releases" is legal. However, Hume did not report that, according to the GAO, this practice violates federal law.
Media reporting on the delay between when Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot one of his hunting partners and the public disclosure of that information have overlooked unanswered questions and inconsistent accounts of how the incident was revealed to the press.