In the first four hours of MSNBC's January 9 coverage of the confirmation hearing for Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito Jr., the network featured interviews with Pat Buchanan, former RNC chairman Ed Gillespie, and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) -- but no Democratic or progressive commentators.
On Hannity & Colmes, an onscreen caption falsely listed guest Jimmy Hayes -- a former U.S. representative from Louisiana -- as a Democrat. In fact, Hayes became a Republican in 1995 before leaving the House of Representatives. Co-host Sean Hannity brought on Hayes and former Rep. George Nethercutt, both Republicans, as the only two guests to discuss money Democrats have taken from clients or employers of disgraced Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff, as well as to assess the "formula for success for the Democratic Party to win in 2006."
CNN analyst Jeffrey Toobin suggested that "the Democrats may be looking for trouble" if they criticize the Bush administration's warrantless spying program during the Alito hearings, falsely stating that the public supports the administration's program
Appearing on Hardball to discuss the Jack Abramoff scandal, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough failed to disclose that he received $1,000 from Jack Abramoff and other contributions from Abramoff's firms.
On CNN, anchor Miles O'Brien suggested that a Senate filibuster of Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito Jr. would not be "dignified"; anchor Wolf Blitzer wondered if Alito will "get the fair vote the president has been asking for."
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In reporting on Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito Jr.'s confirmation hearing, NBC correspondent Pete Williams noted that despite a 1985 job application expressing Alito's "very strong" personal belief that "the Constitution does not protect a right to an abortion," Alito's supporters say his personal views "don't count, that when he puts on a judge's robes, he follows the law, including the legal precedent upholding abortion rights." But Williams ignored the distinction between an appellate judge, who is bound by higher court precedents, and a Supreme Court justice, who might not be.
Rush Limbaugh baselessly accused Sen. Carl Levin of being tainted by the Jack Abramoff scandal for accepting contributions from an Indian tribe. The newspaper articles Limbaugh cited to back up his claim offer no evidence linking Abramoff-directed contributions to Levin's efforts to obtain a federal grant for the tribe.
Tim Russert revived his prior false claim that Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer were perceived as very liberal when they were nominated to the Supreme Court and that their confirmations indicate that Alito should also be easily confirmed.
NBC correspondent Pete Williams falsely claimed that Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito Jr. was following Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's precedent in his dissent in favor of spousal notification in an abortion-rights case and that O'Connor subsequently "changed her mind." In fact, that case, upon its appeal to the Supreme Court, was O'Connor's first ruling on spousal notification.
Promoting a falsehood he had previously told, Brit Hume failed to challenge Sen. Lindsey Graham when he asserted that Alito's comments in his 1985 memo -- that he didn't believe in a constitutional right to abortion -- were the views of the Reagan administration, not his personal views.
The New York Times glossed over and presented one-sided accounts of a recusal issue regarding Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito Jr. in two recent articles about Alito's upcoming confirmation hearings.
On Hardball, host Chris Matthews repeatedly mentioned Sen. Hillary Clinton's (D-NY) decision to donate to charity $2,000 in campaign contributions received from American Indian tribes represented by lobbyist and felon Jack Abramoff, yet virtually ignored the $6,000 and $69,000 in campaign contributions received from Abramoff and his clients by President Bush and House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-IL), respectively -- contributions both have also pledged to donate to charity.
In anticipation of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings for Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito Jr., Media Matters for America has compiled a list of top myths and falsehoods advanced by conservatives and Alito supporters.
On CBN's The 700 Club, Pat Robertson falsely claimed that Jamie Gorelick, while serving in the Clinton administration, said the president has "absolute authority to conduct domestic wiretaps in war against enemy agents." On CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight, host Lou Dobbs failed to challenge a similar claim.
Fox News correspondent Major Garrett stated that "neither [former House Majority Leader Tom] DeLay nor his aides have been charged" in the investigation surrounding former lobbyist Jack Abramoff. In fact, while none of DeLay's current aides has been charged, DeLay's former communications director has pleaded guilty to federal charges of bribery and fraud, and another former DeLay aide has reportedly been implicated.