An article in the latest issue of Newsweek reported on Fred Thompson's leadership of a 1997 investigation into campaign finance irregularities, asserting that "Thompson wound up losing control of the investigation, and the support of his own party," and that "Thompson has said he wanted to make sure the inquiry was fair, and not just a Republican hunting party that would be viewed with suspicion by the public." But Thompson reportedly shut down the investigation before Democrats were able to introduce evidence linking Republican lawmakers to a fundraising group that was found to have skirted campaign finance laws.
CNN's Jessica Yellin uncritically reported Sen. Mitch McConnell's claim that a recently released report on the Iraq war by the Government Accountability Office was "not equal" in significance to an upcoming report from the Bush administration because the administration's report "is written into law." In fact, the GAO report is required by the same law as the president's report.
A Washington Post editorial arguing for legally mandated full disclosure of campaign donation "bundlers" left out key facts about the two cases that it cited, Geoffrey Fieger and Norman Hsu. The editorial did not note that prosecutors have reportedly confirmed that John Edwards' campaign was unaware of alleged illegal contributions made by Fieger and absolved the campaign of any wrongdoing; similarly, the editorial failed to note that the Wall Street Journal article it cited offered no evidence implicating Hillary Clinton with regard to Hsu.
The Washington Times claimed that Norman Hsu "donated more than $1 million to senior Democrats, including the presidential campaigns of Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Barack Obama of Illinois." The article later claimed, providing no evidence, that "[s]ome of Mr. Hsu's donations were made through several people" -- which would presumably be a violation of federal law. In fact, Hsu himself has reportedly donated $255,000 to federal candidates since 2003," and has acted as a "bundler," soliciting friends and associates to make contributions to certain candidates with their own money, which, when added to Hsu's own donations, total more than $1 million. Bundling itself is not illegal, but as The New York Times noted, it is "illegal for a bundler to reimburse a contributor."
The Washington Post twice reported that Republicans need a "net gain" of just one seat in the 2008 elections to recapture control of the Senate. However, a "net gain" of one seat for Republicans would result in a 50-50 split. For the Post's assertion to be correct, a senator currently caucusing with the Democrats would have to defect or the GOP would have to keep the White House, neither of which was noted by the Post.
Discussing replacements for outgoing Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Larry Sabato asserted that if President Bush nominates Michael Chertoff, "[u]ndoubtedly, the Democrats are going to revisit Katrina. They're going to use the nomination hearings ... to talk about something that happened two years ago in a completely different realm, but that's politics." Similarly, Republican strategist Leslie Sanchez, apparently referring to a potential Chertoff nomination, stated that the "Democrats have already announced this is going to be another piece of political theater," adding that they "want to rehash Katrina, different allegations, start more investigations."
CNN's Kelli Arena reported that "there have been some allegations that certain people were hired as career prosecutors because of their political affiliation." In fact, former Justice Department White House liaison Monica Goodling testified before Congress that she had repeatedly considered political affiliation when she made hiring decisions about assistant U.S. attorneys.
A New York Times article, which reported on Fred Thompson's leadership of a 1997 Governmental Affairs Committee investigation into campaign finance irregularities, uncritically quoted Thompson saying of the hearings, "[T]here was no way that I was going to shield any obvious problems that our side had." However, according to a New York Times article published at the time, Republicans shut down the hearings before Democrats were able to introduce evidence linking Republican lawmakers to Triad Management, a fundraising group that Democrats claimed had skirted campaign finance laws.
During a Situation Room report on the allegation that, in 2005, then-chairman of the House Transportation Committee Don Young (R-AK) changed the language of a $10 million earmark for Florida after the bill had been passed, correspondent John Zarrella failed to identify Young as a Republican. Additionally, neither he nor host Wolf Blitzer noted that Republicans controlled Congress when Young allegedly made the change to the bill.
During a CNN interview about the effect of Karl Rove's resignation, Suzanne Malveaux did not challenge Tom DeLay's claim that "[t]he president held the line on spending," despite the fact that, even though President Bush assumed office with a $125.3 billion surplus, the Bush administration has run a deficit in every fiscal year of the Bush presidency. Additionally, Malveaux did not note Rove's reported assertion that his "biggest error" of the 2006 election cycle was "not working soon enough to replace Republicans tainted by scandal," or point out that DeLay himself remained in the House for several months following his indictment on money laundering and conspiracy charges.
On Special Report, Jennifer Griffin reported that a former Pentagon chaplain had "arranged" for the nonprofit Christian Embassy to film at the Pentagon, but not that, according to the inspector general's report, he did so in part by "mischaracterizing the purpose and proponent of the video" by "impl[ying] that the video was being produced to document the Pentagon Chaplain's ministry rather than to promote a non-Federal entity," a violation of Department of Defense regulations.
In reports about former House Speaker Dennis Hastert's announcement that he will not seek re-election in 2008, The Wall Street Journal did not mention the controversy over Hastert's handling of the House page scandal, in contrast with The Washington Post and The New York Times, which did note that Hastert was involved, but glossed over pertinent details.
In a column discussing Karl Rove's resignation, Robert D. Novak asserted that "[a]lthough [special counsel Patrick] Fitzgerald knew from the start that not Rove but the politically nondescript Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage was my primary source in identifying Valerie Plame as a CIA employee, the prosecutor came close to indicting Rove for perjury or obstruction of justice." However, Rove confirmed the information Armitage divulged, as Novak himself has admitted.