On Your World, Neil Cavuto responded to retired Gen. Wesley Clark's assertion that President Bush describes "anybody who disagrees with him on ... his attack on Iraq as someone who is soft on terror" by falsely claiming that Bush "is not equating Iraq [to the war on terror] in that sense." In fact, Bush recently claimed that those advocating a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops are "wrong" because it "would be a defeat for the United States in a key battleground in the global war on terror."
On MSNBC's Hardball, Norah O'Donnell left unchallenged James Gilmore's claim that "we should all agree that a precipitous withdrawal" from Iraq "would be injurious to the United States. I think most people would agree with that." In fact, recent polling indicates that a majority of Americans support a timeline for U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq.
On the August 27 Chris Matthews Show, panelists Elisabeth Bumiller, Howard Fineman, and Michael Duffy failed to note Sen. John McCain's history of conflicting statements on President Bush's Iraq policy and on Donald Rumsfeld's performance as secretary of defense.
On Hardball, O'Donnell left unchallenged the assertion by Rep. Christopher Shays that "[s]ince January ... you did not see progress" in Iraq, despite the fact that Shays has made numerous claims since January that "progress" has been made there.
Rush Limbaugh accused Democrats and the "drive-by media" of "celebrat[ing] a one-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina." He complained that the media have recently avoided coverage of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks because it "would help the Bush administration," and that this purported lack of coverage is responsible for a "split in public opinion on the war in Iraq and the war on terror."
On Special Report, Jim Angle reported that Michael Isikoff and David Corn, in their new book, "seem[ed] to clear him [former deputy State Secretary Richard Armitage] from any intentional wrongdoing." But Angle then contrasted Armitage's situation with that of Karl Rove and I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, "who only confirmed what Armitage had originally told reporters, [but] are accused of maliciously attacking [former ambassador Joe] Wilson."
On Your World, Pat Buchanan claimed that immigration is "the most important domestic issue" to Americans and "almost equals Iraq in the minds of the American people." In fact, according to the most recent polling, the most important domestic issue to Americans is the economy.
A Washington Post article misrepresented polling to state that the public is "evenly split" on withdrawing from Iraq. Similarly, National Review Washington editor Kate O'Beirne falsely claimed on NBC's Meet the Press that the public does "not support leaving prematurely, and a timetable to do so."
On The Situation Room, Wolf Blitzer failed to challenge Ken Mehlman's false claim that the American public is opposed to setting a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. The two polls taken in August that asked about a timetable found that a majority of Americans support the idea.
CNN's Kitty Pilgrim uncritically repeated White House senior adviser Karl Rove's dubious claim that the Bush administration's warrantless domestic wiretapping program "might have prevented" the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. In fact, the Bush administration had information on two of the 9-11 hijackers more than a year before the attacks occurred, and according to the 9-11 Commission and congressional investigators, it was primarily bureaucratic problems -- rather than a lack of information -- that resulted in their escaping detection.
Reporting on Sen. John McCain's press release restating his "determination not to leave Iraq," CNN's Wolf Blitzer completely ignored McCain's backtracking on his earlier criticism of the Bush administration's public statements about the Iraq war.
Chris Matthews failed to challenge former RNC chairman Ed Gillespie's false suggestion that Sen. John McCain had not recently criticized "the president" for his overly optimistic rhetoric on the war in Iraq, but rather had stated that "the people thought it was going to be easier than it was." In fact, the four comments McCain specifically quoted as having "led" the American people "to believe that this [the Iraq conflict] would be some kind of a day at the beach" all came from high-ranking members of the Bush administration, including one statement from President Bush himself.
Various print and television news outlets discussing a House report of U.S. intelligence on Iran characterized the report as "bipartisan" without noting that it was primarily written by Republican staff members and came under criticism from House Democrats.