MSNBC host Joe Scarborough misleadingly described the results of a USA Today/Gallup poll, declaring four times that the poll showed that "69 percent of Americans now believe America can win the war in Iraq." But included in the 69 percent that Scarborough cited were 21 percent of respondents who believed that the United States "can win the war in Iraq" but "don't think it will win."
On NBC's Today, White House correspondent Kelly O'Donnell uncritically reported President Bush's statement that progress in Iraq can be measured "in megawatts of electricity delivered" and "in terms of oil sold on the market on behalf of the Iraqi people." O'Donnell failed to note that most of the country has electricity for less than half the day and that oil output has remained below prewar levels since the U.S.-led invasion.
Fox News host Alan Colmes noted that the Bush administration failed to eliminate former Al Qaeda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi before the start of the Iraq war, despite having had at least three opportunities to do so. Media Matters previously documented that coverage of al-Zarqawi's June 8 death on major cable channels and the broadcast networks neglected to mention reports from 2004 that Zaraqwi could have been eliminated much earlier.
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Broadcast networks covering the news that special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald reportedly told White House senior adviser Karl Rove that he does not anticipate charging Rove in connection with the CIA leak investigation left out key information concerning Rove's conduct and the false and misleading information put out by the White House concerning the matter. Rove's history of falsely claiming that he was not involved in disclosing CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity was ignored or downplayed, as was the White House's false denials of Rove's role.
During his interview with Bill O'Reilly, NBC Today host Matt Lauer joined O'Reilly in serving up conservative misinformation to Today viewers. In questions he posed to O'Reilly, Lauer suggested that Democrats would play a "dangerous" "troop withdrawal game" in Iraq, and that if detainees were released from the U.S. prison facility at GuantÃ¡namo Bay and went on to commit terrorist acts, "we've got an international Willie Horton on our hands."
Commenting on President Bush's recent trip to Baghdad, Neil Cavuto claimed that Bush "apparently didn't listen" to advisers who told him it was "not a good idea" to go to Baghdad, concluding that Bush's surprise trip may "say as much about the man as the mission he holds dear" and that "maybe, just maybe, the value of the mission is bigger than the man who leads it -- or heads into it."
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In a weblog post, ABC News' Jake Tapper again misstated pledges by President Bush and his aides to fire anyone who disclosed the identity of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame. Tapper's post included a thinly veiled -- and false -- attack on Media Matters for America.
Following reports that special counsel Patrick Fitzgerald has told White House senior adviser Karl Rove that he does not anticipate charging Rove in connection with the CIA leak investigation, Media Matters for America has compiled a list of questions previously asked about Karl Rove by the media, which the White House has to date refused to answer, citing the ongoing nature of the investigation. Now that the special counsel has apparently made a decision with respect to Rove, the White House's stock response would presumably no longer apply.
On his nationally syndicated radio show, Fox News host Sean Hannity -- after reading the headline of a story on ABC News' website about the death of terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi that asked "Al-Zarqawi Killing, More Harm Than Good?" -- commented that "if Adolf Hitler was dead," ABC News would write the headline: "Adolf Hitler Dead, More Harm Than Good?" Hannity also proclaimed that CNN is Osama bin Laden's "favorite channel."
On The Chris Matthews Show, Newsweek chief political correspondent Howard Fineman said he doesn't see "a serious answer from the Democrats of how to better make us safe in the world from terrorism," while Bloomberg reporter Janine Zacharia added that "[t]he Democrats have no alternative." In fact, the Democrats have released a comprehensive security plan.
On Fox News' The Big Story, John Gibson falsely claimed that former Al Qaeda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who was recently killed in Iraq by American forces, "attacked" and "blew up" the USS Cole in October 2000. In fact, according to the 9-11 Commission report, the attack on the Cole was an Al Qaeda operation that was "supervised and directed" by Osama bin Laden.
On his nationally syndicated radio program, Michael Savage reacted to a San Francisco Chronicle article bearing the headline "How Aide's Betrayal Doomed al-Zarqawi" by saying the article is evidence that recently slain Al Qaeda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi is "sort of a Jesus figure now to the liberals." Savage continued, saying that liberals "could turn him [Zarqawi] into a hero" even though Zarqawi "was an altogether piece of human offal, you know. He was like a [Rep. John P.] Murtha -- he was like a human Murtha."
The Washington Post again identified Rep. John P. Murtha as "pro-military," just as it repeatedly did following his call in November 2005 for the redeployment of U.S. troops out of Iraq. In doing so, the Post suggests that other Democrats are not "pro-military" and that Murtha's views on troop withdrawal are inconsistent with his "pro-military" reputation and record in Congress.