On The Radio Factor and Hannity & Colmes, Dick Morris repeated the false claim that critics of the Bush administration's warrantless domestic wiretapping program, including many Democrats, oppose any wiretapping of suspected terrorists and question the legality of wiretapping in general.
McClatchy Newspapers misleadingly reported that legislation proposed by Sen. Arlen Specter is "intended to put the surveillance program under the jurisdiction of a special court established by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act [FISA]." In fact, under a deal reached between the White House and congressional Republicans on the legislation, the president has the option of asking the FISA court to review the program. CNN senior legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin claimed that the Specter bill would "be a compromise" on the domestic surveillance program; many Democrats and progressives, however, have called the Specter bill an "end run" around FISA.
Several media outlets, in their reporting on a response President Bush gave in his August 21 press conference to a question on Iraq, either excised or omitted Bush's admission that "sometimes I'm happy" when hearing about the situation there.
Bill O'Reilly baselessly claimed that the federal judge who struck down the Bush administration's warrantless domestic wiretapping program "would oppose every anti-terror measure the Bush administration has put in just because they are the Bush administration." In fact, the judge made a ruling in the administration's favor, dismissing the claim that the National Security Agency's "data-mining practices" are unconstitutional.
Various media outlets ignored President Bush's statement during an August 21 press conference that the United States will not withdraw its forces from Iraq as long as he is president. Those outlets simply reported that Bush pledged to keep U.S. forces in Iraq until "the mission is complete," and offered no indication that Bush pledged to keep troops there for the remainder of his term.
Charles W. Colson again suggested that America and "the West" were inflaming radical Islam through "our decadence," using as example an Islamic polemicist believed to have inspired Osama bin Laden.
After a federal judge recently struck down the Bush administration's warrantless domestic wiretapping program, some media figures have repeated the false Republican charge that critics of the program are opposed to wiretapping in general. In fact, critics of the program say that the Bush administration is violating the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act by conducting surveillance of U.S. citizens and legal residents without obtaining a warrant from the FISA court
CNN correspondent Elaine Quijano uncritically reported a dubious statement by President Bush suggesting a link between a recent terror plot in Britain and the administration's warrantless domestic surveillance program. And host Wolf Blitzer did not identify the program as warrantless, although it is the administration's failure to obtain warrants to conduct surveillance on U.S. persons that is the issue in controversy and the reason a judge struck down the program.
CNN's Wolf Blitzer failed to challenge Bill Bennett's assertion that the recent arrests of terrorism suspects in the United Kingdom "helps the president." In fact, national polling conducted after the alleged terror plot was exposed indicates that President Bush has received no appreciable boost in public support.
A CNN report on the search for Osama bin Laden noted that the insufficient number of U.S. forces in the mountains of Afghanistan in late 2001 allowed the Al Qaeda leader to escape capture. But the report omitted any reference to the recent revelation that the CIA specifically warned President Bush at the time that more U.S. troops were needed.
New York Times reporter Anne E. Kornblut left unchallenged Republican Sen. Norm Coleman's claim -- which is unsupported by recent polls -- that anti-Iraq war Connecticut Democratic Senate candidate Ned Lamont is "not mainstream America." Kornblut quoted only Republicans, conservatives, and representatives of Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, with no response from the Lamont campaign or Lamont supporters.
On Meet the Press, NBC News' David Gregory failed to rebut or question Sen. John McCain on several assertions he made on the show regarding Iraq, terrorism, and the Connecticut Senate race that were either false or open to challenge.
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