In his speech before the National Security Agency, President Bush repeated a debunked claim, previously reported uncritically by some in the media, that his warrantless domestic spying program could have identified some of the 9-11 hijackers. Bush's repetition of the claim gives the media another opportunity to examine it critically in their reporting.
For the third time in just over three months, Bill O'Reilly appeared on NBC's Today despite the fact that, in his previous appearance on the show, he compared those who support withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq to Hitler appeasers.
Many news outlets have uncritically repeated Gen. Michael Hayden's claim that the administration's warrantless spying program would have detected some of the 9-11 attackers.
Numerous media outlets repeated without challenge White House senior adviser Karl Rove's defense of President Bush's warrantless domestic surveillance program, in which Rove falsely claimed that "some important Democrats clearly disagree" with the proposition that "if Al Qaeda is calling somebody in America, it is in our national security interest to know who they're calling and why." In fact, no leading Democrat has said that it is not in our interest to monitor Al Qaeda's communications.
CNN correspondent Jeanne Meserve interviewed Tom Ridge, former secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), about the department's decision not to raise the national threat level following Osama bin Laden's recent warning of future attacks against the United States. However, Meserve failed to ask Ridge an obvious question about his 2005 admission that, while head of the DHS, he had regularly been pressured by the Bush administration to raise the threat level even though he did not believe that the intelligence warranted it.
Reacting to the recent designation of 'Worst Person in the World' by MSNBC host Keith Olbermann for saying that anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan is "pimping out the tragedy of her own son's death for her own agenda," Glenn Beck expounded further: "It's almost so horrible, it seems true."
On CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight, Andrew C. McCarthy, a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and a contributor to National Review, falsely suggested that FISA did not apply in wartime because due process "in wartime is not the same as" due process "the rest of the time." In direct contradiction to McCarthy's claim, FISA does, in fact, contain specific wartime provisions.
On MSNBC's Hardball, National Review White House correspondent Byron York claimed that Osama bin Laden, in a 2004 videotape, "suggested that ... if states vote against Bush, then we'll [Al Qaeda] protect you in the future." York's comment was apparently based on a translation by the Middle East Media Research Institute indicating that bin Laden threatened the individual U.S. states not to vote for President Bush, but that translation has been disputed by numerous scholars and experts.
Several media figures have used the release of Osama bin Laden's new audiotape to denounce critics of the Bush administration's conduct of the war in Iraq.
In a Wall Street Journal op-ed, Republican attorney and former Reagan Justice Department official Victoria Toensing offered a variety of falsehoods in defending the Bush administration's warrantless domestic surveillance program.
Fox News correspondent Carl Cameron said, regarding Osama bin Laden's offer of a truce in a newly released audiotape: "Even the chairman of the national Democratic Party, Howard Dean, said the U.S. should never negotiate with terrorists."
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On CNN's The Situation Room, conservative columnist Frank J. Gaffney Jr. made the dubious claim that by attempting to obtain warrants for electronic surveillance of U.S. persons, as required by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), President Bush would have "tipp[ed] off our enemies" to the fact the U.S. government was spying on them.
An article in The Washington Post played up thinly sourced, years-old allegations promoted by conservative activists, but the Post has dismissed an issue of concern to progressives.
An Associated Press article covering President Bush's January 12 visit to storm-devastated New Orleans highlighted his insistence that "stronger promised levee protection will make the city both safer and more attractive for investment." But the article made no mention of the White House's refusal to commit to a levee system designed to withstand the most severe storms, on which numerous other news outlets have reported.
In a conversation with Radio Factor host Bill O'Reilly about President Bush's secret authorization of warrantless domestic wiretapping, Fox News senior judicial analyst Andrew P. Napolitano asked: "Would you feel this way if Hillary [Clinton] were president?" Napolitano then added: "Because then you know the pro-life and the pro-gun will -- they'll be targets of warrantless searches. ... And maybe conservative commentators will be targets of warrantless searches."