On Hannity & Colmes, Sean Hannity joined authors Melanie Morgan and Catherine Moy in comparing Cindy Sheehan's purported interest in online pornography to sexually explicit instant messages former Rep. Mark Foley allegedly sent to underage congressional pages. Morgan asserted that "[t]here's a double standard and hypocrisy at work" in the fact that there was far greater attention and criticism focused on the Foley scandal.
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In their coverage of President Bush's signing later that morning of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, NBC News' Kelly O'Donnell reported that "there has been plenty of controversy" surrounding the bill but did not elaborate on what that controversy might be, while ABC News' Kate Snow did not mention that there is opposition to the bill, much less any of the reasons for that opposition.
NBC's Jonathan Alter falsely suggested that Republican Peter Roskam and Democrat Tammy Duckworth, candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives from Illinois' 6th District, have "a similar view of the war" in Iraq. But Chicago newspapers have reported that Duckworth, an Iraq war veteran who lost both her legs in combat, and Roskam, who recently accused Duckworth of favoring a "cut and run" strategy in Iraq, are "worlds apart" on Iraq.
In a New York Times op-ed, Jeff Stein writes that "most American officials I've interviewed," including, "not just intelligence and law enforcement officials, but also members of Congress who have important roles overseeing our spy agencies," "don't have a clue" what the differences are between Sunni and Shiite Muslims. While Stein raises an important question, a more pertinent question is: Why has this critical piece of information gone unreported in the Times' news pages?
NBC host Tim Russert suggested that both the Bush and Clinton administrations "talk[ed] tough with North Korea" but allowed its nuclear program "to go forward." But Russert ignored the fact that North Korea did not produce any plutonium, nor build or test any nuclear bombs, during Clinton's eight years in office.
Fox News host John Gibson falsely claimed that former Clinton administration National Security Adviser Sandy Berger -- in a previous interview with Gibson -- "admitted that he and his cohorts were wrong" in reaching a 1994 agreement with North Korea known as the Agreed Framework. In fact, Berger praised the Agreed Framework, noting that "[n]o plutonium was made during the Clinton administration" and that the "agreement fell apart during Bush II."
While many other media outlets carried the story, ABC's World News and USA Today made no mention of a British army commander's October 12 claim that the presence of British troops in Iraq is fueling violence, and that British military forces should be withdrawn from the country.
Wolf Blitzer failed to challenge Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's misleading statements about the Bush administration's justification for the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq -- that there were "[t]oo many unanswered questions about [Saddam Hussein's] weapons of mass destruction program," despite the Bush administration's pre-war claim that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, and that "[i]n the post-September 11 environment, [Iraq] was a threat that needed to be dealt with."
The AP's Terence Hunt and NBC News' David Gregory both reported President Bush's "veiled swipe" at the Clinton administration's North Korea policy, in which Bush said, "I appreciate the efforts of previous administrations. It just didn't work." But neither noted that, following the Clinton administration's signing of the 1994 Agreed Framework with North Korea, that country did not produce any plutonium until 2002, when the Bush administration abandoned the agreement.
ABC, NBC, and CBS reported that, during a recent press conference, President Bush stated that he is "open" to changing the administration's Iraq war policy, but did not note that, during that same press conference, Bush reiterated his claim that the United States will not "leave before the job is done."
A Wall Street Journal editorial asserted that the Army's achievement of exceeding its goal of recruiting or retaining 80,000 troops for fiscal 2006 demonstrates that "many troops believe in the mission." But the editorial omitted the fact that the Army exceeded its goal by "recruit[ing] more than 2,600 soldiers under new lower aptitude standards this year," according to an AP report.
The Washington Post, NBC, and ABC all uncritically covered Sen. John McCain's attack on the Clinton administration's North Korea policy, in which he argued that the 1994 Agreed Framework between the United States and North Korea had been a "failure." All of these outlets ignored the fact, however, that the Clinton White House successfully prevented North Korea from producing any plutonium for eight years.
At an October 11 press conference, President Bush said he "question[s]" what he claims is the Democratic "strategy that says we can't give those on the front line of fighting terrorism the tools necessary to fight terrorism." As evidence of this alleged "strategy," Bush pointed to Democratic votes against the Military Commissions Act of 2006, which addresses the interrogation and treatment of detainees and procedures for their trials, and their votes against a bill to authorize warrantless domestic wiretaps. None of the reporters present challenged Bush's attacks on those who opposed the bills or asked him to name a Democrat who opposes the authorization of "the tools necessary to fight terrorism."