The final installment of The Washington Times' months-long series of opinion pieces aimed at "counter[ing]" the "disingenuous charge" that the Bush administration manipulated intelligence in justifying the 2003 invasion of Iraq included "excerpts from two bipartisan reports" that the Times claimed "absolv[e] the president and his staff of these opportunistic accusations." But National Journal investigative reporter Murray Waas, in two recent articles, has further offered evidence that Bush and his aides did, in fact, knowingly twist and manipulate intelligence reports to build the case for war, and then covered up their actions.
Fox News' John Gibson wished Sen. Richard Durbin "good luck" in "convinc[ing] the American people" that they don't like President Bush's strategy in Iraq. But Gibson ignored numerous recent and past polling illustrating that a strong majority of Americans already believe that Bush does not have a clear plan for Iraq and disapprove of the way he is handling the situation there.
Both the AP and the Los Angeles Times reported President Bush's claim that Saddam Hussein was to blame for the sectarian violence in Iraq, but neither news outlet noted that the Bush administration bears considerable responsibility for the escalating conflict between the ethnic groups there.
The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Associated Press, and Knight Ridder uncritically reported Republican criticism of the Democratic national security proposal, including a claim by Vice President Dick Cheney that the proposal was "totally inconsistent" with the Democrats' past behavior.
Chris Matthews declared that he found the recently released Democratic national security proposal "almost funny," because it is "a little late." Matthews also suggested that the proposal is evidence of the Democrats "pretending they're G.I. Joe all of a sudden," and that it might be "phony."
The New York Times published no reports in its March 30 edition about a national security platform that Democratic leaders released on March 29, despite reporting Republican attacks on the platform the day before.
Mark Hyman's five-part series on Hurricane Katrina and New Orleans used an incomplete and distorted narrative of events prior to Hurricane Katrina's August 29, 2005, landfall in order to shift responsibility for the Katrina fiasco away from the Bush administration and onto New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin (D) and Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco (D).
Over the past year, CNN hosts, anchors, and reporters have repeatedly commented on the Democratic Party's purported lack of a clear plan or concrete set of alternatives on issues ranging from Social Security to the war in Iraq. When a large coalition of Democrats stood together on March 29 to unveil a unified national security platform, CNN largely ignored the news.
In a column that referred to the contents of a recently disclosed memorandum about a meeting between President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair six weeks before the invasion of Iraq, Richard Cohen wrote that "nothing so far proved that Bush knew he was making a false case" on Iraq's purported weapons of mass destruction. But despite Cohen's description of Bush as "determined to make war almost no matter what," Cohen overlooked a different "false case" made by Bush: The memo indicates that all of Bush's statements suggesting that every effort was being made to avoid war with Iraq were apparently false.
A New York Times article about congressional Democrats' newly released national security agenda reported that "[m]ost of the proposals are not new," and included a response from Republican Sen. Christopher "Kit" Bond, who was quoted as saying: "It's taken them all this time to figure out what we've been doing for a long time." The article made no mention that congressional Republicans -- including Bond -- have blocked the Democrats' "not new" security proposals for years.
In his March 27 column, Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz asked, "Have the media declared war on the war [in Iraq]?" -- apparently ignoring the response CBS News' Lara Logan gave to a similar question he asked on the March 26 edition of his CNN program, Reliable Sources. In a detailed response, Logan flatly rebutted accusations repeated by Kurtz that the media have overemphasized the violence in Iraq.
A New York Post editorial and Fox News host John Gibson both claimed that documents recovered from Iraq -- recently released by the Bush administration and summarized by ABC News -- prove that the administration correctly asserted in its buildup to the Iraq war that Saddam Hussein was working with Al Qaeda. In fact, as ABC pointed out, the documents that both the Post and Gibson cited are not definitive in any way and are of varying credibility.
NBC Today co-host Matt Lauer failed to challenge Republican strategist Mary Matalin's assertion that "[w]e have taken out the Al Qaeda network. We've decimated it." Matalin's claim was misleading at best; in fact, news reports indicate that the Al Qaeda network has continued to operate.
Since a March 27 New York Times article confirmed that a leaked British memo appears to contradict President Bush's repeated claim prior to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq that he wanted to avoid war, media have failed to note the full significance of the document and in some cases ignored the story altogether.
On Good Morning America, correspondent Dan Harris reported that "[t]he latest national poll says 31 percent of Americans believe the media make things in Iraq sound worse than they are." But Harris failed to inform viewers that in the same poll he cited, a majority of Americans -- 59 percent -- said that the media describe "things in Iraq" either "accurately" or "better than they are."