A Washington Post article misrepresented polling to state that the public is "evenly split" on withdrawing from Iraq. Similarly, National Review Washington editor Kate O'Beirne falsely claimed on NBC's Meet the Press that the public does "not support leaving prematurely, and a timetable to do so."
On The Situation Room, Wolf Blitzer failed to challenge Ken Mehlman's false claim that the American public is opposed to setting a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. The two polls taken in August that asked about a timetable found that a majority of Americans support the idea.
CNN's Kitty Pilgrim uncritically repeated White House senior adviser Karl Rove's dubious claim that the Bush administration's warrantless domestic wiretapping program "might have prevented" the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. In fact, the Bush administration had information on two of the 9-11 hijackers more than a year before the attacks occurred, and according to the 9-11 Commission and congressional investigators, it was primarily bureaucratic problems -- rather than a lack of information -- that resulted in their escaping detection.
Reporting on Sen. John McCain's press release restating his "determination not to leave Iraq," CNN's Wolf Blitzer completely ignored McCain's backtracking on his earlier criticism of the Bush administration's public statements about the Iraq war.
Chris Matthews failed to challenge former RNC chairman Ed Gillespie's false suggestion that Sen. John McCain had not recently criticized "the president" for his overly optimistic rhetoric on the war in Iraq, but rather had stated that "the people thought it was going to be easier than it was." In fact, the four comments McCain specifically quoted as having "led" the American people "to believe that this [the Iraq conflict] would be some kind of a day at the beach" all came from high-ranking members of the Bush administration, including one statement from President Bush himself.
Various print and television news outlets discussing a House report of U.S. intelligence on Iran characterized the report as "bipartisan" without noting that it was primarily written by Republican staff members and came under criticism from House Democrats.
The documentary CNN Presents: In the Footsteps of Bin Laden reported that the insufficient deployment of U.S. troops to Tora Bora in 2001 allowed the Al Qaeda leader to escape, but it failed to note investigative reporter Ron Suskind's recent disclosure that President Bush ignored specific warnings from the CIA that more troops were needed.
An Associated Press article uncritically repeated Karl Rove's assertion that the Bush administration's warrantless domestic wiretapping program "might have prevented the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks," even though law enforcement officials had information on some of the 9-11 hijackers more than a year before the attacks occurred. The article also accepted Rove's characterization of the debate over the program as whether "the government should be free to listen if al-Qaida is calling someone within the U.S.," although critics of the program have not contested this point.
On Hannity & Colmes, Sean Hannity asserted that "some people are saying" that a Democratic victory in the November elections would be a "victory for the terrorists."
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On Your World, Neil Cavuto suggested that the British have "been pragmatic" in their efforts to combat terrorism and that they have enacted some counterterrorism laws that would be unconstitutional in the United States because the British "have a tradition of wanting to live."
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.