Bill O'Reilly argued that a New York Times article -- which disclosed that Iraqi military leaders had assumed Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction -- vindicated President Bush. He declared that "those people who accused President Bush of lying about WMDs owe him an apology" and proceeded to present a "liar list" that included numerous Democratic and progressive critics of the war. In fact, the Times revelation does nothing to undermine these critics' argument -- that Bush downplayed or outright ignored the intelligence community's doubts about Iraq's weapon capability in presenting the case for war.
On the March 14 edition of his nationally syndicated show, Rush Limbaugh said, "What do you think this is doing for the morale of these insurgents who are probably in their last gasp over there or close to it?" and "How many Iraqi women and children have been killed by insurgents who have been emboldened by the American left?"
On Hannity & Colmes, co-host Sean Hannity selectively quoted from a speech that Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) gave before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq to falsely characterize Feingold as a "flip-flopper" on the decision to authorize the Bush administration to use force to remove Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. In fact, Feingold's comments, made days before he voted against the October 11 war resolution, contained a multi-faceted argument against the resolution.
On Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume, Roll Call executive editor Mort Kondracke falsely claimed that "depending on who you listen to," it will take Iran "between six months and two years" to produce "the material that they need for a nuclear weapon." In fact, many estimates -- including those within the U.S. Intelligence Community -- suggest that it could take Iran significantly longer to develop a nuclear weapon.
On the Christian Broadcasting Network's (CBN) The 700 Club, news anchor Lee Webb and host Pat Robertson asserted that recent public opinion polls indicating that the majority of Americans believe that Iraq is "heading for civil war" show that Americans "don't have a clue." In fact, American public opinion is in line with numerous military and Middle East experts who agree that Iraq is either in a civil war or on the brink of one.
On Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, Ann Coulter suggested that the United States should invade Iran and China.
In covering President's Bush's March 13 speech, the media reported that Bush effectively laid out a timetable for U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq by setting a "goal of having the Iraqis control more territory than the coalition by the end of 2006" but completely ignored the numerous statements Bush and other administration officials have made denouncing timetables for withdrawal, and attacking those who propose them.
National Public Radio (NPR), the Associated Press, and ABC reported uncritically on the purported improvement of Iraqi forces, as touted by President Bush in a speech. But these outlets failed to note that the number of Iraqi battalions capable of operating independently has dropped from three in June 2005 to none eight months later. Moreover, contrary to NPR's assertion, Bush ignored this statistic in his speech and instead focused on other, more favorable indicators of improved troop readiness.
Rush Limbaugh falsely suggested that The Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times changed their positions on the Dubai Ports World deal in order to criticize Bush. In fact, both papers had previously editorialized in favor of the deal.
Fox News political analyst Dick Morris claimed that there is no civil war coming to Iraq because "when Iraqi politicians negotiate over the coalition of their cabinet, they bomb each other's mosques."
James Taranto once again misrepresented Media Matters for America's position, this time in response to an item noting his false characterization of Media Matters' coverage of Rep. John Murtha's call for the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq.
A Washington Post article on the "partisan infighting" on the Senate Intelligence Committee failed to report that, in response to calls for an investigation into President Bush's warrantless domestic surveillance program, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's (R-TN) threatened to restructure the committee "so that it is organized and operated like most Senate committees." The Senate Intelligence Committee's rules currently grant the minority party more power than on other Senate committees.
In an appearance on NBC's Meet the Press, Sen. Joseph R Biden Jr. (D-DE) challenged host Tim Russert's previous suggestion that Democratic lawmakers seized on the recent ports controversy in order to build their national security credentials. Biden pointed out that since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Democratic lawmakers have repeatedly put forth proposals to bolster port security nationwide -- proposals that have consistently been met with stiff Republican resistance.
Fox News host John Gibson praised the announcement by Dubai Ports World (DPW) that it would divest itself of leases it holds for terminals at six U.S. ports. Gibson also praised President Bush, stating: "[H]ats off to President Bush for not getting too stubborn over this deal."
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On Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume, New York Post columnist Ralph Peters repeated the claim -- previously advanced by Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Peter Pace -- that during the recent sectarian violence in Iraq, the "Iraqi army was able to put over 100,000 troops in the street, and they calmed the situation." But news reports contradict Pace's and Peters's claims.