In his latest column, Bob Novak purported to discuss his role in the federal investigation into the disclosure of former CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity, but instead of providing the answer to perhaps the most enduring mystery in this case -- the identity of his original source -- he repeated a number of false and contradictory statements regarding the investigation and the manner in which he learned of Plame's identity.
Chris Matthews, Fred Barnes, and The New York Times uncritically repeated Bob Novak's claim that the Bush administration official who originally disclosed former CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity to Novak did so inadvertently. In fact, Novak has been inconsistent on the question of the motivations of his sources, and administration officials had reportedly disclosed Plame's CIA employment to other reporters even before Novak received the information from his primary source, suggesting not inadvertent disclosures but, rather, a concerted effort to get the information out.
On Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, Republican strategist Mary Matalin falsely claimed that special counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald said "that no crime was committed" in the alleged leak of former CIA agent Valerie Plame's identity and that former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV was "flat-out lying" in his 2003 New York Times op-ed.
On Special Report, Fred Barnes claimed that the so-called "Bush doctrine" of U.S. foreign policy did not include the use of unilateral military action, saying that it had "never been a policy of the president." In fact, the Bush administration's 2002 National Security Strategy explicitly stated, "[W]e will not hesitate to act alone, if necessary, to exercise our right of self-defense by acting preemptively."
In a report aired on Fox News' The Big Story with John Gibson and Special Report with Brit Hume, Reena Ninan advanced the discredited claim that "45,000 boxes of Arabic-language Iraqi documents captured by American troops" have revealed a connection between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda. According to a New York Times report, senior intelligence officials have dismissed the suggestion that the documents provide evidence of a Saddam-Al Qaeda link.
On Fox News' The Big Story, Army spokesman Lt. Col. Bryan Hilferty touted recent reports that the Army is meeting its recruiting goals. Host John Gibson suggested that the new figures counter the perception that "America doesn't want to have anything to do with the war" in Iraq, ignoring a variety of other factors that might be influencing the Army's recruiting performance.
Continuing a pattern of attacks on the United Nations by Fox News, Big Story Weekend guest host Julie Banderas asked: "[W]hen it comes to issues like North Korea and Iran, our supposed allies Russia and China always seem to be all talk, so why bother having a U.N. at all?" During the segment, on-screen text read: "What's the point of the U.N. if allies are all talk?"
Loading the player leg...
On Fox News' Your World with Neil Cavuto, Jonathan Hoenig, managing member of Capitalistpig Asset Management LLC, asserted that a pre-emptive attack on North Korea would cause "the market" to rise. "I would love to see us launch a pre-emptive attack on North Korea," Hoenig stated.
Loading the player leg...
Many of the same media conservatives who continually attacked The New York Times for publishing details of the Treasury Department's bank-tracking program have remained silent about the New York Daily News' decision to report that FBI officials thwarted an alleged terrorist plot in New York City, despite apparent objections from intelligence and law enforcement officials that the disclosure impeded further arrests.
On Fox News, NPR correspondent Mara Liasson said the Democratic Party is "divided" and has "no position" on whether to withdraw U.S. forces from Iraq, apparently basing her conclusion on the opposition of most Democratic senators to an amendment setting a date for withdrawal. But a strong majority of Senate Democrats voted for a separate amendment calling for a phased redeployment of U.S. forces from Iraq beginning sometime this year.
An article in Time magazine reported that "a strategic makeover" of the Bush administration's foreign policy "is evident in the ascendancy of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice," and that "Rice is a foreign policy realist, less inclined to the moralizing approach of the neoconservatives who dominated Bush's War Cabinet in the first term." But the suggestion that the administration is moving away from the so-called "Bush doctrine" and toward Rice's "realist" approach ignores Rice's central role in promoting the "Bush doctrine" and in particular her role in selling the Iraq war to the American people.
Continuing a pattern in the media of uncritically repeating Republican attacks on Democrats over the Iraq war and national security and simply adopting GOP talking points characterizing the actions of Democrats, Fox News' Carl Cameron asserted that being "the anti-war party" puts Democrats in "a very tenuous position" and leaves the party open to "Republican criticism that they're a bunch of cut-and-runners."
Keith Olbermann granted Sean Hannity second runner-up of his nightly "Worst Person" award for complaining that the media and the Bush administration were not "paying attention to what was the biggest story in the lead-up to the [Iraq] war": the discredited claim by Sen. Rick Santorum and House Intelligence Committee chairman Peter Hoekstra that a recently declassified intelligence report found that there were "weapons of mass destruction" in Iraq prior to the March 2003 U.S.-led invasion.
Loading the player leg...
Following President Bush's claim on Larry King Live that the United States had a functional missile defense system, numerous media outlets reported his statement without challenge. By contrast, a report on NPR's Morning Edition noted that the missile defense system "has been plagued with technical problems" and has never been thoroughly tested, citing Government Accountability Office reports that indicate the system has no proven ability to shoot down a hostile missile.
Sean Hannity criticized both the media and the Bush administration for not "paying attention to what was the biggest story in the lead-up to the [Iraq] war": the discredited June 21 claim by Sen. Rick Santorum and House Intelligence Committee chairman Peter Hoekstra that a recently declassified intelligence report found that there were "weapons of mass destruction" in Iraq prior to the March 2003 U.S.-led invasion. But intelligence officials, military officials, and the Bush administration have all confirmed that the pre-1991 shells were not the WMDs that the Bush administration cited in its argument for war.