Charles W. Colson again suggested that America and "the West" were inflaming radical Islam through "our decadence," using as example an Islamic polemicist believed to have inspired Osama bin Laden.
CNN correspondent Elaine Quijano uncritically reported a dubious statement by President Bush suggesting a link between a recent terror plot in Britain and the administration's warrantless domestic surveillance program. And host Wolf Blitzer did not identify the program as warrantless, although it is the administration's failure to obtain warrants to conduct surveillance on U.S. persons that is the issue in controversy and the reason a judge struck down the program.
On Meet the Press, NBC News' David Gregory failed to rebut or question Sen. John McCain on several assertions he made on the show regarding Iraq, terrorism, and the Connecticut Senate race that were either false or open to challenge.
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Neil Cavuto introduced a Your World segment discussing media coverage of the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict by stating, "[I]s the liberal media fueling terror?" Throughout the segment, onscreen text repeated Cavuto's question.
Chris Matthews conflated Islamic terrorists with those "who may be politically on the left," and presented a false choice between "honoring civil rights" and "tap[ping]" terrorists' "phones," suggesting that "honoring civil rights" could lead to "the deaths of thousands of people." Matthews also discussed the Pennsylvania gubernatorial race, in which his brother is the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor.
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Fox News' Neil Cavuto interviewed evangelical pastor John Hagee regarding the recent United Nations-brokered cease-fire between Israel and Hezbollah, but Cavuto made no mention of the apocalyptic vision Hagee presented in his recent book, which foreshadows a nuclear showdown with Iran that "could ... be the beginning of the end." Cavuto also failed to note that Hagee has led an intense lobbying effort on Capitol Hill to present government officials with his message of Armageddon, or that Hagee's efforts have been praised by President Bush and former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.
Numerous media figures have asserted that the foiled plot to attack several U.S.-bound flights from Britain benefits President Bush and the Republican Party. But in order to make the assertion, they omit evidence that both the Bush administration and congressional Republicans have failed to sufficiently protect against such attacks.
CNN political analyst and former U.S. Rep. J.C. Watts baselessly claimed that "Republicans aren't going to allow Democrats off the hook on national security" because the American public has "the perception that Democrats don't care about national security, just like they say Republicans don't care about poor people." In fact, polls show a significant decline in the advantage Republicans held on the issue of national security and indicate that Americans now trust Democrats more than Republicans to handle the "campaign against terrorism."
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough baselessly claimed that "[s]ome Democrats" are "suggesting" that the recently foiled British terror plot "was just some ploy by the Republicans and the president and Tony Blair's government to justify their actions in the war on terror." In fact, Media Matters found no examples of Democrats questioning the veracity of the terror plot.
Since the recent U.K. terrorism arrests, numerous media outlets have suggested that the news would help increase President Bush's approval in the polls. In fact, the three major polls at least partially conducted since the arrests show little or no improvement in Bush's overall job approval rating.
In the wake of Ned Lamont's victory over Sen. Joe Lieberman and the news that British authorities had arrested several suspects in the foiled British terror plot, a number of media figures have linked the Iraq war with the effort to combat terrorism -- echoing the Republican talking point that Iraq is the "central front" in the fight against terrorism.