On The Beltway Boys, Fred Barnes baselessly asserted that recent violence in the Middle East is the result in part of the voters' "repudiat[ion]" of President Bush in the midterm elections. Later Barnes asserted that "five, 10 years ago," Americans "didn't see dead bodies all over the front page of newspapers, whether it's an accident or an explosion or Iraq or something." By contrast, CNN's John Roberts stated that "the pictures on television are sanitized compared to" the events occurring "on the ground."
An Associated Press article asserted that the incoming Democratic Congress will face an uphill battle in its drive to implement all of the 9-11 Commission's recommendations because "[m]uch of what the commission proposed has been accomplished" and "there are no still-lingering proposals that can easily be enacted into law." But there are several "still-lingering" recommendations that members of the commission -- none of whom were quoted in the article -- say could be implemented by the Democratic Congress.
In a CNN report, Brian Todd stated that "after years of accusing the White House of taking its eye off the ball in Afghanistan, the Democrats are starting to feel some of the pressure that goes with hunting the world's most wanted man." In mentioning only Democrats' accusations and, without elaboration, the fact that Osama bin Laden has eluded capture, Todd left out the reported facts that give substance to those accusations.
Fox News' Steve Harrigan underwent what he described as three "phase[s]" of the controversial interrogation technique known as "waterboarding," on camera, concluding that the technique is "a pretty efficient mechanism to get someone to talk and then still have them alive and healthy within minutes." Psychologists have asserted that "such forms of near-asphyxiation" can lead to long-term psychological damage.
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Numerous news outlets -- including the Los Angeles Times, ABC, CNN, and CNBC -- uncritically reported President Bush's false claim that Democrats oppose "listening to," "detaining," "questioning," and "trying the terrorists." In fact, Democrats have repeatedly acknowledged the need to eavesdrop on, detain, question, and try terrorists, while objecting to specific Bush administration antiterrorism policies that they consider to be violations of current U.S. or international law, or unwarranted expansions of presidential powers.
In a segment on whether Osama bin Laden will release a propaganda tape prior to the midterm elections -- as he did two years ago -- NBC's Lisa Myers omitted any discussion of bin Laden's motivations in releasing the 2004 message, which the CIA reportedly determined to be an effort to assist in the re-election of President Bush.
On Fox News Sunday, Michael Barone falsely claimed that Democrats would prefer to "hang up the phone and go to court," rather than "listening to what ... terrorists are plotting." In fact, Democrats -- and numerous Republicans and conservatives -- have said nothing of the sort, pointing to a provision in the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which the Bush administration has apparently violated, that allows the government to undertake surveillance in emergency situations for up to 72 hours before obtaining a warrant.
ABC's Robin Roberts and George Stephanopoulos juxtaposed actor Michael J. Fox's recent campaign advertisement for Missouri Democratic Senate candidate Claire McCaskill with the Republican National Committee's (RNC) new advertisement featuring clips of Osama bin Laden and other terrorists making threats against the United States. Roberts claimed Fox's ad is "raising a lot of eyebrows," but she did not note that Fox, who has Parkinson's disease, has endorsed McCaskill because she supports embryonic stem cell research. Introducing the RNC ad, Stephanopoulos asserted that Republicans have a "big card" to play on "terrorism," but recent polling is mixed on whether the public trusts Democrats or Republicans more on dealing with terrorism.