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.
On the heels of several conservative media outlets cropping a quote from Rep. John Dingell to suggest that he had refused to condemn Hezbollah's actions in the ongoing conflict with Israel, Newt Gingrich announced on Fox News Sunday that Dingell had said "there's no moral difference" between Hezbollah and Israel.
Days after crediting former President Ronald Reagan for achieving "an amazing, historic pause in Muslim extremists' relentless war on America," Ann Coulter suggested that the Reagan administration's decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Beirut, Lebanon, in 1984, helped bring about the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Interviewing New York political candidates on Hardball, Chris Matthews claimed that "[w]e know" President Clinton "didn't stop" the September 11, 2001, terror attacks on the World Trade Center.
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On Imus in the Morning, Richard "Bo" Dietl decried the "influxitation [sic] of the Muslim Empire that's taking over Europe," suggested the United States should "make a parking lot out of Damascus," and claimed that "every Muslim family is told to have six to eight children." Dietl added that Muslim fanatics are willing to "let two of them go get blown up because you always got six more."
Julie Banderas rhetorically asked viewers to "guess which television" outlet Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah had recently appeared on, and then stated: "No, not The New York Times, but Al Jazeera television, broadcasting this terrorist on TV."
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Rush Limbaugh deceptively cropped a series of news reports on the recent violence in the Middle East to falsely suggest the reports didn't identify Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. In fact, each of the news reports Limbaugh cited mentioned that Hezbollah is an organization devoted to destroying the state of Israel and either called it a terrorist organization or noted that the United States and Israel describe the group as such.
Chris Matthews continued his practice of praising former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani as a strong potential presidential candidate in 2008, comparing him to President John F. Kennedy. And when NBC News chief foreign correspondent Andrea Mitchell attempted to bring up criticism Giuliani received for pushing President Bush to nominate former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik to the post of Homeland Security secretary, Matthews interrupted her and changed the subject.
In an article on President Bush's threat to veto legislation expanding federal funding for stem cell research, Time magazine reported that "you could argue" that Bush "has made a career of ... holding fast to positions that many voters reject, as a sign of strength in these dangerous times." In fact, as Media Matters for America and many others have pointed out, Bush has a long history of reversing course on issues, particularly when it is politically expedient or necessary to do so.