A New York Times article about congressional Democrats' newly released national security agenda reported that "[m]ost of the proposals are not new," and included a response from Republican Sen. Christopher "Kit" Bond, who was quoted as saying: "It's taken them all this time to figure out what we've been doing for a long time." The article made no mention that congressional Republicans -- including Bond -- have blocked the Democrats' "not new" security proposals for years.
A New York Post editorial and Fox News host John Gibson both claimed that documents recovered from Iraq -- recently released by the Bush administration and summarized by ABC News -- prove that the administration correctly asserted in its buildup to the Iraq war that Saddam Hussein was working with Al Qaeda. In fact, as ABC pointed out, the documents that both the Post and Gibson cited are not definitive in any way and are of varying credibility.
NBC Today co-host Matt Lauer failed to challenge Republican strategist Mary Matalin's assertion that "[w]e have taken out the Al Qaeda network. We've decimated it." Matalin's claim was misleading at best; in fact, news reports indicate that the Al Qaeda network has continued to operate.
Fox News chief White House correspondent Carl Cameron repeated President Bush's claim that Iran has helped Iraqi insurgents build deadlier improvised explosive devices (IEDs), but omitted the fact that Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that there's no proof to back up such a claim.
During an interview with Vice President Dick Cheney on CBS' Face the Nation, Bob Schieffer failed to challenge assertions Cheney made regarding the war in Iraq, the Bush administration's warrantless domestic surveillance program, and recent low polling numbers.
During its initial coverage of Operation Swarmer -- a joint U.S.-Iraqi military operation that began March 16 -- Fox News aired video footage of the wreckage of the World Trade Center following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
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.
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."
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.
Following Dubai Ports World's announcement that it would divest its leases to terminals at six U.S. ports, news outlets and media figures depicted Republicans as having neutralized the issue of port security. In other cases, they portrayed the Democratic opposition to the state-owned Arab firm's acquisition of the ports as purely political. But such characterizations take a narrow view of the political issues involved in the controversy, entirely ignoring differences between the two parties' broader records on this issue.
A Washington Post editorial adopted the Bush administration's false suggestion that there is no difference between Dubai Ports World (DPW) and Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Co. (P&O). The Post, like the Bush administration, suggested that criticism of the ports deal was based on DPW's Arab ownership and was therefore discriminatory. In fact, there is a key difference as a matter of law between DPW and P&O: DPW is a state-owned company, whereas P&O was not, prior to its acquisition by DPW.
A March 6 Associated Press article misstated what Rep. Duncan Hunter outlined as the scope of his proposal to ban foreign companies from owning or operating any U.S. installations deemed critical to national security. According to the article, on the March 5 broadcast of ABC's This Week, Hunter said his proposal would "require foreign governments to divest of critical U.S. installations." In fact, Hunter stated that his legislation would require that all "critical infrastructure[s]" in the United States "be operated by Americans and ... be owned by Americans," meaning that the ban would apply to all foreign companies, not only those owned or controlled by foreign governments.
Michael Barone claimed that the Senate Intelligence Committee's 2004 report on prewar intelligence assessments of Iraq showed "that the CIA did obtain evidence of an al-Qaida-Saddam relationship from foreign intelligence and open sources." In fact, the report was critical of the U.S. intelligence community for using foreign sources too heavily, and it concluded that the CIA "reasonably assessed" that contacts between Saddam and Al Qaeda "did not add up to an established formal relationship."
In his column about the Dubai Ports World deal, in which the company is set to assume control of six major U.S. ports, Richard Cohen quoted President Bush making the false characterization of opposition to the deal: "[I]t's OK for a British company to manage some ports, but not OK for a company from a country that is a valuable ally in the war on terror." By quoting Bush without challenge, Cohen adopted the false premise at its heart: that the only difference between the British company and DPW is country of origin. In fact, DPW is owned by the government of Dubai, while the previous owner is not government-owned, a critical distinction as a matter of law.
In reporting on the United Arab Emirates (UAE) ports controversy, NBC's Brian Williams failed to inform viewers that Dubai Ports World is owned by the government of Dubai, a member of the UAE. NBC's David Gregory later indicated that the company is state-owned but entirely ignored the significance of this. In doing so, they obscured the source of the controversy surrounding the Bush administration's approval of a deal to grant the company control of six U.S. ports.