Rush Limbaugh downplayed President Bush's low approval ratings by falsely claiming that former President Bill Clinton "was down in the 20s at one point" and suggesting that Clinton had "parallel poll results" to Bush during the equivalent point in his second term. In fact, Clinton's approval rating never dropped below 36 percent, and remained above 58 percent in the Gallup poll throughout 1998, the equivalent year in his presidency to 2006 for Bush.
On Fox News' The Journal Editorial Report, Wall Street Journal editorial board member Robert Pollock said that "at some point, we're going to have to come to a realization that negotiations" with Iran over that country's apparent nuclear programs and apparent pursuit of nuclear weapons are "not responsible" as a course of action but are, "in fact, a dereliction of the president's fundamental duty, which is to defend the American people."
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Fox News' Jim Angle uncritically reported Karl Rove's assertion that President Bush's "personal approval rating is around 60 percent." In fact, recent polling shows that Bush's favorability ratings have been in the 30s and 40s in 2006, not the 60s.
Major media outlets have largely ignored reports by The Boston Globe's Charles Savage documenting President Bush's apparent willingness to disregard congressional authority through the use of "signing statements" asserting "that he has the power to set aside any statute passed by Congress when it conflicts with his interpretation of the Constitution." The media have also ignored the response by Democrats to Savage's reports.
Chris Matthews left unchallenged Family Research Council president Tony Perkins's false suggestion that President Bush has never "led the nation in prayer." In fact, Bush has issued 17 separate proclamations for a total of 25 national days of prayer since he took office -- including one in which he led the nation in prayer after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Robert D. Novak claimed that "Bush has explained that he has not vetoed any spending bills because they [Congress] generally follow his overall limits even though individual earmarks are unacceptably high." Bush, however, has stated in unqualified language that Congress has "met those targets" he has set for spending and has declared his willingness to veto "if they overspend," despite the fact that Congress has -- on at least one occasion -- exceeded Bush's limit by billions of dollars.
On Special Report with Brit Hume, NPR's Mara Liasson, again asserted, in defiance of NPR ombudsman Jeffrey Dvorkin, that "whenever there's any kind of a contest or a contrast between the person at the podium in the White House briefing room and the press corps, the press corps generally loses. ... I think that happened in this case, too." Dvorkin has previously admonished NPR reporters for going on programs "that are looking to appear fair and balanced" and expressing their opinions rather than simply recounting what their reporting shows.
Bill O'Reilly repeatedly accused the "heavily liberal" media of "looking to undermine" the Bush administration "for their own ideological purposes." O'Reilly also declared that "with the rise of the internet" the "far left now dominates the liberal agenda. ... To these Kool-Aid drinkers, no personal attack is out of bounds, no distortion too dishonest to use. They're all about the end justifying the means."
New York Post columnist John Podhoretz described Democrats' use of the term "incompetent" to describe President Bush as "an act of political cowardice," adding, "voters can smell that kind of cowardice a mile off." But a poll by the Pew Research Center reported that "incompetent" was the most frequently cited one-word description for Bush, and that, overall, negative impressions of Bush -- measured by respondents' selection of words such as "incompetent," "idiot" or "liar" to describe Bush -- outweighed positive ones, 48 percent to 28 percent.
In discussing Sen. John McCain's endorsement of President Bush in the March 9-12 Southern Republican Leadership Conference presidential straw poll on MSNBC's Hardball, Chuck Todd, editor in chief of the National Journal's The Hotline weblog, asserted that, for McCain, "right now, rallying around the president is the maverick thing to do."
Sean Hannity "affectionately" nicknamed Colorado student Sean Allen "Sean Junior," because Hannity is "proud of what you've [Allen] done here." Allen released to the conservative media taped portions of a class lecture in which his teacher, Jay Bennish, compared the style of President Bush's January 31 State of the Union address to speeches made by Adolf Hitler.
In covering the straw poll of Republican presidential hopefuls at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference, Chris Matthews characterized Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) as a "maverick," "kind of a party renegade," and a "lone gun," despite McCain's request that conference attendees cast write-in votes in support of President Bush.
Keith Olbermann, appearing on C-SPAN, said: "There are people I know in the hierarchy of NBC, the company, and GE, the company, who do not like to see the current presidential administration criticized at all. ... There are people who I work for who would prefer, who would sleep much easier at night if this never happened. On the other hand, if they look at my ratings and my ratings are improved and there is criticism of the president of the United States, they're happy."
A Reuters article on former Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff's disclosure to Vanity Fair that he "worked closely with many top Republicans, despite their claims to the contrary" ignored Abramoff's claims, in the same magazine article, of close ties with President Bush, White House senior adviser Karl Rove, and Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).
Fox News falsely reported the White House claim that President Bush has never vetoed a bill "because Congress has always stayed below his spending limit." In fact, Bush signed the 2005 transportation bill, which cost $286.4 billion, after initially threatening to reject any bill that cost more than $256 billion.