MSNBC's Tucker, Fox's Special Report misidentified Lieberman as a "Democrat"

››› ››› MATTHEW BIEDLINGMAIER

While reporting on Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman's (CT) suggestion that the United States should be "prepared to take aggressive military action against the Iranians," MSNBC's Tucker and Fox News' Special Report misidentified Lieberman as a Democrat. On the June 11 edition of Tucker, host Tucker Carlson referred to Lieberman as "a leading Democrat." On the same day's edition of Special Report, Fox News Washington correspondent James Rosen called Lieberman "a prominent Senate Democrat." As Media Matters for America has repeatedly noted, on January 12, Congressional Quarterly reported that "Lieberman has asked to be called an Independent Democrat," adding, "[I]f the compound modifier that the senator prefers was not going to take hold, then Lieberman's second choice is to be described as an Independent" rather than being described as a "Democrat."

As Media Matters documented, Fox News' America's Newsroom, CBSNews.com, and the Financial Times also misidentified Lieberman as a Democrat while reporting on his Iran comments.

On Tucker, Carlson played a portion of Lieberman's June 10 interview on CBS' Face the Nation, then said to MSNBC political analyst Hilary Rosen: "Here you have a leading Democrat, Joe Lieberman, coming on and just saying, 'Time to go to war with Iran.' "

From the June 11 edition of MSNBC's Tucker:

CARLSON: Among the great perils of the Iraq invasion is that it would lead to a much-dreaded, wider regional conflict and the possibility -- and, of course, that's too scary for most people even to think about, but not Joe Lieberman. He's thought a lot about it. And you just heard him assert that the proxy war against Iran currently being fought within Iraq should give way to the real thing. Should America attack Iran for aiding and abetting our enemies in Iraq? And would that solve the problem of Iranian nuclear weapons? Here again with their analyses, we welcome MSNBC political analyst Hilary Rosen and Pat Buchanan.

Hilary, we checked right before air time, I don't think there's a single Democratic -- leading Democratic presidential candidate -- who's ruled out force against Iraq -- Iran. Here you have a leading Democrat, Joe Lieberman, coming on and just saying, "Time to go to war with Iran." Is this --

ROSEN: And by the way, you haven't had a Republican presidential candidate say we should go to war with Iran, either. I mean --

CARLSON: No, actually the Democrats haven't ruled it out. For all the talk about how war is bad and the war in Iraq is terrible, you haven't had anybody stand up. You haven't had Hillary --

ROSEN: Well, no one running for president is going to ever rule out war anywhere, because they --

CARLSON: Well, what do you make of this? Do you -- I mean, do you think Lieberman's got a good point?

ROSEN: I think for a deeply religious man, he's turning into a warmonger. I mean, it's just scary.

Similarly, on Special Report, James Rosen prefaced the video of Lieberman's June 11 appearance on Fox News' Your World by referring to Lieberman as a "a prominent Senate Democrat," adding that, on the show, Lieberman "urged the Bush administration to launch a cross-border military operation to stop Iran from arming terrorists and insurgents in Iraq."

From the June 11 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume:

HUME: There was word today that Iran may soon release an Iranian-American scholar who has been in prison since early May, but across several other fronts, policies and actions of the Iranian regime continue to trouble the U.S. and its allies. Correspondent James Rosen has that story.

[begin video clip]

ROSEN: Before dawn on Monday, the Israeli spy satellite Ofeq-7 climbed the heavens on its way into orbit from where, defense ministry officials said, it will gather intelligence on Iran and its nuclear program. The launch of Ofeq-7 marked another escalation in the standoff between Iran and the West.

[...]

ROSEN: While Iran's president welcomed another veteran bedeviler of Washington, leftist Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, a prominent Senate Democrat appearing on Your World with Neil Cavuto urged the Bush administration to launch a cross-border military operation to stop Iran from arming terrorists and insurgents in Iraq.

LIEBERMAN: There's a particular base, at least one in Iran near the Iraqi border, where these terrorists are being trained to go back in and kill American soldiers. They ought not to feel that they have safe haven there.

Further, during Rosen's report, Special Report aired Lieberman's Your World quote accompanied by on-screen text labeling him a Democrat:

During Lieberman's actual June 11 Your World appearance, he was correctly identified as an Independent Democrat:

Posted In
Government
Network/Outlet
Fox News Channel, MSNBC
Person
Tucker Carlson, James Rosen
Show/Publication
Special Report with Brit Hume, Tucker
Stories/Interests
2006 Elections
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