A Philadelphia Inquirer article characterized an admitted affair between Rep. Don Sherwood and a "woman in her 20s" as "Clintonian," even though the affair was reportedly exposed as a result of allegations that Sherwood had "repeatedly chok[ed]" and "attempt[ed] to strangle" his former mistress. An item in ABC News' political newsletter, The Note, and a report on Fox News Sunday by Mara Liasson ignored the abuse allegations altogether.
Tim Russert and George Stephanopoulos advanced the baseless claim that Democrats are behind the scandal involving former Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL), asking their Democratic guests to respond to the accusations despite ample evidence that they are false.
Following House Speaker Dennis Hastert's press conference, numerous media outlets trumpeted the news that Hastert took "responsibility" for the Mark Foley scandal but ignored his later statement, during that same press conference, that "I haven't done anything wrong."
In reporting on House ethics committee chairman Doc Hastings's announcement that the committee would investigate the scandal surrounding Rep. Mark Foley, numerous media outlets ignored questions regarding Hastings's appointment as chairman in February 2005 and his conduct since taking over the post.
On Good Morning America, Christopher Cuomo did not challenge Tony Snow's claim that Bob Woodward did not rely on "key players" in the Bush administration for his new book, State of Denial. In fact, Woodward reportedly interviewed Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and Andrew Card, among others.
The Note, ABC News' political newsletter, reported that Speaker of the House J. Dennis Hastert would meet with Rep. John Shimkus, chairman of the House Page Board, and his staff to "review ways to protect pages while they are serving in the nation's Capitol" in the wake of the revelations of former Rep. Mark Foley's allegedly inappropriate email communications with a congressional page, but it did not note the absence of Democrats in Hastert's plans.
On September 28, ABC, CBS, and CNN all aired President Bush's attack on Democrats as "the party of cut and run" but did not include a Democratic response, in contrast to NBC.
Evening newscasts on ABC and NBC uncritically aired President Bush's nonsensical non-responses to questions about declassified portions of a National Intelligence Estimate; NBC and CBS presented misleading reports on the NIE's conclusions, both asserting that the declassified portion of the report at least in part backs up Bush.
In their coverage of the Clinton-Wallace interview, the media largely ignored the substance of former President Clinton's criticism of the Bush administration's efforts to combat terrorism, instead focusing on Clinton's behavior during the interview or the possibility that his reaction was motivated by politics.
ABC's Diane Sawyer let Bill O'Reilly misleadingly defend President Bush's efforts to pursue Osama bin Laden and to put forward without challenge the dubious claim that the so-called "traditionalist" cause O'Reilly champions in his book is "not a religious movement." Sawyer also failed to challenge O'Reilly on the numerous falsehoods, distortions, and misrepresentations in his new book.
A Media Matters review of major media outlets found that only The Washington Post highlighted the major differences between remarks by Republican Sens. John McCain and Bill Frist on separate Sunday morning news shows on August 24. While McCain stated that "waterboarding and other extreme measures such as extreme deprivation -- sleep deprivation, hypothermia, and others" could be illegal under new rules for U.S. interrogations of terrorism suspects, Frist asserted that "no responsible person" is going to "comment on individual techniques" that would or would not be permitted under the new law, because doing so "helps the terrorists."
ABC's World News Sunday reported Rev. Jerry Falwell's September 22 attack comparing Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton to "Lucifer" and quoted Tony Perkins attacking Democrats who discuss their faith. ABC did not, however, include Clinton's response to Falwell's comments, nor did the network note that for all of Perkins's talk of a "disconnect" between Democratic faith and policy, some religious groups have identified what they say are inconsistencies between Christian tenets and GOP policies as well.
In separate interviews with Condoleezza Rice, Matt Lauer and Robin Roberts failed to question Rice about President Bush's contradictory statements on the search for Osama bin Laden, as well as a recent report that the administration hired individuals to rebuild Iraq based on their "loyalty to the Bush administration."
A Media Matters for America review of cable and broadcast networks and major newspapers showed no coverage of a September 17 front-page Washington Post report by Rajiv Chandrasekaran detailing the process by which many individuals who "lacked vital skills and experience" were assigned to positions in the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq based on their "loyalty to the Bush administration."
In their reporting on incumbent Sen. Lincoln Chafee's (R-RI) win in the September 12 Republican primary, ABC, CBS, and Fox News reported Chafee's win as making the state more challenging for Democrats to win the seat, while failing to note that Chafee's victory by no means assures his re-election and that Chafee's Democratic challenger got more votes in the primary than Chafee and his Republican primary challenger combined.