Given that conservatives such as Rich Lowry and Tony Blankley have challenged Laura Bush's assertion that the media have failed to cover "a lot of good things that are happening" in Iraq, will the media similarly take on the first lady's baseless -- and at times outright false -- attacks on the media?
Diane Sawyer and Robin Roberts hosted Glenn Beck for the second time in a month to discuss issues related to religion, despite his numerous controversial remarks about Islam.
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Discussing Sen. Gordon Smith's December 7 Senate floor statement denouncing the war in Iraq, neither ABC's George Stephanopoulos nor CNN's Wolf Blitzer challenged Smith on the timing of his statement, when it had become clear long before that no weapons of mass destruction would be found in Iraq and that the function of coalition troops had become essentially that of, in Smith's words to Blitzer, "street cops in a sectarian civil war."
Media Matters for America has identified six findings in the Iraq Study Group's report that major news outlets have largely overlooked. They include: that the Pentagon has significantly underreported the extent of violence in Iraq, that U.S. officials possess little knowledge about the sources of the ongoing attacks, and that the situation in Afghanistan has grown so dire that U.S. troops may need to be diverted there from Iraq.
Diane Sawyer hosted Glenn Beck on Good Morning America for a discussion of Pope Benedict XVI's visit to Turkey and the pope's recent comments on Islam. Sawyer identified Beck only as a "television and talk-radio host ... who has said it's time for the world to stop buckling to the pressure of radical Islam." She did not note that Beck is a self-identified conservative who has a history of making derogatory statements about Islam and Muslims.
George F. Will falsely suggested that most employees who would benefit from a Democratic proposal to raise the federal minimum wage to $7.25 an hour are "students and other part-time workers." In fact, a majority of those who would be affected by the Democratic minimum-wage proposal are full-time workers.
The Liberty Film Festival, "a forum for conservative thought on film," recently awarded ABC Vice President Judith Tukich, a right-wing evangelical who has described her mission as "evangeliz[ing] the world ... through the media," the festival's "Freedom of Expression Award" for her role in assisting the production and promotion of The Path to 9/11.
An ABC World News report on the "tense exchange" between Sen. John McCain and Gen. John Abizaid omitted Abizaid's rebuttal to McCain's assertion that Abizaid had ignored calls for more U.S. troops in Iraq.
Reporting on President Bush's announcement of Donald Rumsfeld's resignation, media outlets, with few exceptions, have avoided characterizing Bush's assertion the previous week that he wanted Rumsfeld to stay on as a "lie" or intentional misrepresentation -- this, despite Bush's own admission of a deliberate deception. Some outlets even failed to acknowledge Bush's previous statement that Rumsfeld would stay on as defense secretary until the end of his presidency.
Contrary to Karl Rove's pre-election assertions -- which the media accorded significance despited his presumable responsibility to express optimism -- Democrats won control of both houses of Congress. This raises the question of whether the media were wrong in treating Rove's optimistic predictions as anything more than a job requirement.
On Good Morning America, Claire Shipman warned that "we're still likely, if the Democrats get the House, to see a culture of gridlock" because "[n]either side will have the 60 votes in the Senate they would need to really get things done." Shipman did not inform viewers of the number of issues on the GOP legislative agenda that went unaddressed in this congressional session.