On ABC's Nightline, co-anchor Terry Moran characterized "the U.S. claim that Saddam Hussein's regime had weapons of mass destruction" as "a total intelligence failure at the CIA." In fact, while much of the intelligence produced by the CIA before the Iraq war was indeed faulty, many of the Bush administration's most dramatic prewar claims had been called into question by the CIA or other intelligence agencies.
On ABC News' WorldNewser weblog, polling director Gary Langer purported to explain the disparate results of an ABC News/Washington Post poll and a Newsweek poll measuring public reaction to a National Security Agency (NSA) program that reportedly collects millions of Americans' phone records. Langer claimed that the polls' results -- the Newsweek poll showed much less support for the program than the ABC/Post poll -- might be explained in part by differences in their wording. Langer also touted the ABC/Post poll's assertion that the NSA program is intended "to identify possible terrorism suspects." In doing so, Langer uncritically accepted the Bush administration's rationale for the program, without noting reports that the Bush administration has engaged in the surveillance of others with no suspected terrorism links and reports that its efforts to identify possible terrorists have been highly ineffective.
Reports by both ABC's World News Tonight and NBC's Nightly News on the Senate hearing for Gen. Michael Hayden's nomination to be CIA director aired Sen. Ron Wyden's (D-OR) comment that he had "a difficult time with [Hayden's] credibility." But neither network mentioned the reasons cited by Wyden to explain his concern, including Hayden's misleading statement to Congress in 2002 that the National Security Agency did not have the authority to electronically eavesdrop on residents without a warrant -- even as the NSA was reportedly conducting such surveillance.
In reporting on President Bush's visit to Arizona to promote his immigration reform proposals, ABC World News Tonight anchor Elizabeth Vargas and CBS White House correspondent Bill Plante claimed that Bush was "passionate" about "allowing migrants a chance" but completely ignored the fact that the White House reportedly supported a controversial immigration bill proposed by Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) that would have made it a felony to be an illegal resident of the United States.
On ABC's World News Tonight, anchor Elizabeth Vargas noted President Bush's claim that dividend and capital gains tax cuts passed in 2003 "have helped expand the economy and create jobs," but she omitted any mention of critics who have challenged the administration's claims that the tax cuts were responsible for the recent economic growth.
On ABC's World News Tonight, ABC's George Stephanopoulos, discussing a May 15 ABC News/Washington Post poll, said that "a president just shouldn't be at 33 percent when you've got 89 percent of the country optimistic about their future." Stephanopoulos focused on the administration's handling of Iraq as an "opportunity ... if things can turn around in Iraq" while omitting other results, both from that poll and others, that provide other reasons for Bush's low approval ratings.
On ABC's World News Tonight, ABC chief White House correspondent Martha Raddatz incorrectly reported that the temporary-worker program that President Bush promoted in his May 15 prime-time address would "allow immigrants to work temporarily in the U.S. and eventually gain citizenship." In fact, in his speech, Bush clearly stated that he supports a guest-worker program that provides temporary work permits and requires participants to leave the country when their work permit expires.
On Inside Washington, Newsweek assistant managing editor Evan Thomas claimed that "[y]ou cannot have an open society and an effective spy service."
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On ABC's Good Morning America, John Stossel, co-host of ABC's 20/20, claimed that it is a "myth" that "women earn less" than men for "doing the same work." Stossel acknowledged that women "earn less" than men overall, and concluded that "[t]he truth is" that "men are more willing to take lousy jobs" and "work longer," and that is why they yield higher wages. In fact, contrary to Stossel's suggestion that men earn more because they take "lousy jobs," numerous studies and data indicate that, on average, men earn more than women regardless of occupation.
Neither Fox News' Chris Wallace nor ABC News' George Stephanopoulos corrected a claim by first lady Laura Bush that when President Bush's poll numbers were high, the press did not put them "on the front page." Nor did the Associated Press or Reuters challenge Laura Bush's claim in articles reporting it.
A Washington Post/ABC News poll on the National Security Agency program to collect phone call records of tens of millions of United States residents found that 63 percent of respondents found the program acceptable. The poll question claimed that the NSA is not "listening to or recording the conversations" captured by the data collection program, but a Post article reported that the program is related to NSA's warrantless domestic eavesdropping program.
David Muir's report on the "morning-after" pill, or Plan B, on ABC's World News Tonight, included a conservative group's claim that allowing sales of the pill without a prescription would be unsafe, but provided no scientific evidence to support the claim, while omitting the fact that Food and Drug Administration (FDA) staff scientists and outside advisory panels have recommended that the FDA approve allowing over-the-counter sales.
On ABC's Good Morning America, Republican strategist Bay Buchanan falsely claimed that House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (CA) is "letting everybody know that she's going to spend two years with impeachment hearings" if Democrats win control of Congress in the 2006 midterm elections. In fact, as The Washington Post reported, Pelosi has "vowed 'to use the power to investigate' the administration on multiple fronts," but she has "denied Republican allegations that a Democratic House would move quickly to impeach President Bush."
On ABC's This Week, host George Stephanopoulos failed to correct a series of misleading statements by former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) concerning the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and potential sources of oil off the coastal United States.
ABC World News Tonight anchor Elizabeth Vargas -- repeating a false characterization by the Bush administration that has been repeatedly debunked -- described the revised estimates for when the Social Security and Medicare programs' respective trust funds will become depleted as "the day when the Social Security and Medicare programs run out of money." In fact, neither program would "run out of money" when its trust fund became depleted.