In recent articles, the Associated Press employed the Bush administration's preferred term -- "terrorist surveillance program" -- to describe the administration's warrantless domestic surveillance program and reported that it allows "eavesdropping on phone calls to and from the United States when the calls involve al-Qaida and its operatives." In fact, while the National Security Agency (NSA) program is officially described as targeting those suspected of having ties to terrorist groups, news reports have indicated that the operation has led to the surveillance of thousands of Americans with no ties to terrorism.
In reporting on Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson's claim that his account of having denied a qualified publisher a government contract because of his alleged animus towards President Bush was merely "anecdotal" and did not actually occur, The New York Times and the Associated Press did not note that Dustee Tucker, Jackson's spokeswoman, had already twice indicated that Jackson was referring to a real contract.
In the wake of reports that Air Force Gen. Michael V. Hayden would be nominated to replace outgoing CIA director Porter Goss, numerous news outlets cited as a source of likely controversy Hayden's role in developing and overseeing the Bush administration's warrantless domestic surveillance program. But none of these outlets mentioned Hayden's misleading testimony before Congress in 2002, in which he said that the National Security Agency complies with the requirements of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) in conducting surveillance on citizens or legal residents of the United States. Nor did they mention his shifting and contradictory defenses of the domestic surveillance program or his failure to answer questions regarding whether the program has been used to spy on U.S. residents with no ties to terrorism.
In a May 5 article, Associated Press staff writer Jon Sarche reported that the "immigration debate has split both parties." In fact, while congressional Democrats do disagree on some minor issues, they largely favor policies that would better secure U.S. borders and provide opportunities for illegal immigrants to earn citizenship.
In an April 28 article, the Associated Press identified right-wing website VDARE.com only as an "immigration-focused Web magazine," even though the site publishes the work of "white nationalists," according to its editor. The AP also failed to note that VDARE writer Bryanna Bevens, whom the article quoted, has made disparaging remarks about Hispanics, in which she advocated the creation of "National Hispanic Crime Prevention Month," and warned of "Mexico's conquest of the United States."
An April 19 New York Times article and an April 19 Associated Press article noted that the federally chartered home mortgage company known as Freddie Mac had agreed to pay a record $3.8 million to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to settle allegations that it violated federal election law by using company resources to host fundraisers for members of Congress, illegally funneling employee contributions to federal candidates, and making an illegal $150,000 contribution to the Republican Governors Association. But the articles did not disclose that the vast majority of the the illegal fundraisers hosted by Freddie Mac benefited Republican lawmakers.
Both the Associated Press and USA Today uncritically reported President Bush's highly misleading claim that he authorized the selective declassification of an October 2002 National Intelligence Estimate because he "wanted people to see the truth" behind his dubious prewar arguments regarding the threat posed by Saddam Hussein.
In articles about the immigration reform debate on Capitol Hill, The New York Times and the Associated Press presented two Senate immigration reform proposals -- a comprehensive bipartisan bill and a compromise measure recently put forth by Republicans -- as the full scope of the current debate on the issue in Congress. But the Times and the AP ignored entirely the more severe reform proposal the House passed in December 2005.
In recent days, AP writer Tom Raum and U.S. News & World Report contributing editor Gloria Borger have taken pot shots at Democrats while ostensibly writing about problems within the Republican Party.
Both the AP and the Los Angeles Times reported President Bush's claim that Saddam Hussein was to blame for the sectarian violence in Iraq, but neither news outlet noted that the Bush administration bears considerable responsibility for the escalating conflict between the ethnic groups there.
The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Associated Press, and Knight Ridder uncritically reported Republican criticism of the Democratic national security proposal, including a claim by Vice President Dick Cheney that the proposal was "totally inconsistent" with the Democrats' past behavior.
In an article on a recent speech by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, in which he said that Guantánamo detainees are not entitled to legal protection under the U.S. Constitution or international conventions, the AP left out the serious questions about whether he should recuse himself from an upcoming case involving the rights of Guantánamo Bay detainees.
The Associated Press reported that legislation recently introduced by Sen. Mike DeWine would "allow the government to conduct warrantless surveillance for up to 45 days before seeking court or congressional approval." In fact, DeWine's bill would not grant Congress the authority to approve or reject the continued surveillance.
In a March 20 article, the AP's Jennifer Loven gave numerous examples of Bush's use of the "straw man argument," noting that he is resorting to the tactic "more often these days." But nowhere in the article did she acknowledge that many AP writers -- including her -- have simply reported Bush's misrepresentations of his opponents' arguments without challenging them.