An Associated Press article uncritically repeated Karl Rove's assertion that the Bush administration's warrantless domestic wiretapping program "might have prevented the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks," even though law enforcement officials had information on some of the 9-11 hijackers more than a year before the attacks occurred. The article also accepted Rove's characterization of the debate over the program as whether "the government should be free to listen if al-Qaida is calling someone within the U.S.," although critics of the program have not contested this point.
Several media outlets, in their reporting on a response President Bush gave in his August 21 press conference to a question on Iraq, either excised or omitted Bush's admission that "sometimes I'm happy" when hearing about the situation there.
In articles on President Bush's August 16 speech at a Republican fundraiser, during which Bush accused those advocating for U.S. withdrawal from Iraq of promoting a "cut and run" strategy, the Associated Press and The New York Times characterized Bush's speech as "kinder" and "gentler" and free of "partisan politics."
In reporting on Sen. George Allen's use of the racially derogatory word "macaca" to refer to one of his opponent's campaign volunteers and his claim not to know what the term means or why he used it, the majority of media outlets left out a fact that might shed light on the claim's veracity -- Allen's mother was born and raised in Tunisia, a former French colony in North Africa, as Allen has repeatedly noted in the past.
Several media figures, including news reporters, echoed Republicans by employing the word "Democrat" as an adjective to refer to things or people of, or relating to, the Democratic Party.
In an August 13 Associated Press article, Nedra Pickler suggested that the controversial aspect of the Bush administration's domestic surveillance program is that it is secret, rather than that it bypasses the law requiring court warrants for such surveillance. The Washington Post's Josh White similarly referred to "secretly wiretapping [terrorism] suspects" as one of several "controversial Bush administration programs," without noting the specific nature of the controversy.
In an August 10 article, the Associated Press quoted Sen. Joseph Lieberman's use of the recently foiled terrorist plot in Britain in his attack on Ned Lamont, but the article omitted Lieberman's statement that using national security issues for political purposes is "just unacceptable and in my opinion un-American."
An AP article about a speech by RNC chairman Ken Mehlman uncritically reported his claim that, if in power, Democrats -- specifically Rep. Nancy Pelosi and DNC chairman Howard Dean -- would "surrender" the U.S. government's ability to monitor the communications of suspected terrorists. But Pelosi and Dean both have explicitly acknowledged the need for U.S. intelligence agencies to spy on suspected terrorists, although they have said that the government should conduct such surveillance in accordance with the law
Numerous media outlets failed to challenge Donald Rumsfeld's claim to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton that he had "never painted a rosy picture" about the Iraq war, despite Sen. Clinton's proffer of specific instances in which she claimed he did just that.
On July 30, Associated Press writer Katherine Shrader reported that Condoleezza Rice had canceled a trip to Lebanon after Prime Minister Fuad Saniora and other Lebanese officials apparently made clear she "was not welcome to visit." But numerous subsequent AP articles ignored entirely the earlier report that the Lebanese government had asked her to postpone the trip.
An Associated Press article on President Bush's signing of a 25-year extension of certain provisions of the 1965 Voting Rights Act described those in Congress who "rebelled" against the renewal as "[s]ome Southern lawmakers," without mentioning that the vast majority of those lawmakers were Republicans. Fox News' Brit Hume, meanwhile, completely glossed over House Republicans' efforts to derail the act's renewal.
Following President Bush's claim on Larry King Live that the United States had a functional missile defense system, numerous media outlets reported his statement without challenge. By contrast, a report on NPR's Morning Edition noted that the missile defense system "has been plagued with technical problems" and has never been thoroughly tested, citing Government Accountability Office reports that indicate the system has no proven ability to shoot down a hostile missile.
A Media Matters analysis of the media coverage of the Iraq war debate shows that the favored Republican talking points on Iraq have gone largely unchallenged in the media and have even been adopted as truths by some media outlets and figures.