During a report on the Military Commissions Act of 2006, Fox News' Bret Baier uncritically reported the Bush administration's assertion that, under the bill, noncitizen detainees have a right to challenge their detention and designation as "unlawful enemy combatant[s]" and that critics of the bill who say otherwise are "just flat wrong." In fact, a detainee's ability to challenge his or her detention effectively depends on the government's willingness to provide an initial hearing, which the government can postpone indefinitely.
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.
Various media outlets ignored President Bush's statement during an August 21 press conference that the United States will not withdraw its forces from Iraq as long as he is president. Those outlets simply reported that Bush pledged to keep U.S. forces in Iraq until "the mission is complete," and offered no indication that Bush pledged to keep troops there for the remainder of his term.
Despite several reports that the recently foiled London terrorist plot had no connections to the United States, The New York Times, CNN, and Fox News uncritically repeated Republican assertions that the Bush administration's warrantless domestic wiretapping program played a role in the plot's breakup.
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.
Fox News' Bret Baier misrepresented the reasons that Republican senators cited for opposing an amendment that would urge President Bush to communicate strong disapproval of an amnesty for insurgents in Iraq who attacked U.S. troops. Baier falsely suggested that the Republicans said only that they opposed the amendment because Iraqi national security adviser Mowaffak al-Rubaie had supposedly made the controversy moot when he disavowed such a proposal.
On Fox News' Special Report, chief White House correspondent Bret Baier falsely reported that "President Bush won all 11 states" that passed bans on same-sex marriage in the 2004 election. On the same program, Washington Post staff writer Jeffrey H. Birnbaum repeated the inaccurate claim when he stated that "all those states passed those referenda" and "all of them voted for President Bush for re-election." In fact, Sen. John Kerry won two of the states that passed referendums banning gay marriage in 2004, Michigan and Oregon.
On Fox News Sunday, correspondent Bret Baier cited reports in The New Yorker magazine and The Washington Post regarding plans for possible U.S. air strikes on Iran to neutralize that country's purported nuclear weapons program. But Baier failed to mention the revelation in both articles that military strategists and members of the Bush administration are reportedly considering the use of tactical nuclear weapons against Iran.
On Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume, national security correspondent Bret Baier misrepresented a statement by Sen. Ken Salazar (D-CO) assessing the progress he observed during a trip to Iraq, cropping Salazar's observation that "much of the country remains without infrastructure" and adding a qualifier to the senator's assessment that the Iraqi army is "not yet ready to control its own streets."