Discussing reports that President-elect Barack Obama is considering naming Sen. Hillary Clinton secretary of state, several media figures have responded with smears, including speculation that Clinton would pursue her own agenda as secretary of state and not Obama's, references to Clinton as Obama's "enem[y]," and speculation that Obama is considering the nomination because if Clinton remains in the Senate, she poses a threat of challenging him for the Democratic nomination in 2012 and can "mak[e] trouble" for him in the Senate.
On the Fox News special Saving Our Economy, Bret Baier repeated or failed to challenge numerous false assertions about the role of affordable housing initiatives in the financial crisis and Democratic responses to the crisis.
Fox News host Brit Hume and correspondent Bret Baier suggested that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were heavily involved in the subprime mortgage market "years ago," and falsely suggested that Rep. Barney Frank has opposed stricter regulation of Fannie and Freddie. Neither Hume nor Baier noted that Fannie and Freddie were not active in the subprime market in 2003, or that Frank has supported and authored bills to strengthen oversight of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
On numerous May 8 programs, Fox News anchors and reporters promoted the notion that Sen. John McCain is reluctant to discuss his experience as a prisoner of war in Vietnam. In fact, as Media Matters for America has documented, McCain has repeatedly highlighted that experience.
Fox News' Bret Baier claimed that in an interview on NPR, "Former Vice President Al Gore says global warming is to blame for the cyclone in Myanmar." In fact, while Gore did discuss the cyclone in the context of global warming, he also stated -- just moments earlier -- that "any individual storm can't be linked singularly to global warming."
On Special Report, discussing controversial statements by Jeremiah Wright, Bret Baier claimed that "it seemed to take Barack Obama a long time to denounce" Wright's statements, while, Baier said, Sen. John McCain denounced controversial statements from his supporters "right away." However, McCain has yet to address controversial comments John Hagee has made about homosexuals, women, Islam, and slavery, or any of the controversial comments by pastor Rod Parsley.
On Special Report, Wendell Goler falsely asserted that "the president is trying ... to get the House to pass a permanent extension of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act [FISA]" and that "[t]he president threw down the gauntlet, said he's not going to accept any more extensions, that this act must be permanently renewed before it expires in two days." In fact, FISA is not set to expire February 15; the Protect America Act's revisions to FISA are set to expire.
On Special Report, Bret Baier uncritically aired President Bush's statement that "[i]f the kind of success we are now seeing continues, it will be possible to maintain the same level of security with fewer American forces" in Iraq. But neither Baier nor host Brit Hume noted that regardless of the level of security in Iraq -- as Wendell Goler reported on Special Report the previous day -- Bush's "military advisers have told him he can't keep the current deployment in Iraq beyond April or the Army itself will suffer."
In a report on the revelation that Vice President Dick Cheney exempted his office from an executive order requiring the executive branch to protect classified materials, Fox News' Bret Baier read a statement from the vice president's office in which it claimed that it "protects the nation's secrets from unauthorized disclosure," but Baier did not mention several recent controversies surrounding the handling of classified information by aides in Cheney's office.
Washington Post staff writer Peter Baker and Fox News' Bret Baier uncritically quoted President Bush's claim that "it has now been 57 days" since Bush asked Congress for more money to fight the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, neither noted that in 2005 and 2006, the Republican-controlled Congress took significantly longer than 57 days to act on Bush's funding requests for Iraq and Afghanistan.
Reporting on allegations by anonymous U.S. military officials that Iran is supplying explosively formed penetrators (EFPs) to Shiite fighters in Iraq, neither CBS' David Martin nor Fox News' Bret Baier mentioned that Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has reportedly said that he has seen no evidence directly linking the Iranian government to the EFPs in Iraq.