On January 17, InsightMag.com posted a story stating that Sen. Barack Obama attended a madrassa as a boy and that this information had originated from Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's camp. With the aid of the conservative media, InsightMag.com's anonymously sourced report turned into 11 days of baseless accusations against two leading contenders for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.
Fox News anchors and commentators seized upon a Washington Post editorial falsely asserting that the revelation that former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage was the original source for syndicated columnist Robert D. Novak's column exposing CIA operative Valerie Plame's identity disproved the notion of a coordinated effort within the White House to discredit former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, using the occasion to repeat a host of false claims about the CIA leak case.
Numerous conservative figures on cable TV news have made dire predictions for the Democratic Party if Greenwich businessman Ned Lamont defeats incumbent Sen. Joe Lieberman in the August 8 Connecticut Democratic Senate primary.
On Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume, Charles Krauthammer falsely claimed that the estate tax "penalizes a lot of small businesses" and could leave the "heirs" of a "small-business owner" with "nothing." In fact, the estate tax affects very few small-business owners, and the highest marginal estate-tax rate is 46 percent.
Numerous conservative pundits offered highly optimistic predictions about the U.S. invasion of Iraq regarding the conflict's duration, difficulty, and human and financial costs -- nearly all of which have proven to be wrong. But rather than hold these "Pollyanna pundits" accountable for their past misjudgments, the media have again provided a platform for their views about the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hezbollah. And echoing their rhetoric on Iraq, these conservative pundits have advocated further military action by the United States and its allies.
Charles Krauthammer dubiously suggested that the United States had successfully completed "seven out of eight" tests of a missile defense system capable of intercepting the intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) North Korea is reportedly preparing to test-fire. But the system Krauthammer specifically referred to is not designed to intercept ICBMs. Additionally, John Fund dubiously claimed that if North Korea test-fires its ICBM, the United States has "a better than 50-50 chance" of shooting it down; in fact, the system Fund was apparently alluding to has been tested only under highly artificial conditions.
Charles Krauthammer baselessly claimed that, regarding allegations of corruption against Washington political figures, "the slate on the Republican side is almost a clean one." In fact, several Republicans remain under federal investigation for various alleged misdeeds.
On Fox News' Special Report, Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer claimed that after The New York Times first publicly disclosed the National Security Agency's (NSA) warrantless domestic surveillance program, "we learned about the NSA listening in on Al Qaeda calling the U.S." Krauthammer's statement echoed the Bush administration's oft-made claim that the surveillance program is limited to "international communications of people with known links to Al Qaeda and related terrorist organizations." In fact, media reports have revealed that the NSA has eavesdropped on the communications of thousands of residents with no links to terrorism, and that the NSA has captured purely domestic calls.
On Fox News' Special Report, Charles Krauthammer said that former CIA director Porter Goss had been "trying to deal with the jihadists inside the agency." Krauthammer explained that the CIA "jihadists" are "the people who consider themselves the loyal opposition, which really is the role of Congress, but who oppose administration policy, had been leaking, and had been trying to undermine and obstruct administration initiatives."
Time magazine's Joe Klein reportedly declared at an April 11 event that Democrats will not succeed in upcoming elections "if their message is that they hate America -- which is what has been the message of the liberal wing of the party for the past twenty years." Klein's comments, however, represent not only the continuation of a pattern in his own writing, but in the writing of Time's stable of opinion writers -- including Charles Krauthammer and Andrew Sullivan -- who regularly attack "liberals" and Democrats.