On CNN Newsroom, CNN national security contributor Fran Townsend twice made the false claim that neither Karl Rove nor I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby had "outed Valerie Plame" as a CIA agent and that the leaker was Richard Armitage. In fact, both Rove and Libby were sources of the information about Plame's CIA employment for at least two journalists.
In two reports on CNN Newsroom, CNN aired comments by Robert Gibbs, Sen. Barack Obama's communications director, responding to President Bush's remarks that "[s]ome seem to believe we should negotiate with terrorists and radicals," reportedly in reference to Obama, but CNN spliced the audio clip to omit part of the statement in which Gibbs noted that Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has reportedly advocated a position on engaging Iran that echoes Obama's. CNN had left intact Gibbs' reference to Gates in the audio clip of Gibbs' comments it aired earlier in the program.
In CNN State Department correspondent Zain Verjee's report about Kenyans' reaction to the New Hampshire Democratic primary and its impact on the presidential candidacy of Sen. Barack Obama, CNN aired a video clip in which an unidentified man "on the streets of" Kenya said: "[T]here are some people who say they don't want him [Obama] because ... they don't want someone who is closer to Islamic." But Verjee never noted that Obama is a Christian, not a Muslim.
During an interview with the Competitive Enterprise Institute's Marlo Lewis, CNN's Heidi Collins did not challenge Lewis' assertion that, in An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore claimed that global warming would cause sea levels to rise "20 feet ... in this century." Lewis added: "That is science fiction, but Gore presented it as fact. It's scaremongering." In fact, Gore was addressing what could happen if the West Antarctic ice shelf or the Greenland ice dome "broke up and slipped into the sea" at an indefinite point in the future, not "in this century."
Discussing the Jena Six controversy, CNN host Kyra Phillips said, "Let's talk about the reality of the hate groups that are in that area [Jena, Louisiana] and the reality of a mind-set that does exist." In response, conservative commentator Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson asserted: "I also agree that there are hate groups all around the country. There are skinheads, KKK, and the NAACP. The NAACP is a hate group as well."
In reports on a new Rudy Giuliani campaign ad criticizing Sen. Hillary Clinton's position on the Iraq war, several media outlets highlighted a quote from the ad in which the narrator says: "[J]ust when our troops need all our support to finish the job, Hillary Clinton is turning her back on them." But none of these reports mentioned Giuliani's claim in October 2004, that U.S. troops, and not President Bush, were responsible for the missing explosives at the Al Qaqaa weapons depot.
In reports on recent news that Iraq's Interior Ministry has revoked the license of Blackwater USA, an American security firm, several news outlets did not mention that Blackwater USA's vice chairman is also the head of Mitt Romney's counterterrorism policy advisory group.
During a report on Sen. Hillary Clinton's health care proposal, CNN's Betty Nguyen aired Mitt Romney's attack on the plan, but claimed that, "like Clinton, he'd mandate health insurance." But in announcing his national health reform plan in August, Romney declined to support mandates in what was reportedly a "significant" departure "from the universal health care measure that he helped forge as governor of Massachusetts."
On CNN Newsroom, Marine Sgt. Marco Martinez claimed that "if we were to pull out prematurely, the terrorists would follow us home, and it would be disastrous for both us and Iraq," a statement that anchor Betty Nguyen did not challenge. As Media Matters has repeatedly noted, this claim is contested by a wide range of U.S. intelligence officials, security experts, and military analysts.
In recent days, NBC, CNN, and Fox News have all aired reports or discussed the case of Norman Hsu, who The Wall Street Journal suggested may have funneled illegal campaign contributions to Sen. Hillary Clinton. However, when Mitt Romney's national finance committee co-chairman Alan Fabian was charged with mail fraud, money laundering, bankruptcy fraud, perjury and obstruction of justice, the three networks did not report or discuss it during programs available in the Nexis database.
CNN's Kelli Arena reported that "there have been some allegations that certain people were hired as career prosecutors because of their political affiliation." In fact, former Justice Department White House liaison Monica Goodling testified before Congress that she had repeatedly considered political affiliation when she made hiring decisions about assistant U.S. attorneys.
While discussing possible replacements for Alberto Gonzales, several CNN anchors and reporters cited DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff's handling of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina as a "potential problem" but did not provide any details regarding Chertoff's mismanagement of the disaster. Indeed, two congressional reports specifically identified numerous failures by Chertoff and DHS in overseeing the government's response.