On Fox News Watch, an announcer teased a discussion about coverage of the National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) on Iran by stating: "Iran's nukes. The president claims a new intelligence report proves Iran still dangerous." In fact, the NIE said: "We continue to assess with moderate-to-high confidence that Iran does not currently have a nuclear weapon."
On Fox News Watch, Newsday's James Pinkerton asserted that, during its coverage of Rev. Jerry Falwell's death, CNN featured "a picture of Falwell and [Adolf] Hitler together" as "kind of their idea of what he [Falwell] ought to be." In fact, the image appeared in archived footage of a demonstration in which protestors held placards featuring the faces of Falwell, Hitler, and other prominent political figures.
On Fox News Watch, Cal Thomas asserted that questions surrounding the Bush administration's firing of eight U.S. attorneys "didn't surface in October " because "the left in the media -- but I repeat myself -- had enough scandal going with Mark Foley and a bunch of other stuff, they didn't need this." In fact, by October 2006, only one of the U.S. attorneys had been dismissed; the other seven were not dismissed until December 7, 2006, a month after the November midterm elections.
While other media outlets, in their coverage of Mitt Romney's presidential campaign, have addressed the longtime evangelical hostility to Romney's Mormon faith, Fox News has largely avoided the subject and has responded to other media coverage of the issue by alleging media bias or, in the case of one guest, accusing liberals of anti-Mormon bigotry.
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.
On Fox News Watch, Jim Pinkerton claimed that Nancy Pelosi "is being presented to the American people as this moderate grandmother ... from Baltimore" rather than someone "from San Francisco [who] represents the left wing." In fact, a Media Matters survey showed that Pelosi has been portrayed in the media as a San Francisco liberal much more often than as a grandmother from Baltimore.
Fox News Watch host Eric Burns stated that "the St. Petersburg Times and The Miami Herald in Florida," as well as ABC News, all had "known about" leaked copies of email messages allegedly sent by former Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) to a 16-year-old male former congressional page, but he ignored a report that Fox News was also a recipient of the leaked emails.
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Many of the same media conservatives who continually attacked The New York Times for publishing details of the Treasury Department's bank-tracking program have remained silent about the New York Daily News' decision to report that FBI officials thwarted an alleged terrorist plot in New York City, despite apparent objections from intelligence and law enforcement officials that the disclosure impeded further arrests.
Numerous conservative commentators joined the Bush administration in arguing that, in detailing a secret Treasury Department program designed to monitor terrorists' international financial transactions, a June 23 New York Times article tipped off terrorists to the U.S. government's ability to track their financial activities -- some going so far as to accuse the newspaper of treason. But the Times report was hardly the first indication of U.S. efforts to monitor terrorists' financial transactions: President Bush himself repeatedly touted the government's capability to track and shut down terrorists' international financial networks.
On Fox News Watch, Newsday columnist James P. Pinkerton asserted that "the press turned on the Iraq war several years ago" and now chooses to "frame" its coverage of the war in two ways: "One is, the U.S. military is evil" and two, "the U.S. military needs to be carefully restrained with legal rules and procedures." Pinkerton suggested the media portray American servicemen and women as "bad people" and "killers."
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