After the contentious exchange between Hearst Newspapers columnist Helen Thomas and President Bush during Bush's March 21 press conference, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly and several other conservative commentators rushed to attack Thomas. O'Reilly accused her of "hat[ing] Bush and try[ing] to undermine everything he does," and even suggesting that if he were Bush, he "would have laid her out." Several other conservative media figures -- including Jonah Goldberg, Fred Barnes, Glenn Beck, and Tucker Carlson -- have followed suit, sometimes with highly personal attacks.
The campaign against purportedly biased reporting on the Iraq war -- forwarded by President Bush, White House officials, and array of conservative media figures -- has continued on the airwaves and in print.
Weekly Standard executive editor Fred Barnes asserted that former Rep. Nick Lampson is "vulnerable to attack as a carpetbagger" in his race against Rep. Tom DeLay. It is true that, as Barnes noted, Lampson "used to represent a different district" and "moved into" Texas' 22nd Congressional District to run against DeLay. But in attacking Lampson, Barnes ignored some highly relevant facts: Lampson previously represented nearly one-fifth of what is now DeLay's district, and Lampson was defeated in his old district after it was reconfigured through a controversial redistricting plan spearheaded by DeLay.
In recent days, numerous pundits have summarily dismissed concerns about the takeover of operations at six U.S. ports by a company owned by the government of Dubai, a member state of the United Arab Emirates, despite the fact that the Bush administration opted not to conduct the 45-day investigation into the deal's national security implications provided for -- and, critics argue, required -- by federal law.
On Fox News' Special Report with Brit Hume, Fred Barnes, executive editor of The Weekly Standard, claimed that the issue of taxes helps Republicans politically. However, the most recent Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll, which was cited during the program's "Political Grapevine" segment and during its newscast, indicates that a plurality of voters believes that Democrats "would do a better job" than Republicans on the issue of taxes.
Numerous media figures highlighted the alleged "partisan" nature of Coretta Scott King's funeral but failed to comment on the politicization of Ronald Reagan's funeral.
In referring to the controversy surrounding the Danish cartoons that caricatured the prophet Mohammed, The Weekly Standard's Fred Barnes said: "We see Muslims' contempt for democracy, for freedom of speech, for freedom of the press, and particularly, for freedom of religion."