Numerous media figures have interviewed former President George W. Bush following the November 9 release of his book, Decision Points. Bush and his interviewers used these interviews as an opportunity to rewrite his presidency by promoting false claims and misinformation about Bush's tenure.
From the August 30 edition of NBC's Today:
From the April 6 edition of NBC's Today:
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Several media figures and outlets have provided Fox News contributor Newt Gingrich a forum to discuss his opposition to the inclusion of a public option and increased insurance regulations in health care reform legislation. But those media have not noted that that his Center for Health Transformation -- a for-profit entity that Gingrich founded and reportedly profits from -- receives annual membership fees from several major health insurance companies, which have a financial interest in preventing the implementation of those policies.
Matt Lauer misrepresented comments made by Sonia Sotomayor about the role of appellate courts and suggested that Sotomayor was "an activist judge."
On Today, Matt Lauer agreed with Sen. Kit Bond's false claim that Nancy Pelosi could have "call[ed] for a closed hearing" when she learned of the Bush administration's use of harsh interrogation techniques. In fact, as a Democrat in a Republican-controlled Congress, Pelosi had no authority to hold hearings. Nor did she have the power, as Bond claimed, to pass a bill to cut funding to prevent the administration from carrying out those methods.
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The Los Angeles Times reported, "[Sen. Barack] Obama has not taken a position on AIG's rescue, unlike [Sen. John] McCain, who has backed it." But the Times did not point out that the day before the bailout was announced, McCain indicated that he opposed a federal government bailout of AIG, asserting that "we cannot have the taxpayers bail out AIG or anybody else."
On Fox News, Dick Morris asserted that as president, Sen. Barack Obama "would double the capital gains tax. That means that you get far less when you sell your home, or your 401(k) or your stock plan," and added, "[H]e would increase the limit on Social Security taxes, which means instead of paying 12 1/2 percent of the first $100,000, you pay it on everything that you're making." Morris' claims are false or highly misleading.
When Sen. John McCain twice touted the idea of a gas tax "break" during an interview on NBC's Today, Matt Lauer failed to challenge him over whether economists believe a gas tax holiday is a good idea. But when Sen. Hillary Clinton mentioned her proposal "to get the gas tax paid this summer out of the record profits of the oil companies" on the same program a month earlier, Meredith Vieira challenged her, saying that economists are "saying it's not sound policy."
On Today, during an interview with former CIA agent Michael Sheehan about his new book, Matt Lauer said, "You say we've got to use more undercover agents, informants, wiretapping, email surveillance, the works. The sound you just heard, Michael, is the far left, grabbing for their remote controls, 'cause they say, you're going to do this, you're going to trample civil liberties." In fact, Americans across the political spectrum have denounced the Bush administration for alleged violations of civil liberties.
On the April 15 edition of Today, Matt Lauer asserted, "It's been a long time since an actual vote was cast in this primary season, a long time since we've debated actual fundamental issues. We've had a lot of sniping and second-guessing." Yet in an April 23 interview on Today with Sen. Hillary Clinton, Lauer discussed only the state of the Democratic presidential primary race, not any "actual fundamental issues."