Several media figures and news outlets have uncritically repeated or lent credence to the false Republican talking point that Democrats, for all their criticism of the Bush administration's Iraq war policy, have no plan of their own to deal with Iraq, terrorism, and national security in general. In fact, Democrats have offered several plans for addressing various issues related to U.S. involvement in Iraq and national security.
Discussing former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani's performance before, during, and after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks with author Wayne Barrett, Norah O'Donnell asked Barrett: "[Y]ou can't honestly say he [Giuliani] could have predicted that that area [the World Trade Center complex] would have been attacked?" In response, Barrett pointed out that the World Trade Center complex "was at the top of the vulnerability list that [Giuliani's] own police department prepared."
Norah O'Donnell incorporated the White House and Republican talking point that Democrats do not have a strategy to change course in the war in Iraq by asserting that "the thing that perplexes many about the Democratic Party is, what is the alternative?" Later, O'Donnell asked if "part of the problem that the Democrats have is that they don't have a message to respond to the president."
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Despite Sen. John McCain's numerous flip-flops, reversals, backtracks, and inconsistencies, the media continue to describe him with words such as "honest" and "authentic." Is there anything John McCain could do that would cause the media to stop portraying him as a "straight talker"?
Numerous media figures have asserted that a recent report purportedly identifying former deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage as Robert Novak's original source for Valerie Plame's identity as a CIA operative prove that Karl Rove and I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby were not involved in the leak of her identity. However, Armitage's role as Novak's first source is not inconsistent with Rove's and Libby's involvements in the leak -- both were original sources of the information for two other reporters.
In his interview with President Bush, NBC's Brian Williams allowed Bush to falsely claim that "we delivered" on the promises Bush made during a September 2005 address to the nation in New Orleans; that Saddam Hussein had an active weapons of mass destruction program prior to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq; and that Bush had never suggested ties between Iraq, Saddam, and the 9-11 terrorist attacks. Williams also left unchallenged Bush's objection to the argument that the Iraq war has acted as a recruitment tool for terrorists.
Several media figures have recently claimed, or let Republicans claim, that the White House "rejects" the policy that the United States should "stay the course" in Iraq, even though President Bush and White House spokesman Tony Snow have continued to use that term to describe the administration's Iraq policy.
On Tucker, while discussing Fox News' choice of Richard Simmons and Don King as Katrina "expert[s]," Tucker Carlson asked: "Our civilization -- is it collapsing? Has it already collapsed?"
MSNBC host Tucker Carlson declared that "as far as I know, the [Bush] administration hasn't been blaming mayors and governors" for the government's poor response to Hurricane Katrina. In fact, the White House's strategy of shifting blame to Louisiana officials for the poor response to Katrina has been well documented.
On MSNBC's Hardball, Norah O'Donnell left unchallenged James Gilmore's claim that "we should all agree that a precipitous withdrawal" from Iraq "would be injurious to the United States. I think most people would agree with that." In fact, recent polling indicates that a majority of Americans support a timeline for U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq.
On Hardball, O'Donnell left unchallenged the assertion by Rep. Christopher Shays that "[s]ince January ... you did not see progress" in Iraq, despite the fact that Shays has made numerous claims since January that "progress" has been made there.
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On MSNBC's Hardball, Chris Matthews did not respond when former RNC chairman Ed Gillespie asserted that Sen. George F. Allen (R-VA) does not "have a prejudicial bone in his body." Matthews could have pointed out that -- regardless of Allen's attitudes -- he has taken actions in the past that have provoked strong criticism.
For the fifth time in four days, Pat Buchanan appeared on NBC or an NBC-owned cable channel to promote his new book, which asserts that the United States must keep "Americans of European descent" from becoming the "minority" in order to "survive."