MSNBC provided free air time for a new Republican National Committee (RNC) ad attacking Tennessee Democratic Senate candidate Harold Ford Jr. that critics, including an NAACP spokesman and former Republican Sen. William Cohen, have called racist.
Numerous conservative media figures have attacked CNN for broadcasting video footage of insurgents attacking U.S. soldiers in Iraq: Pat Buchanan said that CNN "ought to be treated like Al Jazeera"; Michael Savage even claimed CNN had "committed murder" by airing the video; Brent Bozell asserted that CNN was "cavorting with the enemy to get video to put on the air in the United States to break the will of the American people."
In a discussion about whether President Bush or former President Bill Clinton will "do his party any good" by campaigning for their parties' respective Senate candidates in Virginia, Tucker Carlson bashed Clinton as a "sanctimonious jerk" while ignoring altogether the public's negative view of Bush. In fact, job approval and favorability ratings for Clinton are much higher than they are for Bush.
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MSNBC's Chris Jansing falsely claimed that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton "frankly acknowledged it's legitimate to consider in the voting, we just heard it -- that she is laser-focused on the presidency and not on representing the people of New York." Jansing was referring to a video clip shown moments earlier in which Clinton said: "I have made no decisions about any future plans, and if that is a concern to any voter, they should factor that into their decision on November 7th."
Chris Matthews again falsely claimed that "Republicans know from the polls they got two strengths right now" -- "terrorism" and "[t]axes" -- and then added: "[W]hether the current polls back that up or not." Recent polling shows Americans do, in fact, trust Democrats more than Republicans on both issues.
The Republican National Committee's (RNC) new political ad -- featuring clips of Osama bin Laden and other terrorists making threats against the United States and clips of explosions -- has not yet aired as a paid advertisement, but broadcast and cable news networks have already played portions of it several times as part of their news programming -- essentially giving the RNC the opportunity to fearmonger on their airwaves free of charge.
Chris Matthews did not challenge Sen. John McCain's (R-AZ) assertion that he would "be one of the first to support going to the United States Supreme Court" if the president indicated through a signing statement that he was "not going to abide" by a law passed by Congress. In fact, while McCain initially rebuked President Bush over a signing statement to his detainee treatment bill and threatened close congressional oversight, he has since neither sought a ruling from the Supreme Court, nor even held hearings on the subject.
CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC dedicated a considerable amount of airtime to a purported threat to NFL stadiums in seven cities, despite the fact that the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI both characterized the threat as not credible. Further, with one brief exception, at no point was there any reference on any of the three channels to evidence that the Bush administration has used terrorism-related announcements for political gain.
PBS NewsHour host Jim Lehrer reported without challenge or rebuttal that White House senior political adviser Karl Rove "dismissed Democrats' chances of winning control of Congress." MSNBC's David Shuster similarly reported without challenge that Rove "remain[s] very calm and optimistic about the election." But as CNN's Wolf Blitzer noted, Rove "ha[s] to say that."
On MSNBC and Fox News, Amanda Carpenter touted the purportedly damaging charge in her new book that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton will use "foreign money" made by her husband to mount a potential presidential campaign for 2008. Carpenter asserted that it is "alarming ... that there are millions of dollars in foreign money available to fund Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign as we speak."