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.
MSNBC host Dan Abrams failed to challenge the assertion of Kris W. Kobach, a constitutional law professor and former counsel to former Attorney General John Ashcroft, that President Bush's controversial domestic spying program dealt only with "very targeted" calls. In fact, recent media reports indicate that the program has cast a broad net, monitoring thousands of people with no relationship to Al Qaeda.
Chris Matthews promised viewers "straight talk" from Sen. John McCain, but instead provided a friendly forum for McCain to attack fellow Sen. Barack Obama, at one point calling McCain's criticism of Obama "brilliantly angry."
Chris Matthews claimed that a comment made by President Bush in April 2004 that "[a]ny time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires ... a court order" was "pre-9-11."
Keith Olbermann again awarded Bill O'Reilly third-place honors in his nightly "Worst Person in the World" segment, this time for accusing CNN's Christiane Amanpour of having a "rooting interest" in the Iraq war being a disaster.
On Hardball, Chris Matthews reacted in apparent surprise to former presidential adviser David Gergen's reference to a widely reported incident from newly elected House Majority Leader John Boehner's past -- which MSNBC had reported earlier that day. Boehner drew criticism in 1995 for distributing checks from a tobacco political action committee on the House floor before a key vote on a tobacco issue.
Few major news outlets have covered the fact -- first reported by the New York Daily News -- that in a letter to I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby's defense attorneys, special counsel Patrick J. Fitzgerald said that numerous emails from 2003 are missing from the White House computer archives.
After Bill O'Reilly blasted NBC for taking "cheap shots" at his own Fox News network, Keith Olbermann once again declared O'Reilly the "Worst Person in the World," pointing to numerous instances in which he said Fox News engaged in the same kind of tactics O'Reilly decried.
NBC's Tim Russert falsely suggested that the members of Congress who escorted President Bush into the House chamber prior to the State of the Union address had all been briefed on the warrantless domestic surveillance program. In fact, only three of the 20 lawmakers on the "escort committee" received briefings on the controversial program prior to its public disclosure. Furthermore, members of Congress from both parties have challenged the adequacy of those briefings.
Appearing on MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann, Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank repeated President Bush's recent defense of statements he made in 2004 suggesting that the government does not engage in surveillance without obtaining a warrant. Milbank said that Bush had been referring only to "roving wiretaps" in the context of the USA Patriot Act, and not to all domestic wiretapping. While that is the context in which Bush was speaking, what he actually said referred to all wiretapping activity, even while he was secretly authorizing warrantless wiretaps.
During MSNBC's coverage of the Democratic response to the State of the Union address, Newsweek's Jon Meacham referred to the Democratic base as "the people who have an almost irrational hatred of George W. Bush in the way the hard right in the Republican Party had an irrational hatred of Bill Clinton." He added: "I mean some things never change."
Immediately following the State of the Union address, Chris Matthews praised the "strong statements" that President Bush made defending his domestic spying program without correcting Bush's discredited suggestion that two 9-11 hijackers could have been caught if the program had existed. Matthews also said that the criticism of the program was defined by partisanship, despite the fact that the program has been questioned by both Democrats and Republicans.
On Hardball, Chris Matthews and Tucker Carlson suggested that the Democrats will "look bad" if the Democrats "sit on their hands" and don't applaud President Bush during his State of the Union address while "the Republicans stand up and roar."
On Hardball, host Chris Matthews called Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) "the guy that molested" Martha-Ann Alito, Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito Jr.'s wife.
In a January 23 speech defending his warrantless domestic surveillance program, President Bush claimed that Congress' 2001 authorization of force, upheld by the Supreme Court in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld, establishes his authority to conduct the program. But numerous legal authorities have objected to Bush's claim that the high court affirmed his authority to wiretap U.S. residents without a warrant. Despite these objections, several news outlets repeated Bush's claim without challenge.