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."
Chris Matthews failed to challenge former RNC chairman Ed Gillespie's false suggestion that Sen. John McCain had not recently criticized "the president" for his overly optimistic rhetoric on the war in Iraq, but rather had stated that "the people thought it was going to be easier than it was." In fact, the four comments McCain specifically quoted as having "led" the American people "to believe that this [the Iraq conflict] would be some kind of a day at the beach" all came from high-ranking members of the Bush administration, including one statement from President Bush himself.
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On Hardball, The Washington Times' Tony Blankley stated that the word "macaca," "[i]n Italian, I'm told, it means a clown." The term was twice used by Sen. George Allen to refer to S.R. Sidarth, a volunteer with the campaign of Allen's Democratic Senate challenger Jim Webb.
In his third appearance on an NBC-owned channel in two days to promote his new book, Pat Buchanan asserted that "the Mexican government is interested in basically the reconquista of the American Southwest." Meanwhile, on The O'Reilly Factor, Michelle Malkin claimed the idea of reconquista is "mainstream" among immigrants.