Many news reports on the firing of eight U.S. attorneys have suggested political interference in the justice system, but none of the broadcast networks' evening news programs has even mentioned the case.
In reporting on the Bush administration's allegations about Iran's role in Iraq, media outlets have covered the matter in a muddled, incomplete manner, omitting any skeptical or critical analysis of these allegations, which suggests, in the words of washingtonpost.com's Dan Froomkin, that "the lessons we should have learned from Iraq may not have been learned at all."
In their January 17 coverage of the Bush administration's "innovative" new approach to domestic surveillance, numerous television outlets called the development a "major change," a "sharp reversal," and an "about-face," but not one noted that the administration's explanations of its new approach have been highly ambiguous, leaving significant questions about the extent to which the administration is actually ceding authority to the courts.
Major papers and the broadcast news networks have either ignored or downplayed the "personal and political baggage" identified by the staff of former New York City mayor and presumptive 2008 Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani in a document that lays out his plan for a "bid for the White House."
NBC's Brian Williams said that Rep. Frank Wolf "came up with the idea for the Iraq Study Group after ... returning from his third trip to Iraq after having seen how much the situation there had deteriorated and how violent Iraq had become." In fact, a September 2005 op-ed by Wolf written after that trip stressed that "real progress is being made [in Iraq]" and claimed the media were not giving sufficient attention to it -- a very different picture from the dire conditions described in the ISG's final report.
NBC's Andrea Mitchell asserted that President Bush "has proved he can be pragmatic," citing instances in which Bush has reversed course on major policy and staff decisions. But during the 2004 presidential campaign, Mitchell uncritically repeated GOP characterizations of purported shifts by Sen. John Kerry as "flip-flops."
On November 6, all three major network evening news broadcasts pointed to "new polling" to assert that the midterm elections are "tightening." In doing so, these outlets ignored several polls released during the same period that indicate the gap between Democrats and Republicans is stable or widening.
Despite the significance of President Bush's November 1 pronouncement that Donald Rumsfeld will remain defense secretary until the end of his presidency, multiple media outlets have devoted much greater attention to the controversy over Sen. John Kerry's "botched joke."