In an interview with White House press secretary Tony Snow, NBC's Today co-host Katie Couric allowed Snow's misleading claims -- as well as his use of the racially charged term "tar baby" in his first live televised press briefing -- to go unchallenged.
On NBC's Meet the Press, Wall Street Journal national political editor John Harwood said of presumptive presidential candidate Sen. John McCain (R-AZ): "I tell you what, when you have taken on a president of your party on taxes, torture, and campaign finance reform, your street cred as a maverick is pretty solid." Harwood, however, did not explain how, or if, his assessment of McCain was affected by McCain's February vote to extend President Bush's tax cuts, which McCain had long opposed.
Media Matters documents the misleading or false claims advanced by media figures and Bush administration supporters in the wake of news that the National Security Agency had since 2001 been secretly collecting records of phone calls made by millions of Americans.
NBC's Lisa Myers and CNN's David Ensor both asserted that data collected by the National Security Agency through a just-exposed program include only "phone calls made and received, but not customers' names and addresses." But they failed to inform viewers about a key point made by USA Today, which broke the story -- that the NSA can easily obtain this information through other databases.
In an interview with Vice President Dick Cheney, NBC's Kelly O'Donnell failed to challenge Cheney's misleading claims on prewar Iraq intelligence and the purported progress being made toward the establishment of a stable Iraqi state. O'Donnell also allowed Cheney to claim that 2005 was a "turning point" for Iraq without noting that the Bush administration has touted various "turning points" in the war for more than two years.
Recent media coverage of former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani has focused largely on his presumptive bid for the 2008 Republican nomination for president. Certain media outlets, however, are seemingly reluctant to look past Giuliani's reputation as "America's mayor" and note that Giuliani's career as a political figure -- both before and after the 9-11 attacks -- has been marked by numerous controversies and incidents that, at the time, were considered politically damaging.
After a speech by Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld on May 4, retired CIA analyst Ray McGovern questioned Rumsfeld over his previous claims about Iraq's purported weapons of mass destruction and ties to Al Qaeda. Rumsfeld gave misleading answers, which McGovern pointed out during the exchange. But in their coverage, NBC, CBS, and Fox News deceptively edited the exchange, excluding McGovern's rebuttals of Rumsfeld's claims without noting that they had done so.
Following the White House Correspondents' dinner, numerous news outlets trumpeted President Bush's performance at the event, but entirely ignored the scathing routine delivered by the night's featured entertainer, Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert. In his act, Colbert mocked the White House's current woes, slammed a wide range of Bush administration policies, and lampooned the mainstream media.
Both the CBS Evening News and NBC's Nightly News reported that President Bush endorsed a proposal by Senate Republicans to grant the executive branch authority to set fuel-efficiency standards for cars -- a power that currently resides with Congress. CBS and NBC failed to note, however, that this move by Bush represents a significant shift for the White House, which opposed, as recently as February, increasing efficiency standards for passenger cars.
Four days after former high-ranking CIA official Tyler Drumheller revealed that the Bush administration dismissed clear-cut evidence undermining President Bush's central case for war -- that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction -- the media, except for MSNBC and now CNN, have largely ignored the story.
NBC Today host Katie Couric asked Tim Russert if "in a strange way, the White House is breathing a sigh of relief" because President Bush's approval rating in a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll was "down just one point." But as a preceding segment on the show pointed out, Bush's new approval rating of 36 percent is his lowest ever recorded in that poll.
On CBS' 60 Minutes, former high-ranking CIA official Tyler Drumheller proved that the Bush administration dismissed clear-cut evidence undermining President Bush's central case for war -- that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction. But in the nearly two days since this explosive report aired, the media have almost entirely ignored the story.
Playing a clip of a 2005 speech in which Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton said abortion should be "safe, legal, and rare," Chris Matthews suggested that she was being disingenuous and accused her of "trying to play it safe" on the issue in order to follow the "same poll-tested path" in 2008 as previous Democratic presidential nominees during failed bids for the White House. But Matthews offered no support for his suggestion that Clinton's 2005 statement on abortion was disingenuous, nor did he mention that she used exactly those words in describing her views on abortion in 1999.
Reporting on a meeting between President Bush and Chinese President Hu Jintao, NBC News' David Gregory said that protesters from the banned religious movement Falun Gong, including one who interrupted Hu's remarks to plead that Bush "stop him [Hu] from killing," provided a "fitting backdrop to a strong message the president sent on human rights in China." But Gregory ignored the fact that, as The Washington Post reported on April 21, "Bush did not mention the persecution of Falun Gong, even with hundreds of its followers outside the White House."