Seeking to minimize the extent to which the House Republican leadership can be blamed for the scandal surrounding former Rep. Mark Foley, several congressional Republicans, media figures, and conservatives have posited various conspiracy theories and placed blame on just about everyone and everything else -- including liberals, Democrats, the media, "politically correct culture," gays in Congress, and congressional pages.
Loading the player leg...
Loading the player leg...
On Hannity & Colmes, Newt Gingrich stated that Donald Rumsfeld's likening of Iraq war critics to Nazi appeasers was "not an insulting comment." Gingrich also repeated the misleading claim that the United States "found over 700 chemical warheads and weapons in Iraq, which supposedly had none, according to our friends on the left."
On the heels of several conservative media outlets cropping a quote from Rep. John Dingell to suggest that he had refused to condemn Hezbollah's actions in the ongoing conflict with Israel, Newt Gingrich announced on Fox News Sunday that Dingell had said "there's no moral difference" between Hezbollah and Israel.
Numerous conservative pundits offered highly optimistic predictions about the U.S. invasion of Iraq regarding the conflict's duration, difficulty, and human and financial costs -- nearly all of which have proven to be wrong. But rather than hold these "Pollyanna pundits" accountable for their past misjudgments, the media have again provided a platform for their views about the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hezbollah. And echoing their rhetoric on Iraq, these conservative pundits have advocated further military action by the United States and its allies.
On NBC's Meet the Press, Newt Gingrich declared that "we are in the early stages of what I would describe as the Third World War." As evidence of "World War III," Gingrich cited -- among other events -- two purported terror plots that involved alleged conspirators who intended to attack U.S. targets but had no apparent means to do so.
Many of the same media conservatives who continually attacked The New York Times for publishing details of the Treasury Department's bank-tracking program have remained silent about the New York Daily News' decision to report that FBI officials thwarted an alleged terrorist plot in New York City, despite apparent objections from intelligence and law enforcement officials that the disclosure impeded further arrests.
In response to the reports describing a Treasury Department program designed to monitor international financial transactions for terrorist activity, President Bush and other White House officials lashed out at the media -- and The New York Times in particular -- for purportedly undermining the government's antiterrorism efforts. But as with the disclosure of the Bush administration's warrantless domestic surveillance and domestic call-tracking programs, the administration and its supporters in the media have relied on numerous false and misleading claims to support their arguments.
Numerous conservative media figures have lashed out at The New York Times and its executive editor, Bill Keller, over an article describing a secret Bush administration program designed to monitor international financial transactions, arguing that the publication of the article was a treasonous act and suggesting that the newspaper is "sid[ing] with al Qaeda" and "aiding and abetting the terrorist movement."
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich asserted that "the most logical explanation" for Rep. John P. Murtha's (D-PA) criticism of the administration's handling of the Iraq war is that Murtha thinks "bashing America, and bashing the military, and repudiating everything I've stood for my whole life" will help him achieve greater political power. Gingrich's assessment of Murtha's motivation came in response to guest co-host Mike Gallagher, who asked, "Is [Murtha] having some kind of mental meltdown? Is he crazy like a fox or just plain crazy?"
Loading the player leg...
On Hannity & Colmes, Newt Gingrich falsely claimed that former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV was sent on a fact-finding trip to the African country of Niger "because his wife got him the job," that Wilson "implied that [Vice President Dick] Cheney had gotten him the job," and that Wilson "lied about his own report" on the findings of his trip. Media Matters for America has previously debunked each of these falsehoods.
The campaign against purportedly biased reporting on the Iraq war -- forwarded by President Bush, White House officials, and array of conservative media figures -- has continued on the airwaves and in print.
In describing what would happen if the Democrats took control of the House, former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich, appearing on Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, said "you can expect two years of all-out investigations, attacks, anything they can bring to bear." What Gingrich didn't say is that prior to the 1994 elections, he reportedly vowed, "Washington just can't imagine a world in which Republicans would have subpoena power," and he delivered.