Fox News host Steve Doocy repeatedly touted Operation Mountain Thrust, in which coalition forces killed 600 Taliban fighters in Afghanistan, as "a real success story," adding that the operation's purported success is "going to allow U.S. forces to withdraw in some measure." At no point during the segment did Doocy mention why the operation might have been necessary -- according to recent reports by USA Today and Reuters, the Afghan insurgency is a greater threat than at any point since the U.S.-led effort to expel the Taliban in 2001.
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.
Several conservative media figures baselessly asserted that "a lot" of Democrats, including Rep. John P. Murtha (D-PA), had asked The New York Times not to publish an article disclosing a secret counterterrorism program that involves tracking bank records. But Times executive editor Bill Keller named only three people outside the administration (two of whom were Democrats) who Keller said contacted the Times regarding the story; moreover, he did not say whether the two Democrats advocated against publishing the article.
After the release of a picture depicting White House counselor Dan Bartlett and press secretary Tony Snow wearing helmets and flak jackets while riding in a helicopter in Iraq, CNN chief national correspondent John King reported that President Bush also wore protective gear during the helicopter ride, but that members of the media "did not get to photograph" Bush because official personnel "didn't want us to get any pictures" of him entering or exiting the aircraft. In contrast, on Fox and Friends, co-hosts Steve Doocy and E.D. Hill claimed Bush wore no protective gear, but cited no evidence supporting their claim.
On Fox & Friends, co-hosts Steve Doocy, E.D. Hill, and Brian Kilmeade discussed Associated Press staff writer John Solomon's recent report that Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid had accepted free tickets to several Las Vegas boxing matches from the Nevada Athletic Commission (NAC) while "he was pressing legislation ... that [the NAC] feared might usurp its authority." But like Solomon's article, the hosts failed to note that Reid signed off on the bill the NAC opposed -- to create a federal boxing federation -- allowing its passage in the Senate.
Following the publication of a New York Times article on the purported state of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) and former President Bill Clinton's marriage, numerous news outlets ran reports and aired discussions on the story. The 2,000-word article by Times reporter Patrick Healy was based on the accounts of "some 50 people," "many" of whom "were granted anonymity to discuss a relationship for which the Clintons have long sought a zone of privacy."
On April 20, Republican strategist Mary Matalin appeared alone on five network and cable morning shows with no one to rebut her false claims, pro-GOP spin, and attacks on the Democratic Party.
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.
Fox News has adopted the Bush administration's terminology for its warrantless domestic spying program, calling it the "terrorist surveillance program."