Following the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the news that Karl Rove would not be indicted in the CIA leak case, and other events, media figures have declared that the Bush administration is experiencing "a surge of momentum." But such assertions ignore the White House's numerous current problems.
A June 13 Washington Post article reported Karl Rove's claim in a recent speech that Democrats are "for more spending," while Republicans support "less spending" but provided no rebuttal to the assertion. In fact, President Bush and the GOP-led Congress have joined in creating massive budget deficits by significantly increasing domestic and defense spending while cutting taxes.
The Washington Post again identified Rep. John P. Murtha as "pro-military," just as it repeatedly did following his call in November 2005 for the redeployment of U.S. troops out of Iraq. In doing so, the Post suggests that other Democrats are not "pro-military" and that Murtha's views on troop withdrawal are inconsistent with his "pro-military" reputation and record in Congress.
In an article based on information from the Center for Public Integrity's recent analysis of privately funded congressional travel, Washington Post staff writer Jeffrey Birnbaum largely depicted the issue of members accepting privately funded trips as a bipartisan one. But Birnbaum omitted several pertinent findings that show greater participation by Republican lawmakers and staff than by Democrats.
During an online chat on washingtonpost.com, Post columnist David Broder was asked by a reader "When can we expect an article from you on the marriages and divorces of the top Republican contenders for the presidential race of '08?" Apparently not recognizing the reader's reference to Broder's May 25 column, in which Broder speculated on the state of the Clintons' marriage, Broder answered: "Why would I write such an article? I know of no occasion for that."
On a Washington Post Radio program, Washington Post columnist David Broder defended his public speculation on the state of the marriage of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) and former President Bill Clinton. Asked whether his May 25 column "generate[d] more positive email or more negative email," Broder replied, "I'm getting killed." He explained that "the reaction was highly negative" and that readers had told him Sen. Clinton's marriage "is ... nobody else's business." But he said he disagreed.
Following President Bush's nomination of Henry M. Paulson Jr. to replace Treasury Secretary John Snow, major newspapers largely ignored a deceptive -- at best -- answer Bush gave last week about whether Snow would be leaving the administration. When asked during a May 25 press conference whether Snow "had given [Bush] any indication that he intends to leave his job any time soon," Bush responded: "No, he has not talked to me about resignation. I think he's doing a fine job." Yet press secretary Tony Snow told reporters that Bush had already selected John Snow's replacement by May 21.
In reporting on a newly released ABC News/Washington Post poll on the favorability of presumptive 2008 presidential nominees Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Sen. John McCain, the Post and ABC's Good Morning America focused almost entirely on numbers that indicate Clinton is "polarizing" and on the percentage of respondents who "would definitely not vote for" her in 2008. In its article, the Post also included an assertion about how people view Clinton that was contradicted by the poll results.
In articles on the House's passage of a bill that would allow oil exploration in a portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, and the Associated Press overstated the amount of oil that could be produced if the bill becomes law.
In a column titled "The Shadow of a Marriage," The Washington Post's David Broder discussed press interest in the personal lives of Bill and Hillary Clinton, asserting that, should she run for president, the Clintons' marriage will be a "hot topic" and stating that a recent New York Times article on the same topic was "anything but unsympathetic" to the Clintons. But Broder's interest in the intimate details of the Clintons' personal relationship is inconsistent with his own previous writing, in which he has argued that journalists focus too much on candidates' personal lives and that, as a result, the "public is choking on a surfeit of smut."
Media outlets have continued to ignore President Bush's previous praise of a controversial immigration bill that passed the House of Representatives in December and his reported advocacy of some of its most controversial provisions. These media have instead uncritically reported Bush's opposition to the House bill.
The Washington Post reported on House Republicans' passage of a $2.8 trillion budget proposal, the GOP divide over the spending plan, and an alternative budget blueprint put forward by moderate Republicans. But the Post ignored entirely an alternative budget proposed by House Democrats, which would have restored GOP-proposed cuts to social services and reinstated the pay-as-you-go rule that Republicans let expire in 2002.
The Washington Post reported Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales's defense of the Justice Department's decision to terminate an inquiry into whether department lawyers acted properly in authorizing the National Security Agency's (NSA) warrantless domestic surveillance program without providing any indication of the nature or degree of criticism greeting that decision.
Washington Post writers Dan Balz and Chris Cillizza asserted that the results of primary elections held in Oregon and Pennsylvania, which saw several Pennsylvania Republican state legislators ousted, "were the latest signals of brewing unrest that could threaten incumbents of both parties in the November elections." However, of the results reported in the article, the only one involving a Democrat was the primary victory of incumbent Oregon state Gov. Ted Kulongoski.
Following President Bush's announcement of his proposal to deploy as many as 6,000 National Guard troops to the Mexican border, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff defended the administration's plan to bolster border protection in numerous media appearances and interviews. But in their coverage, media generally failed to mention that in December 2005, Chertoff characterized the deployment of the National Guard for border protection as "a horribly overexpensive and very difficult way to manage this problem."