In a July 21 article on President Bush's first-ever speech as president before the NAACP, The Washington Post's Darryl Fears reported that Bush received "thunderous applause" after he "acknowledged that his political party wrote off the black vote." In fact, the audience responded much more energetically to Bush's preceding assertion: his acknowledgment that many "African-Americans distrust" the Republican Party. The response to that comment appeared not to be approval for Bush's acknowledgment, but, rather agreement that many African-Americans do indeed "distrust" the Republican Party.
A Washington Post editorial baselessly asserted that the Bush administration's policy on embryonic stem cell research was a "compromise" that "made sense" at the time but has since "proved unduly restrictive." In fact, concerns among the research community that the White House policy would be overly restrictive were widely reported in 2001, and the Post editorial board noted some of these concerns in an editorial at the time.
Few media reports on new, lower federal budget deficit projections by the Bush administration pointed out that critics have accused the administration of inflating its original deficit predictions to be able to later tout the actual, less dire, figures.
A Washington Post article sought out Democrats and independents expressing the "evidence of unease" about the potential presidential candidacy of Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, following up on a poll conducted by the newspaper in May that found 54 percent of respondents had a favorable opinion of Clinton and that 57 percent would definitely vote for her or consider voting for her in 2008. Media Matters asks: Will the Post also seek out Republicans and independents expressing unease about another potential 2008 candidate, Sen. John McCain?
In a Washington Post article, staff writers Dan Balz and Richard Morin cited the results of a misleading poll question to assert that a majority of Americans "oppose a deadline for getting out of Iraq." But the poll set up a false dichotomy between two Republican talking points -- that proponents of withdrawing troops from Iraq only wish to do so "in order to avoid further casualties," and that "pull[ing] out would only encourage the anti-government insurgents."
A Media Matters analysis of the media coverage of the Iraq war debate shows that the favored Republican talking points on Iraq have gone largely unchallenged in the media and have even been adopted as truths by some media outlets and figures.
An article in The Washington Post reported the claim that the June 23 report by The New York Times on a Treasury Department program designed to monitor terrorists' international financial transactions "undermined a highly successful counter-terrorism program and alerted terrorists to the methods and sources used to track their money trails." But the article at no point mentioned the numerous instances in which administration officials have publicly touted their efforts to track terrorist finances. Nor did it note reports that terrorists were increasingly using alternate means of transferring money to elude detection.
A Washington Post article noted that President Bush has recently begun "[s]harpen[ing] his attack[s]" on Democrats by alleging that "some Democrats want to surrender" in Iraq, but did not mention the reported pullout plan for Iraq drafted by Gen. George W. Casey Jr.
Washington Post columnist David Broder asserted that President Bush finds the "resistance in the House to a permissive immigration bill" to be an "alien sentiment," for the "simple reason" that Bush is a Texan. But Broder ignored the fact that Bush's White House reportedly pushed for some of the harshest provisions in the immigration bill the House passed in December, including a provision that would make illegal presence in the country a felony.
Several news outlets missed a key point in their reporting on the Senate's defeat of two Democratic amendments calling for U.S. redeployment from Iraq: The Democrats' claim that their position reflects public opinion is backed by polling data showing that a majority of Americans support some form of withdrawal.
Washington Post columnist David Broder roundly dismissed "liberal bloggers," claiming that "the blogs I have scanned are heavier on vituperation of President Bush and other targets than on creative thought." But Broder has yet to comment on conservative bloggers in any way, let alone their displays of "vituperation."
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.