The Washington Post referred to Rudy Giuliani as "America's mayor" and suggested that after his "triumphal leadership on Sept. 11" Giuliani "transcended the life that was," including controversies involving his friend and former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik as well as controversies in his personal life. The Post article repeated a tendency by some in the media of touting Giuliani's actions as mayor of New York on 9-11 or labeling him "America's mayor" without mentioning that his performance before, during, and after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks has been questioned and criticized.
In his Washington Post column, discussing "the prospect of a dual presidency" -- if former President Clinton and Sen. Hillary Clinton return to the White House -- David Broder wrote that "the country must decide whether it is comfortable with such a sharing of the power and authority of the highest office in the land," adding that this is a "difficult question" that "lingers, even if unasked." But neither Clinton has said that a new Clinton White House would operate as "a dual presidency." Moreover, a recent Washington Post/ABC News poll found that 60 percent of respondents said they "personally feel comfortable ... with the idea of Bill Clinton back in the White House, this time as first husband," in contrast with the 30 percent who said they feel "uncomfortable."
The Washington Post's Michael D. Shear, echoing earlier reports in the Post and other media outlets, stated that former President Bill Clinton accused Democratic "rivals" of his wife, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, "of 'Swift boat'-style piling-on during the latest [Democratic presidential] debate." But Bill Clinton did not accuse Democrats of " 'Swift boat'-style piling-on"; rather, in a November 5 speech, he criticized Republican attacks on Democrats and the role the media play in contributing to such attacks.
Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz wrote that NBC Washington bureau chief Tim Russert "was ripped by liberal bloggers" after "he repeatedly pressed Hillary Clinton during a presidential debate." But Kurtz did not note that at least two of the questions Russert posed to Clinton included falsehoods.
Washington Post reporter Anne E. Kornblut claimed that during the October 30 Democratic presidential debate, Sen. Hillary Clinton "seemed to contradict a directive from her husband [former President Bill Clinton], who in 2002 wrote a letter suggesting archivists consider correspondence between him and his wife for withholding." Kornblut did not note that, in fact, it was moderator Tim Russert who misrepresented Bill Clinton's 2002 letter by characterizing it as a "ban" on the release of the correspondence; the letter did not ask that such communications "not be made available" but, rather, as Kornblut reported, listed them as documents to be "considered for withholding." Further, Clinton adviser Bruce Lindsey has stated that "Bill Clinton has not asked that records related to communications with Senator Clinton be withheld."
Discussing Sen. Hillary Clinton's performance during the Democratic presidential debate, Chris Matthews claimed that Clinton made herself "look like a switcher" when responding to questions about her views on Gov. Eliot Spitzer's proposal to allow illegal immigrants to obtain driver's licenses. In fact, Clinton maintained that Spitzer's plan "ma[de] sense," explaining that "what Governor Spitzer is trying to do is fill the vacuum left by the failure of this administration to bring about comprehensive immigration reform" and claiming: "I believe we need to get back to comprehensive immigration reform because no state, no matter how well-intentioned, can fill this gap. There needs to be federal action on immigration reform." Matthews and other media figures invoked Sen. John Kerry's alleged "flip-flopping," suggesting that Clinton made inconsistent statements.
A Washington Post article quoted House Republican Conference chairman Adam Putnam saying that President Bush "sort of longs for those days [as Texas governor], when both sides were genuinely interested in getting along and getting a deal." But the Post did not note the many instances in which Putnam himself has leveled false and baseless accusations against his Democratic colleagues.
News outlets including CNN, the Associated Press, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times uncritically quoted White House spokeswoman Dana Perino's response to a question about an October 23 Federal Emergency Management Agency press conference, in which the questions were asked by FEMA staffers playing reporters. Perino said of the conference, "It is not a practice that we would employ here at the White House and we certainly don't condone it." But these news outlets failed to note previous Bush administration scandals involving "fake" reporting.
In his column, The Washington Post's Dana Milbank, referencing comments Democratic House Majority Whip James Clyburn made to the Post on July 30, wrote: "[Rep. Christopher] Shays condemned a House Democratic leader for saying that 'if the Iraqi war went well it would be bad for Democrats.' " But Milbank did not provide Clyburn's actual statement, nor did he note that Shays misrepresented Clyburn's remarks.
The Washington Post's Michael Fletcher asserted that President Bush "is generally against tax increases as he believes they stifle economic growth. So his idea is to pay for the war by cutting back elsewhere in the budget." In fact, inflation-adjusted non-defense discretionary outlays have risen each year since Bush took office; Bush has actually paid for the war by deficit spending.
In an online discussion, washingtonpost.com blogger Paul Kane asserted that Sen. Hillary Clinton "tried to have it both ways when she was running for the Senate, claiming that she was a Yankees fan all her life." Similarly, the Chicago Sun-Times' Lynn Sweet wrote that Sen. Barack Obama said he was "a 'principled' sports fan, a slap, perhaps, at chief rival Hillary Rodham Clinton, who switched allegiance from Chicago to New York teams when she started her run to represent New York in the U.S. Senate." In fact, Clinton's 2003 autobiography contains a photograph of her wearing a Yankees cap in 1992, and The Washington Post reported in 1994 that "Mrs. Clinton ... was a 'big-time' fan of the Chicago Cubs and New York Yankees and 'understudied' Ernie Banks and Mickey Mantle."