The Washington Times' Tara Wall said regarding the selection of Rev. Rick Warren to deliver the inaugural invocation: "The fact is most Americans, most Californians, oppose gay rights. This is reflective of the nation." Wolf Blitzer interjected: "Not gay rights, but same-sex marriage." Wall responded: "Excuse me, same-sex marriage. This is reflective of the nation as a whole." But simply characterizing Warren's position on same-sex marriage as mirroring that of most Americans, Wall and Blitzer ignored Warren's degrading comments about same-sex marriage and his mischaracterization of Proposition 8.
In the absence of any actual allegations of wrongdoing by President-elect Barack Obama or his staff in connection with the scandal involving Gov. Rod Blagojevich, several media figures have in recent days ominously asserted that a "cloud" hangs over Obama because of the Blagojevich scandal, or that the scandal threatens to cast a "cloud" over Obama's presidency.
The headline of a Washington Times article about the implications of the charges against Gov. Rod Blagojevich baselessly asserted: "Scandal casts cloud over Obama presidency." In fact, the article itself noted that "[a]uthorities stressed that Mr. Obama was not involved in the far-flung corruption probe" and that U.S. attorney Patrick Fitzgerald "told reporters, '[t]he complaint makes no allegations about the president-elect whatsoever.' "
In a Washington Times column, Armstrong Williams claimed that secretary of state nominee Sen. Hillary Clinton's "antics and brokering of deals on how many times she gets to stand with Mr. Obama have signaled the beginnings of a rogue element." Williams then asked: "Does she see her powerful position as some shadow Oval Office when it comes to international diplomacy?" Williams also asserted: "I fear the incoming Obama White House will be forced to engage in hours upon hours of groveling and hand-holding down in Foggy Bottom."
The Washington Times uncritically reported a claim by Pennsylvania attorney Philip J. Berg, as stated in an ad Berg placed in the newspaper, that the birth certificate released by Barack Obama's campaign has "clearly been altered." The Times did not note that FactCheck.org reported that it has "seen, touched, examined and photographed the original birth certificate," concluding that it "meets all of the requirements from the State Department for proving U.S. citizenship," nor did it note a statement by Health Department director Chiyome Fukino that "the Hawai'i State Department of Health has Sen. Obama's original birth certificate on record in accordance with state policies and procedures."
Claiming that President-elect Barack Obama's "wiggle-room talk is making his party's hard-line, antiwar base very unhappy and there is growing anger in the leftist blogosphere," The Washington Times' Donald Lambro falsely suggested that Obama has only recently proposed a "residual force" of U.S. troops in Iraq, claiming that Obama "now says the U.S. will have 'to maintain a residual force to provide potential training for the Iraqi military, logistical support to protect our civilians in Iraq' " [emphasis added]. In fact, Obama talked throughout the presidential campaign about the likely need for such a force to remain in Iraq.
An editorial and a column published in The Washington Times included the false claim that U.S. autoworkers earn an average of $70 an hour or more in wages and benefits. In fact, according to General Motors, the figure is based not only on current workers' hourly wages and benefits, such as health care and retirement, but also retirement and health-care benefits that U.S. automakers are providing for current retirees.
A Washington Times article by reporter Stephen Dinan headlined "Obama hijacks GOP language on key issues" asserted that President-elect Barack Obama was "borrowing a line from the Republican-revolution playbook" when Obama said that, in Dinan's words, states should be "laboratories for solutions to the nation's big problems." However, later in the article, Dinan rebutted his own assertion, as well as the Times' headline, in noting that Obama "trac[ed] the concept back to Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, who ... said states could 'serve as a laboratory.' "
In an article on the Georgia Senate run-off, The Washington Times reported Sen. Saxby Chambliss' suggestion that he would support filibustering judicial nominees if they are, in Chambliss' words, "liberal activist[s]," but did not note that Chambliss previously said that the filibuster of judicial nominations, preventing an up-or-down vote on the nomination, is unconstitutional.
In recent days, The Washington Times and the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review published op-eds by members of the Heritage Foundation containing the false claim that union autoworkers earn $75 an hour in wages and benefits. In fact, according to General Motors, these claims are based not only on current workers' hourly wages and benefits, such as health care and retirement, but also retirement and health-care benefits that U.S. automakers are providing for current retirees.
In a Washington Times article, Jerry Seper repeated accusations in a House Republican report of wrongdoing by Eric Holder -- reportedly President-elect Barack Obama's choice for attorney general -- in the 2001 pardon of Marc Rich. In doing so, Seper falsely suggested that Holder was the author of an email telling Rich's attorney that "the 'timing is good' for Mr. Rich's request for a pardon," and did not report the refutation of the allegations by House Democrats.
The Media Research Center's Robert Knight, who is also a columnist for Townhall.com and Human Events, was quoted in The Washington Times as saying that the efforts of activists to lift the ban on gays and lesbians serving in the military will lead to "a Pearl Harbor moment." Knight has previously compared the attacks on Pearl Harbor to the legalization of same-sex marriage in particular.
A Washington Times article stated that Sen. John McCain "drew fresh attention this week to Mr. [Barack] Obama's friendship with Rashid Khalidi" regarding "a 2003 party in Chicago honoring Mr. Khalidi where Mr. Obama gives a speech." But it did not note McCain's own reported "connection to Khalidi": His role as chairman of an organization that awarded a $448,873 grant to an organization Khalidi co-founded.