In an editorial, USA Today advanced misleading attacks against two Democratic presidential candidates -- former Sen. John Edwards and Sen. Barack Obama. The editorial asserted that Edwards "charged a public university $55,000 for giving a speech" and that Obama misspelled the word "flak" in a recent press release. Further, the editorial presented both as examples of "gaffes and unguarded moments that are frequently trivial but sometimes seem to reveal deeper truths or reinforce misgivings about the candidates."
In recent articles on the standoff between President Bush and Congress over funding for the Iraq war, USA Today and the Associated Press uncritically reported Republican claims that terrorists in Iraq will "follow us home" if the United States withdraws its troops from the country. However, both news outlets did not report, as others recently have, that security and terrorism experts have challenged that view.
A USA Today article referred to former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani as a "hero of 9/11." But, while mentioning a leaked memo in which Giuliani's campaign staff set out potential areas of vulnerability, the USA Today article did not note the memo's reference to a particular scandal relating to terrorism preparedness.
Several major print outlets ignored statements by President Bush's nominee to lead Central Command that indicated he has "not gotten into the detail" of Bush's plan to increase the number of U.S. troops in Iraq and does "not know the details of how he [Bush] plans to use" the additional troops.
Major papers and the broadcast news networks have either ignored or downplayed the "personal and political baggage" identified by the staff of former New York City mayor and presumptive 2008 Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani in a document that lays out his plan for a "bid for the White House."
A USA Today editorial asserted that the U.S. "learned too late" that the first Gulf War had "limited" Saddam Hussein's "ability to develop weapons of mass destruction." But this assertion ignores prewar evidence that contradicted the Bush administration's claims that Iraq had WMD or was reconstituting its WMD programs.
Media Matters for America has identified six findings in the Iraq Study Group's report that major news outlets have largely overlooked. They include: that the Pentagon has significantly underreported the extent of violence in Iraq, that U.S. officials possess little knowledge about the sources of the ongoing attacks, and that the situation in Afghanistan has grown so dire that U.S. troops may need to be diverted there from Iraq.