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Bill O'Reilly claimed that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) was "set up to prevent ... criminal abuses" and does not address wartime. In fact, FISA contains specific wartime provisions.
On The O'Reilly Factor, guest host Tony Snow repeated the false claim that Valerie Plame's husband, former ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV, said his wife "wasn't covert for six years" before she was exposed as a CIA operative by Robert Novak in a July 14, 2003, column. In fact, Wilson never made such a statement.
Wall Street Journal deputy editorial page editor Daniel Henninger claimed that Democrats were "very ungracious" during President Bush's January 31 State of the Union address for "refusing to applaud anything this president said." In fact, the Democrats applauded more than a dozen times during Bush's speech.
During an interview on Fox News Sunday, Fox News' Chris Wallace failed to challenge Gen. Michael Hayden when he defended the Bush administration's domestic surveillance program by claiming that in order to undertake domestic surveillance without a warrant, the National Security Agency must have evidence "in the probable cause range." Hayden's statement appears to be in direct contradiction to an earlier statement he made, in which he said the program requires a "reasonable basis" standard that he admitted is "a bit softer than it is for a FISA warrant."
Fox News' Jim Angle falsely claimed that Democrats initially objected to the Bush administration's domestic surveillance program because they opposed eavesdropping on people believed to be tied to terrorist activity but then made a "shift in strategy" to argue, as Charles Krauthammer put it, "a narrow issue of legality." Krauthammer further suggested that Democrats engaged in a "wholesale retreat" after recognizing that "opposing the idea of listening in on an Al Qaeda call into the U.S. is not a political winner."
Fox News chief Washington correspondent Jim Angle repeated the discredited claim that the National Security Agency's (NSA) warrantless domestic surveillance program led to the arrest of Al Qaeda accomplice Iyman Faris, a naturalized U.S. citizen who pleaded guilty in 2003 to plotting to destroy the Brooklyn Bridge. However, a January 17 New York Times report indicated that information gleaned from the warrantless NSA eavesdropping did not play "a significant role" in Faris's capture.
Fox News' Brit Hume selectively cited a Chicago Sun-Times column to attack Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) chairman Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) over his relationship to his former campaign treasurer, William Singer. Citing the column, Hume said Singer lobbied Emanuel on at least one occasion since he became Emanuel's campaign treasurer but omitted that the same Sun-Times column also reported that "Emanuel voted against Singer's position."
Bill O'Reilly again denied that he endorsed an Al Qaeda attack on San Francisco.
On Hannity & Colmes, Pat Robertson once again called for the assassination of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, "Not now, but one day, one day."
On the February 1 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, Sean Hannity quoted a CBS poll that showed "77 percent of the people watching [the State of the Union address] liked his [President Bush's] agenda." In doing so, Hannity touted poll results that CBS' own Bob Schieffer warned his audience may not be reliable.
Fox News' Brian Wilson falsely reported that legislation enacting nearly $40 billion in budget cuts, from programs including federal student loans and Medicaid, "passed along party lines." In fact, 13 Republicans joined all 200 Democrats and one independent in voting against the measure.
Bill O'Reilly claimed that remarks by CNN's Christiane Amanpour show that she has a "rooting interest" in the Iraq war being a disaster, though nothing she said supports O'Reilly's assertion.
Following President Bush's State of the Union address, various media figures described his defense of domestic eavesdropping as "strong," "vigorous," and "fierce." But they failed to note the numerous inaccuracies Bush employed in justifying the surveillance program, whose legality has been challenged not just by Democrats, but by Republicans and some prominent conservative legal scholars as well.
Fox News has adopted the Bush administration's terminology for its warrantless domestic spying program, calling it the "terrorist surveillance program."