Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Latest Items From Media Matters for America

O'Reilly's evolving deadline on preparing Iraqi security forces

Fox News host Bill O'Reilly declared on the September 26 edition of The O'Reilly Factor that Iraqi security and law enforcement forces should be given "another year and a half" to prepare to defend their country by themselves. But this is a substantially longer time frame than O'Reilly proposed less than two months earlier, on August 3, when he stated, "I mean, within six months, they either do it or they don't. I mean, we can't be South Vietnamese [sic] all over again. Either you fight or you don't." In amending his deadline, O'Reilly neither acknowledged his previous statement, nor gave any reasons for setting the new, longer deadline.


Major broadcast networks covered Frist scandal but overlooked Frist's documented falsehoods

On September 26, after largely ignoring the issue, news broadcasts on all three major television networks devoted segments to the brewing scandal over the sale by Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) of his stock in HCA Inc., the hospital chain founded by his father, just two weeks before a bad earnings report caused the stock price to drop sharply. But all three networks left out a significant angle, first reported on September 24 by The New York Times and the Associated Press: Frist falsely claimed in 2003 that he was unaware his qualified blind trusts included major holdings in HCA.


Dobbs omitted "intelligent design" proponent's Christian ties, beliefs

On the September 26 edition of CNN's Lou Dobbs Tonight, host Dobbs failed to inform viewers of guest Frank Sherwin's overt support for creationism, a literal belief in the biblical account of how the universe and human life were created. Dobson also left unchallenged Sherwin's disingenuous statements on the views that he and his group, the Institute of Creation Research, are advocating.


Hannity to guest: "I don't care about your thoughts" on Iraq veterans protesting the war

On the September 26 edition of Fox News' Hannity & Colmes, co-host Sean Hannity interrupted Global Exchange human rights director Ted Lewis's discussion of Iraq war veterans protesting the war. Hannity declared, "I don't care about your thoughts. You can tell them to [co-host] Alan [Colmes]."


"Oil"-Reilly again gushed misleading Iraqi oil statistics

Fox News host Bill O'Reilly again misleadingly maintained that Iraqi oil production is one of the success stories of the war, reporting that "[o]il production is up to 100 percent." As Media Matters for America has previously explained, O'Reilly ignores the fact that the current capacity of the Iraqi oil industry has greatly diminished from pre-war levels. While Iraq may indeed be producing at current capacity, the overall amount of oil the nation is producing is less than before the war.


For the record: Media figures admit they have been easy on Bush White House since 9-11

In recent weeks, several prominent journalists have publicly acknowledged that the U.S. media accorded President Bush too much deference following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman and NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams both noted that it was only in observing government failures in the Hurricane Katrina relief effort that journalists began seriously to challenge the administration. NBC News chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell conceded that reporters have been "less challenging" since the attacks. Friedman wrote that the 9-11 attacks created in the media a "deference" towards the administration. Williams described the press corps as "settling in to too comfortable a journalistic pattern," a phenomenon he described as the "9/11 syndrome."


Russert repeated false Knight Ridder claim that Cindy Sheehan "protested outside [Hillary] Clinton's New York office"

On the September 25 broadcast of NBC's Meet the Press, host Tim Russert suggested that Cindy Sheehan's anti-war activism might negatively affect a potential 2008 presidential campaign by Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY). In doing so, Russert read an excerpt of a Knight Ridder article that reported that "anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan protested outside Clinton's New York office" -- despite the fact that the protest in question occurred at the Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church, more than seven miles from Clinton's nearest office.


1 comment:

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