Friday, May 25, 2007

Media Matters for America, May 25, 2007

CNN's Costello ignored failed Bush nominee's private-sector severance

On the May 23 edition of CNN's The Situation Room,contributor Carol Costello reported that manufacturing industry lobbyist Michael Baroody "is withdrawing his nomination as President Bush's pick to head the Consumer Product Safety Commission," and asserted: "Some Senate Democrats strongly opposed him, saying that as a lobbyist for the National Association of Manufacturers, he is not the right person to fight for consumers. But the Bush administration says Baroody has an impressive record of doing just that." However, Costello left out a crucial element of the conflict-of-interest charges surrounding Baroody's nomination: that he was set to receive a $150,000 severance package from the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). By contrast, numerous other outlets noted the objections over Baroody's severance package in their coverage of his withdrawal. Read more

Ignoring example of Griffin, AP cast concerns about Patriot Act provision as Democratic speculation

In an article on a House-passed bill repealing the law that allowed the Bush administration to appoint "interim" U.S. attorneys indefinitely and without Senate confirmation, the Associated Press reported that the change "will close a loophole that Democrats say could have permitted the White House to reward GOP loyalists with plum jobs as U.S. Attorneys." But what the AP characterized as Democrats' concerns have already borne out: Tim Griffin, a former aide to Karl Rove, has been serving -- and continues to serve -- without Senate confirmation.Read more

Again ignoring U.S. attorney scandal, CBS Evening News did not report on Goodling's testimony

Continuing a pattern of ignoring developments in the scandal surrounding Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales and the dismissal of several U.S. attorneys, the May 23 CBS Evening News with Katie Couric was the only network evening news broadcast that did not cover former Justice Department official Monica Goodling's May 23 testimony before the House Judiciary Committee. During her testimony, Goodling stated that she may have "crossed the line" by taking "inappropriate political considerations into account" in hiring career Justice Department officials, potentially a violation of the law. Goodling, a former aide to Gonzales, also suggested that former Deputy Attorney General Paul J. McNulty had lied under oath and that Gonzales may have done so as well during his testimony on the scandal.Read more

CNN aired Bush assertion about Iraq three times in one hour without assessing its validity

President Bush's statement, "The enemy in Vietnam had neither the intent nor the capability to strike our homeland. The enemy in Iraq does," was aired three times in the 4 p.m. ET hour of the May 23 edition of CNN's The Situation Room. While host Wolf Blitzer invited Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards to respond to the statement at one point, at no point did he or other CNN personalities note that, as Media Matters for America has documented, the assertion that terrorists will "strike our homeland" following a U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq is widely challenged by experts.Read more

Wash. Post's Solomon and Birnbaum showed no attempt to contact SF officials about Pelosi funding request

A May 24 Washington Post article by staff writers John Solomon and Jeffrey H. Birnbaum, headlined "In the Democratic Congress, Pork Still Gets Served," reported that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) "requested $25 million for a project to improve the waterfront in her home district of San Francisco," but her "request did not note that her family owns interests in four buildings near the proposed Pier 35 project," suggesting that Pelosi violated the requirements of a "key Democratic reform" noted in the report. The article quoted a Pelosi spokesman saying that "any suggestion of a conflict of interest is 'ridiculous' " and that "Pelosi was passing along a spending request from the Port of San Francisco and that she would not benefit from it." But Solomon and Birnbaum gave no indication that they attempted to contact officials from the Port of San Francisco to confirm the spokesman's claim. As Media Matters for America noted, blogger Greg Sargent reported May 8 that Port of San Francisco officials told him in a phone interview that they requested the waterfront improvement spending. Read more

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