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The Post Gets a Rewrite (But Doesn't Tell Its Readers):

On Friday, the Washington Post ran this story about Gov. Sarah Palin's speech before a brigade of soldiers bound for Iraq -- at least, that link is to the story that is on the Post's web page. But this is not the story as it originally appeared. As Bill Kristol notes here, the second paragraph of the story was rewritten -- and an entire sentence replaced -- to fix a gross error that dramatically distorted what Palin had said. Most egregiously, there is no indication on the web-version of the story that it was corrected, not even a note at the end of the piece. Whatever one thinks of the Post's reporting here, it should at least acknowledge that it changed the story's text to fix an error. If we bloggers are expected to disclose substantive revisions to our blog posts, shouldn't the MSM be held to the same standard?

taney71:
Standards for the MSM? They are the standard. Anything they say and do goes.
9.13.2008 10:43am
JoshN (mail):
In addition to that, they kept the misleading title of the piece intact, even though that title was contradicted by the text of the story.

The Post was on a roll yesterday. Kurtz's Media Notes column praised Gisbon for pressing on the 'task from God' comment, failing to note that Gibson was misquoting her. They never even ran a correction, although Kurtz did mock Fox News for objecting to the misquotation, without explaining that she had been misquoted.
9.13.2008 11:00am
John (mail):
Now, now. You are just seeing the legions of editors and fact checkers that the MSM have at their disposal. Doing their job. Correcting those errors. No need to TELL anyone there was an error. That might suggest to the ignorant that the legions of editors and fact checkers are not really doing what they are supposed to do.
9.13.2008 11:00am
How is it contradicted?:
JoshN - How is it contradicted? Her quote:
"You'll be there to defend the innocent from the enemies who planned and carried out and rejoiced in the deaths of thousands of Americans," Palin told the departing soldiers.


They're going to Iraq. Iraq was not at all responsible for 9/11. The current administration doesn't even say this stuff any more.
9.13.2008 11:12am
Dave N (mail):
How is it contradicted?

I know you are being deliberately obtuse, but al-Qaeda went into Iraq after we did and caused a lot of the mahem there. You knew that, I'm sure, but wanted to make your talking point.
9.13.2008 11:17am
rarango (mail):
How etc: how is it contracted? well, possibly because they are going to be involved in fighting Al Quaeda in Iraq, and it was AQ that planned and executed 9/11. That would be my interpretation.
9.13.2008 11:17am
akwhitacre (mail):
And though it looks like the Post missed adding a correction to this story, I noticed yesterday that their method for correcting errors in stories posted online--namely, adding a bright red "CORRECTION" blurb above the headline--is the most up front (literally I guess) acknowledgment practice I've ever seen.
9.13.2008 11:22am
fullerene:
So the enemies who "planned and carried out and rejoiced" are currently in Iraq? Given that she doesn't say anything more, isn't it hard to know exactly who she thinks these enemies are, where she thinks they were prior to the 9/11 attacks, and what role "Iraq" ultimately had in the attacks. Clearly, she is tying "Iraq" with 9/11. Kristol interprets her charitably. The Post does not. What else is new?

Really, there is a reason that a lot of people think that Iraq played a significant role in the 9/11 attacks. Stuff like this definitely reinforces the connection.
9.13.2008 11:24am
fullerene:

I know you are being deliberately obtuse, but al-Qaeda went into Iraq after we did and caused a lot of the mahem there.


I think a better description of what happened is that a group calling itself "Al Qaeda in Iraq" formed from the ashes of the country after our invasion. The conservative version where Al Qaeda is some sort of McDonald's-like corporation that seeds franchises all over the world reminds me of a recent Onion column in which Al Qaeda's corporate headquarters is fretting over the Baghdad franchises mysterious and unpopular campaign. Al Qaeda Corporate is so worried that it threatens to audit the local Iraq branch.
9.13.2008 11:29am
Elliot123 (mail):
"I think a better description of what happened is that a group calling itself "Al Qaeda in Iraq" formed from the ashes of the country after our invasion."

It actually formed from non-Iraqi Arabs who were not part of the ashes. They refer to themselves as the Mujahadin.
9.13.2008 11:45am
Dave N (mail):
fullerene,

Since al-Qaeda in Iraq has pledged itself to the larger al-Qaeda organization, it is a bit more than saying that al-Qaeda in Iraq "formed from the ashes" as if it were completely homegrown, homogenious group with no ties at all to al-Qaeda.

I would also note that Gov. Palin made her comments on September 11. Thus, her comments to the troops reminding them of what happened on 9/11/01, even as they were heading for Iraq and not Afghanistan, seem appropriate.
9.13.2008 11:50am
Grover Gardner (mail):
So they changed the text to reflect more kindly on Palin, but didn't tell anybody. That's frickin' EVIL.
9.13.2008 11:52am
JoshN (mail):
uh, yeah, they changed the text because it was a clear distortion. But they kept the misleading headline....
9.13.2008 12:11pm
Federal Dog:
Even Mark Penn acknowledges that the media's continuing misconduct has placed them on thin ice. If Obama loses, the media will have played a substantial part in producing that result.
9.13.2008 12:17pm
Nick B (mail):
After a front page article in the Washington Post called Hillary Clinton a (and I quote) "moderate" any possible credibility they had vanished.
They are Pravda.
9.13.2008 12:21pm
CLS (mail):
While the media has shamelessly distorted Palin's views it should be ntoed that Kristol's logic is weak. He says that Palin was arguing that we are in Iraq to defend Iraqi citizens from al Qaeda in Iraq. Of course, we were the ones who released al Qaeda in Iraq to attack the citizns in the first place -- they were not able to operate there until the US overthrew Saddam. One of the points I argued with the prowar crowd, when the conflict was first proposed, was that our incursion into Iraq would actually unleash this sort of thing -- and it did.

So, as I see it, it was foreseeable consequence of the invasion that al Qaeda was going to be freed in Iraq to carry out attacks in ways they could NOT do before the attack. As a foreseeable consequence the Bush administration is partially responsible for the attacks. So at best Palin can argue that more troops are being sent to Iraq to try and undo some of the damage caused by our intervention. Of course their presence there creates other problems but that is expected from government. Intervention in foreign affairs, like that in economics, always leads to unintended consequences which require yet further interventions and so the cycle the goes.
9.13.2008 12:33pm
Sam H (mail):
"...shouldn't the MSM be held to the same standard?"

The MSM? Next you will be expecting them to "tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth."
9.13.2008 12:52pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
While the media has shamelessly distorted Palin's views it should be ntoed that Kristol's logic is weak. He says that Palin was arguing that we are in Iraq to defend Iraqi citizens from al Qaeda in Iraq. Of course, we were the ones who released al Qaeda in Iraq to attack the citizns in the first place
So what? The second statement (your "of course") has absolutely nothing to do with whether the first statement (Palin's) is true.

In any case, the biggest dishonesty here by the Post is to fail to note that this was not a policy address or a press conference with the media, but a ceremony for departing troops. The claim, "You're going to Iraq which is the wrong war which was based on lies and deception by Bush and doesn't have anything to do with national security and in fact is probably making us less safe, and is pointless," even if it were true, would not have been appropriate.
9.13.2008 1:08pm
eyesay:
Bill Kristol's column, and this posting by Jonathan Adler, are about nothing.

Neither Bill Kristol nor anyone else here disputes that Palin told an Iraq-bound brigade of soldiers that they would "defend the innocent from the enemies who planned and carried out and rejoiced in the death of thousands of Americans." This transparently resurrects the discredited Bush administration lie that there was a connection between Iraq and the attacks of September 11, 2001.

No, I hear defenders of Palin say. She didn't mean that Iraq was responsible for 9/11, she meant that Al Qaeda in Iraq is associated with Al Qaeda, which was behind the attacks of 9/11.

I don't think so. I think Palin was trying to conflate Iraq with 9/11, because otherwise there would be no reason for the United States to have embarked on this fool's errand.

There was no Al Qaeda and no Al Qaeda in Iraq until the Bush administration stirred up the hornet's nest in America's greatest international blunder in a generation or more. So even if Palin was talking about Al Qaeda in Iraq, she's talking about a consequence of something that she's gung-ho for. She's using the Bush administration's SNAFU as an excuse for more of the same.

Both the original and the modified Washington Post articles were entirely true and correct. It was not a correction, but a decision to spotlight different facts. As it was not a correction, no correction notice was called for.
9.13.2008 1:18pm
Sam H (mail):
eyesay

Please explain why FDR attached the French in North Africa as his first move in the European theater in WWII.
9.13.2008 1:47pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Would the Fairness Doctrine require ABC to run the entire interview, including the parts they edited out?
That would be keen.

Somehow, I don't think the proponents of the FD expect it to work like that.
9.13.2008 1:54pm
David Warner:
eyesay,

So your theory is that our soldiers are currently fighting Iraq? I thought that part was over with the whole Curious George flies an Airplane thing. Whether you agree that they should be there or not (I'd rather they hadn't been sent there in the first place, given a President who hemorrhages cash like the trust-funder he is), to claim that they are not fighting violent Muslim terrorists (with the Al Qaeda brand foremost among them, until we - the forces on the democracy side - captured most of their market share) is at odds with the facts on the ground.

The failures in basic logic and grasp of facts among Palin's critics makes me wonder about their qualifications...
9.13.2008 2:03pm
fullerene:

fullerene,

Since al-Qaeda in Iraq has pledged itself to the larger al-Qaeda organization, it is a bit more than saying that al-Qaeda in Iraq "formed from the ashes" as if it were completely homegrown, homogenious group with no ties at all to al-Qaeda.


Can't it be homegrown and tied to Al Qaeda? I honestly don't know what the exact connection is between AQI and Al Qaeda. They share similar goals and a similar name. Is there a lot of back and forth collaboration? Hard to say. My guess is not, simply because there is no need for there to be any. Still, it is not at all difficult to figure out why people believe Iraq was responsible for 9/11. Palin's comments could, if you did not know the entire history of the conflict, lead one to that conclusion.
9.13.2008 2:26pm
Max (mail):
Orwell nods.
9.13.2008 2:57pm
Mister Snitch (mail) (www):
"I noticed yesterday that their method for correcting errors in stories posted online--namely, adding a bright red "CORRECTION" blurb above the headline--is the most up front (literally I guess) acknowledgment practice I've ever seen."

And there you go. The Post knows full well how to post a correction - when it WANTS to acknowledge it has changed something.

By NOT following its usual procedure, WaPo is lying to its readers. It is portraying the article as if it were the original article, and unchanged since its posting.

The "why" of this is no doubt well apparent to most Volokh readers.
9.13.2008 3:00pm
DiverDan (mail):

JoshN - How is it contradicted? Her quote:

"You'll be there to defend the innocent from the enemies who planned and carried out and rejoiced in the deaths of thousands of Americans," Palin told the departing soldiers.


Has it occurred to ANY of the MSM, or the thousands of Obama Backers and Palin haters, that what she was referring to was:

"You'll be there to defend the innocent [Iraqi civilians] from the enemies who planned and carried out and rejoiced in the deaths of thousands of Americans [i.e., the thousands of American Troops who have died in Iraq at the hands of Al Quaeda-Iraq militants and terrorists]," Palin told the departing soldiers.

In just what way is that either stupid or inaccurate, or a political gaffe?
9.13.2008 3:03pm
Federal Dog:
"In addition to that, they kept the misleading title of the piece intact, even though that title was contradicted by the text of the story."

It's an intentionally deceptive strategy. They count on people skimming headlines, but not bothering to read through entire articles.
9.13.2008 3:20pm
EH (mail):
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Would the Fairness Doctrine require ABC to run the entire interview, including the parts they edited out?
That would be keen.


They could just make the whole thing available for download and/or streaming. Ideally it would be better than their fiasco of Olympic coverage, but it would be a start.
9.13.2008 3:57pm
24AheadDotCom (mail) (www):
A couple days before the WaPo piece appeared, the author of the article wanted the WaPo's readers to send in questions for Palin that could be asked in the Gibson interview. She seemed quite happy about it. But, oddly enough, when given the chance she doesn't appear to have asked BHO anything of note, or at least she hasn't written about it at The Trail. Details on that here.

The way to deal with things like this is to highlight the reporters' names, something this post doesn't do. And, leave comments on their posts calling them on their reporting when possible. And, write to the paper, in this case it's: ombudsman *at* washpost.com
9.13.2008 4:01pm
Paul Horwitz (mail):
Far be it from me to interfere with a routine blog-centered criticism of the print or broadcast media, although it is worth noting every now and again that most blogging -- most certainly including the content on this (and my own) blog -- still consists of opinion or analysis that is utterly parasitic on the very same media. Nor have I seen the Post story in its various iterations, although I have read and find quite debatable William Kristol's rear-guard defense of what he charitably hypothesizes to be Palin's reasoning in this case.

But the short answer to your one and only question is that it makes little sense to simply assume that the MSM, whatever that actually is, should be held to the same standards as the blogosphere, and vice versa. As much as bloggers like to belittle them, and as true as it is that they are hardly perfect error-correction devices, a gauntlet of reporting and editing requirements face journalists in any news organization of any decent size, and that most certainly includes the Post. That includes the quite stringent educational and experiential requirements involved in getting a post at a choice paper, the various reportorial norms that apply, and most certainly -- and at times painfully in my experience -- a series of editors, all of whom ask probing questions about the piece and often force rewriting and rereporting. All of these are very lightly, but genuinely, backed up by a legal standard of actual malice that, while intended to give the press breathing room, also in effect reinforces and enforces a broad norm of non-negligent professionalism. The very reason good bloggers have come to develop a norm of real-time correction and commentary is that it serves as a substitute for these myriad (and expensive and time-consuming) professional constraints on journalism.

None of this, I should add against the nay-sayers, is intended to absolve the Post in this or any other instance. I wouldn't want to idealize the press any more than I would want to demonize it, although the latter seems to be a popular hobby online. The same goes for the blogosphere, to which I am a happy contributor despite its own manifest flaws. Perhaps we should demand even higher standards from both institutions. The point is that the standards that develop around each institution should reflect the needs, concerns, practices, and capabilities of the institution involved; they shouldn't, and needn't be expected to, simply ape each other.
9.13.2008 4:06pm
Curt Fischer:
It's an interesting point about posting the full length video.

Wouldn't it be interesting if campaigns took control of the actual videography of interviews? Say they call on a third-party interviewer--perhaps a journalist, but maybe even a blogger or professor (!)--come and talk to their candidate. How hard would it be to have the campaign tape the thing and have the campaign put the thing on their web site? Hopefully some agreement would be reached where the video would need to be posted in its entirety so that no one could accuse anyone of selective editing.
9.13.2008 4:12pm
fullerene:


"You'll be there to defend the innocent [Iraqi civilians] from the enemies who planned and carried out and rejoiced in the deaths of thousands of Americans [i.e., the thousands of American Troops who have died in Iraq at the hands of Al Quaeda-Iraq militants and terrorists]," Palin told the departing soldiers.


Palin sometimes leaves us guessing. One thing that is reasonably clear, however, is that while AQI may be dangerous, it is not responsible for thousands of deaths of American troops. It was not until October of 2004 that Zarqawi pledged allegiance to Al Qaeda, thus beginning the AQI period. Even after that, Shiite extremist groups carried out the bulk of attacks against US forces. No one knows exactly how many US soldiers AQI has killed, but given that it is but one Sunni group and that the Shiite groups are responsible for most casualties, the figure is almost certainly less than a thousand. It is also a relatively small group, with perhaps 1000 members. Nothing that we know about it indicates that it has ever been capable of killing large number of US soldiers.
9.13.2008 4:13pm
Jim,MtnViewCA,USA (mail):
Leaving aside the issue of this particular WaPo article it is hard to accept that BHO or Biden are being held to the same standard as Sarah Palin.
But...consider this is a form of war. The press wants to do its best to elect a Dem. All's fair. We need to keep that in mind.
9.13.2008 4:17pm
Bad English:
"That includes the quite stringent educational and experiential requirements involved in getting a post at a choice paper, the various reportorial norms that apply, and most certainly -- and at times painfully in my experience -- a series of editors, all of whom ask probing questions about the piece and often force rewriting and rereporting."


Geez. Who knew?
9.13.2008 4:19pm
CB55 (mail):
Palin argues that she shares the Lincoln belief as to God and Justice. Lincoln believed that the Union Cause (including the end of slavery) was Just and on the side of God. Palin takes the same position on the war. She believes the war is Just and if the war is Just, God is on our side and we are on the side of God because God is Just. She prays for Justice and in so praying that Gos is on our side and we are on the side of God. Like Lincoln, Palin ponders as to who and how can mortals know the mind of God or His Will, but she prays that we are on the side of God if his cause is just and ours is just. Lincoln believed that the USA was founded under God and if we were founded under God we must seek justice and be on the side of God and seek that God be on our side. Lincoln would argue that it is not war to end war that the Union sought but Justice. The war mission for McCain, the Bush Admin and Palin is based on justice and if it is just it is of God (at least they pray that it is).


"The will of God prevails. In great contests each party claims to act in accordance with the will of God. Both may be, and one must be, wrong. God cannot be for and against the same thing at the same time. In the present civil war it is quite possible that God's purpose is something different from the purpose of either party - and yet the human instrumentalities, working just as they do, are of the best adaptation to effect His purpose." The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume V, "Meditation on the Divine Will" (September 2, 1862?), pp. 403-404.

"In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free - honorable alike in what we give, and what we preserve. We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth. Other means may succeed; this could not fail. The way is plain, peaceful, generous, just - a way which, if followed, the world will forever applaud, and God must forever bless." Lincoln's Second Annual Message to Congress, December 1, 1862.


"Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves; and, under a just God, can not long retain it." The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln edited by Roy P. Basler, Volume III, "Letter To Henry L. Pierce and Others" (April 6, 1859), p. 376.

"In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free - honorable alike in what we give, and what we preserve. We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth. Other means may succeed; this could not fail. The way is plain, peaceful, generous, just - a way which, if followed, the world will forever applaud, and God must forever bless." Lincoln's Second Annual Message to Congress, December 1, 1862.

"...that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain; that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom; and that this government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, November 19, 1863.


"With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and his orphan - to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations." Lincoln's Second
Inaugural Address, March 4, 1865.

"Neither party expected for the war, the magnitude, or the duration, which it has already attained. Neither anticipated that the cause of the conflict might cease with, or even before, the conflict itself should cease. Each looked for an easier triumph, and a result less fundamental and astounding. Both read the same Bible, and pray to the same God; and each invokes His aid against the other. It may seem strange that any men should dare to ask a just God's assistance in wringing their bread from the sweat of other men's faces; but let us judge not, that we be not judged. The prayers of both could not be answered; that of neither has been answered fully. The Almighty has His own purposes." Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address, March 4, 1865.
9.13.2008 4:47pm
jccamp (mail):
I'm not sure how anyone could read the headline, and then the story, and not see a disconnect. Palin actually said "defend the innocent from the enemies who planned and carried out and rejoiced in the death of thousands of Americans."

As most people know, the U S has suffered more than four thousand deaths in Iraq, including over 3200 combat fatalities since GWB had that "Mission accomplished" thing. Palins's statement makes perfect sense for members of the armed forces going to Iraq. I see no effort by Palin to link the "thousands of deaths" to any single group, ethnicity, religious sect or otherwise. She does not seem reluctant to speak her mind, and presumably, had she wanted to link Iraq and 9-11, that's what she would have said.

Claiming she linked 9-11 to Iraq is dishonest, and a reach of logic. It's just another lying attempt to make Palin look like a MSM journalist in her personal veracity.

The Washington Post is not exactly a bastion of political impartiality, with a newsroom that scrupulously avoids any sign of liberal pandering or republican bashing. They've been on the New York Times plan for some time.
9.13.2008 5:06pm
a knight (mail) (www):
Et tu Fox?
"Report: Aides Incorrectly Claimed Palin Traveled Into Iraq", FOXNews.com, September 13, 2008

Call fire control:
Chris Freiberg, "Campaign downplays Palin's Iraq war remarks", Fairbanks News Miner, September 13, 2008

If the real thing dont do the trick
You better make up something quick
You gonna burn burn burn burn it to the wick
Ooooooh, barracuda?

Ann Wilson, Nancy Wilson, Michael DeRosier, Sue Ennis and Roger Fisher
"Barracuda", Heart, Portrait Records, 1977
9.13.2008 5:10pm
DG:
Actually, the Al Queda Franchise relationship is the best analogy for the relationship between a large number of groups - of varying names - and core Al Queda. The primary difference is the lack of a supply chain - in most commercial franchises, there is a strong integrated supply chain. However, many of the other properties of a commercial franchise are present including various training methodologies, periodic reporting, very general mission guidance, brand recognition, voluntary association, etc. I'm sure Al Queda would be very offended by the analogy and the case could be made that other organizations utilized similar models before commercial franchising became popular.

One other bit of continued silliness - that "mission accomplished" banner. Those banners are commonly displayed on Navy ships returning from deployment. While Bush's handlers erred in allowing himself to be photographed with the banner, there are a variety of similar displays seen on Navy ships on their way home.
9.13.2008 5:26pm
fullerene:

As most people know, the U S has suffered more than four thousand deaths in Iraq, including over 3200 combat fatalities since GWB had that "Mission accomplished" thing. Palins's statement makes perfect sense for members of the armed forces going to Iraq.


This would be a sensible interpretation were it not for the surrounding context. Earlier in the speech, Palin speaks of the conflict as one that "began seven years." That is obviously a reference to September 11, 2001. After the quotation in question, Palin said, "You will be there because America can never go back to that false sense of security that came before September 11, 2001." I think that stands for itself. That is what she said.
9.13.2008 5:43pm
fullerene:
Woops, Palin said the conflict "began seven years ago."
9.13.2008 5:44pm
TCO:
The MSM just sorta gets something in their head and figures it has to be right. Rather than checking and thinking.
9.13.2008 5:54pm
Alec Rawls (mail) (www):
Most importantly, the print newspapers all ran Kornblut's unedited smear. My post on SF Bay Area print coverage here.
9.13.2008 6:11pm
Duncan Frissell (mail):
4,000 Americans have been killed in Iraq by our enemies. They "planned and carried out and rejoiced" in their deaths. I think that 4,000 constitutes "thousands".

Gotcha!
9.13.2008 6:17pm
Federal Dog:
"She believes the war is Just and if the war is Just, God is on our side and we are on the side of God because God is Just."

Let's have her words. You are making shit up.
9.13.2008 6:44pm
Federal Dog:
"She believes the war is Just and if the war is Just, God is on our side and we are on the side of God because God is Just."

Let's have her words. You are making shit up.
9.13.2008 6:45pm
David Warner:
Paul Horwitz,

"That includes the quite stringent educational and experiential requirements involved in getting a post at a choice paper"

I think part of the goal bloggers have in highlighting these errors is to goad papers into drawing on a wider breadth of experience, and, yes, education, in selecting future journalists to make them better able to catch these ideology-driven mistakes.
9.13.2008 8:33pm
randal (mail):
If we bloggers are expected to disclose substantive revisions to our blog posts, shouldn't the MSM be held to the same standard?

Ummm... you are being held to the same standard. If you fail to follow this protocol, you will get angry blog posts and comments directed at you. That's what happened here. What's the problem?

It's not like you're legally required, as a blogger, to disclose corrections.
9.13.2008 9:17pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Paul Horwitz.
The layers of hard-eyed fact checkers don't seem to stop the practice of making stuff up.
9.13.2008 9:57pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
The layers of hard-eyed fact checkers don't seem to stop the practice of making stuff up.


I notice the McCain campaign "making stuff up," and then what they make up is promulgated by Byron York and Jim Lindgren, and then the "hard-eyed fact checkers" around here make the sound of crickets when this is pointed out. I wonder why that is.
9.13.2008 11:02pm
jccamp (mail):
Fullerene -

It seems to me that she is talking about a general "War on Terror", not trying to link 9-11 and Saddam Hussein. It's a pep talk for soldiers heading to war, not some well-choreographed poliicy speech. She has been pretty forthcoming about her thoughts thus far, which, in part, is responsible for her popularity. Baldly stating she made the link is really dishonest and misrepresentative of her remarks on the part of MSNBC.

Given all the back-and-forth on this exact question from both sides- for years now, do you think she would really assert such a thing? Disagree with her politics and her positions all you like. But MSNBC didn't really need to be so disingenuous - except that perhaps they don't want to admit to their bias.
9.14.2008 12:06am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
juke.
Nice try. But it wasn't bloggers who faked up TANG documents, nor a nonexistent affair between McCain and a lobbyist. Nor a fake koran-desecration story.
9.14.2008 12:17am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
it wasn't bloggers who faked up TANG documents


Do you really want to play this game? It was Power Line who came up with the idea that the famous Schiavo memo was written by Democrats.

a nonexistent affair between McCain and a lobbyist


You should tell us how you know it's "nonexistent." All we know is that NYT wrote about it, and then McCain issued a denial, and then everyone dropped the story. This is how many times Iseman was interviewed: zero. That darn liberal media.

I also notice that your idea of dealing with the false statement I highlighted is to change the subject.
9.14.2008 1:04am
Skeptical:
So your theory is that our soldiers are currently fighting Iraq?

Well, it is utterly true that they are fighting Iraqis. The Iraqi insurgency has always been almost entirely home-grown, foreign fighters never made up more than about 5% of it.

The Iraqi insurgents are patriots fighting to free their country from a foreign invading and occupying force. I suspect that many of the "patriot" blowhards here would claim to do the same thing if their country was invaded, occupied and then ruled by a puppet government.

It is amusing that whenever the American government labels one of its evil acts as "noble", the American public basically swallows the lie whole.
9.14.2008 1:40am
David M. Nieporent (www):
The Iraqi insurgents are patriots fighting to free their country from a foreign invading and occupying force.
Yes, foreign invading and occupying forces like public markets.

I'm sure they're striking a great blow against the U.S. by car bombing shopping Iraqis. Such patriotism!
9.14.2008 1:46am
AKD:
Skeptical,

You forgot the Hitler linkage.
9.14.2008 1:59am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Okay, juke. The McCain affair was so thinly sourced that nobody believed it because, for all the ink, the NYT had nothing. So, because of that, McCain is required to prove a negative. Nice try. Wrong.
Your point is, I see, that if a blogger is caught cheating, that means the MSM doesn't cheat.
That won't fly.
9.14.2008 9:25am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
richard:

The McCain affair was so thinly sourced


It wasn't "thinly sourced." A former top McCain campaign official viewed the Iseman situation as "alarming." (That was reported by NRO back at a time when the GOP still had some hope of nominating someone other than McCain.)

McCain is required to prove a negative


Nice job with the straw man. No, McCain is not required to prove a negative. The problem is that his denial was enough to get the media to abandon the story, even though they had done almost no investigating. For example, Iseman was never interviewed. That darn liberal media gave McCain a free pass.

Your point is, I see, that if a blogger is caught cheating, that means the MSM doesn't cheat.


Another nice little straw man. I never claim MSM is perfect. You were the one who suggested that bloggers always get it right ("it wasn't bloggers who faked up TANG documents"). Trouble is, they don't.

I still don't see even of a pretense of a defense for the false statement that was issued by the McCain campaign.
9.14.2008 4:42pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
It wasn't "thinly sourced." A former top McCain campaign official viewed the Iseman situation as "alarming." (That was reported by NRO back at a time when the GOP still had some hope of nominating someone other than McCain.)
False. What was reported by NRO was that Iseman's statements that she had influence with McCain and his staff were viewed as "alarming." Nothing about an "affair."

Do you post all these links figuring people will assume they support your claims and nobody will look at them and see that you're lying?

For example, Iseman was never interviewed.
The NYT article specifically says that Iseman said that there was no affair, and it contains at least one direct quote from her discussing some of the allegations in the story.

There is no evidence that the media "abandoned the story" based on "his denial" rather than based on the fact that they looked and found no story to report.
9.14.2008 5:46pm
a knight (mail) (www):
@Richard Aubrey - Gen. Jay W. Hood acquitted himself. ROTFLMAO
9.14.2008 8:08pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
What was reported by NRO was that Iseman's statements that she had influence with McCain and his staff were viewed as "alarming." Nothing about an "affair."


I didn't say that Weaver claimed there was an affair. I said that Weaver was alarmed about "the Iseman situation." Specifically, Weaver and others were concerned about the apparent closeness between McCain and Iseman. Given McCain's history of infidelity, it's reasonable to raise that question.

The NYT article specifically says that Iseman said that there was no affair, and it contains at least one direct quote from her discussing some of the allegations in the story


I'll say it again: Iseman was never interviewed. The quote you're talking about came from an email she sent. Getting an email is not the same thing as conducting an interview.

There is no evidence that the media "abandoned the story" based on "his denial" rather than based on the fact that they looked and found no story to report.


Given that Iseman was never interviewed, it's apparent that they didn't look very hard.
9.14.2008 9:25pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Knight.
Newsweek admitted their source was one person who claimed to have seen a draft of a report.
They've spiked better sourced stories than that.
9.14.2008 10:59pm
Milhouse (www):
Sigh. It has never mattered whether Saddam Hussein was involved in the 11-Sep-2001 attacks. No part of US policy has ever been based on the premise that he was. Sure, it would have been nice had evidence of such involvement been discovered, and surely it would have been foolish to rule one out prematurely, but at the end of the day it has always been utterly immaterial.

The original "Bush Doctrine" was that we were at war not only with al Qaeda itself, but with any terrorist group linked to it, and with any state that allies itself with that terrorist network. To the best of my knowledge it has never been suggested, by anyone, that the Taliban had any connection to the 11-Sep-2001 attacks; and yet they were our first target, because they were openly allied with and sheltering al Qaeda. Iraq's connections with the international terrorist network is beyond doubt; the only doubt is about the precise extent of its relations with al Qaeda in particular. Iraq's connection with the WTC need be no closer than that of Morocco with Pearl Harbour.

What's more, even so tenuous a connection isn't necessary for the present purpose: even if Saddam Hussein had had no connection, however indirect, to the 2001 attacks, the Iraqi front is still part of the same war. Iceland had no connection at all to Pearl Harbour, but our invasion and occupation was part of WW2, not a separate war. The fact was that with the changed situation in the region it was inconceivable that could continue the containment-and-sanctions regime of the '90s. Something had to be done about Iraq, even disregarding its terrorist connections.

And of course, as others have pointed out, none of this is relevant to the mission today in Iraq. The troops Palin was addressing are not going to fight against Iraq but for it. Whatever Iraq may have done in 2001, it is now an ally (just as Italy was in 1944 and '45). And the people they will be fighting are al Qaeda and its allies, i.e. the same group that was responsible for the 2001 attacks. Thus, Palin's remarks were perfectly correct even without regard to any of the above.

On the contrary, there has been a steady campaign by the MSM to confuse the issue, by treating statements linking Iraq with al Qaeda as if they were claims of a direct Iraqi involvement in those specific attacks. Nobody in the Administration has ever suggested such a thing. There's good reason to believe that
9.15.2008 12:22pm
Milhouse (www):
Whoops, that last para is from a previous edit. Please ignore it.
9.15.2008 12:24pm
David M. Nieporent (www):
I didn't say that Weaver claimed there was an affair.
Yes, you did.
I said that Weaver was alarmed about "the Iseman situation."
Right, and you said it in response to Richard Aubrey's statement "The McCain affair was so thinly sourced..." See that word?

I'll say it again: Iseman was never interviewed. The quote you're talking about came from an email she sent. Getting an email is not the same thing as conducting an interview.
False as a JBG post. One can conduct an interview via email. Journalists do it all the time. It's generally not the preferred option, because it doesn't allow for as free a flow of communication, but it's often the only one that sources will allow.
9.15.2008 3:30pm