WSJ to Fact Checkers – Don’t Apply for Job Here
Every Thursday the opinion pages of the Wall Street Journal host a screed by former Bush campaign manager Karl Rove on how terrible Mr. Obama has been and how the country is moving away from him towards the Republican philosophy. Of course, all of this will be decided in an election, and Mr. Rove’s purpose is not so much to comment on current affairs but to influence that election.
So it is no surprise that Mr. Rove does not have facts and truth on his side. In his latest column he belittles Mr. Obama’s decision to go after and kill Osama bin Laden, as this quote from his writings shows (and thanks to Greg Sargent of the Washington Post).
Rove cites this quote from Bill Clinton in the documentary to make the case that any president would have made the call Obama made:
As for the killing of Osama bin Laden, Mr. Obama did what virtually any commander in chief would have done in the same situation. Even President Bill Clinton says in the film “that’s the call I would have made.” For this to be portrayed as the epic achievement of the first term tells you how bare the White House cupboards are.
“That’s the call I would have made,”
said in the documentary, according to Rove. And it’s true, Clinton did utter those words Clinton
But Mr. Sargent points out that Mr. Rove did what many Conservatives (and some non-Conservatives) frequently do when they need a fact to support an argument, and don’t have those facts. They make stuff up.
But here’s the full quote from
, at the 12:30 mark in the film: Clinton
“He took the harder and the more honorable path. When I saw what had happened, I thought to myself, `I hope that’s the call I would have made.’”
In Rove’s telling,
said, “that’s the call I would have made. What Clinton actually said was, “I hope that’s the call I would have made.” Emphasis mine. Clinton
Yeah, if you leave off the first two world of the quote things do change for the better for Mr. Rove as far as his position is concerned, but not so much for his integrity.
Mr. Sargent does show some naïveté though
This comical level of dissembling and mendacity is to be expected from Rove. But it’s a bit surprising that the Journal’s editors either didn’t think to check such an obviously ridiculous representation of
worse, that they just waved Rove’s dishonesty through in the full knowledge of what Clinton’s quote, or had actually said. Clinton
Really, that the WSJ allowed an inaccuracy in its editorial/opinion pieces is surprise to anyone is amazing. What is surprising is that later the Journal did correct things, sort of, admitting the fraud of the quote but not changing the conclusion that resulted from the fraud.
UPDATE: Rove’s article now has an editor’s note appended, which reads: “An earlier version of this column included an incomplete quote from Bill Clinton in the last paragraph.”
Here’s what the paragraph now looks like:
As for the killing of Osama bin Laden, Mr. Obama did what virtually any commander in chief would have done in the same situation. Even President Bill Clinton says in the film “I hope that’s the call I would have made.” For this to be portrayed as the epic achievement of the first term tells you how bare the White House cupboards are.
As you can see,
’s quote no longer supports the point Rove was making. And the current version is still truncated, and as a result still misses the spirit of his remark, which is completely at odds with Rove’s argument. Clinton
As for the Journal and its editors, one can imagine they are sitting around laughing at how weak the oversight of the media is, that it allows them to get away with such fraudulent actions. And how easy it is to make a point when you get to just make stuff up.