Fat Steve's Blatherings

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

A Valuable Lesson


      The MSM's charges that Bush has changed his mind about firing anyone who 'involved' in Nadagate are false, but they can still teach you something important: check the sources.

At Length:

      In multiple posts, Tom Maguire has shown that Bush said he'd fire any member of the White House staff who committed a crime in connection with Nadagate.  The MSM keeps trying to insist that he originally claimed that he'd fire anyone who was 'involved,' which is rather different.

      But if you follow the links that supposedly prove this, all you get are reporters asserting that Bush said what they want him to have said.  If you keep tracing back those links, eventually they either peter out into pure assertion, or they get to this press conference, where you find Bush said:
THE PRESIDENT: Yes.  Let me just say something about leaks in Washington.  There are too many leaks of classified information in Washington.  There's leaks at the executive branch; there's leaks in the legislative branch.  There's just too many leaks.  And if there is a leak out of my administration, I want to know who it is.  And if the person has violated law, the person will be taken care of.  [emphasis added]

      But last June, a reporter asked if Bush:
[stood] by what you said several months ago, a suggestion that it might be difficult to identify anybody who leaked the agent's name?

THE PRESIDENT: That's up to --

Q And, and, do you stand by your pledge to fire anyone found to have done so [i.e., leaked Plame's name]?

THE PRESIDENT: Yes. And that's up to the U.S. Attorney to find the facts.

      Bush said "Yes," but the reporter had interrupted the President while he was speaking, so Bush was probably a little confused there as to what he was answering.  His original pledge was to fire anyone who committed a crime.

      Now, the MSM keeps trying to paint Bush as having promised to fire anyone involved, but that's not what he said he'd do.

      So, learn the lesson: On any important information, track down the original source, or at least get as close as you can.  Frequently, it won't say what the secondary source claims it does.



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