A List of Reporters Who Need To Be Set Straight: Let’s Call Them

By Erick Posted in Comments (27) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »

The media, now inching into campaign mode against the Republican, are willingly giving Barack Obama a free pass on his "100 years" lie about John McCain.

As we’ve noted before, Obama has repeatedly said things along the lines of this from a Hardball appearance:

John McCain got upset today apparently because I had repeated exactly what he said, which is that we might be there [Iraq] for 100 years if he had his way.

Mind you, today David Axelrod told Joe Scarborough, "Senator Obama hasn't said that Senator McCain said we would be at war for 100 years."  Well, compare Axelrod's statement to Obama's own words.

More troubling though, the media is willfully circulating Obama's statement without pointing out (A) John McCain never said that; (B)  The Annenberg Public Policy Center called Obama’s statement a “serious distortion to the point of rank falsehood”; (C)  Washington Post's FactChecker column says the claim does not pass the Pinocchio Test; or (D) the Columbia Journalism Review, not exactly a bastion of Republican support, declares the "Press needs to call Obama on distortion of McCain’s statement."

Here are some examples of inaccurate or incomplete reporting relating to the attack from the past week:

Read on . . .

The Los Angeles Times (Maeve Reston and Peter Nicholas, “Obama, McCain Bicker On Iraq”):

“Obama also stood by his criticism of McCain for saying U.S. forces could stay in Iraq for as long as 100 years. ‘Barack Obama,’ his spokesman Bill Burton said, ‘doesn’t need any lectures from John McCain, who has consistently misunderstood American national security and the history of the Middle East in arguing for an invasion and 100-year occupation of a country that had nothing to do with 9/11.’”

The Chicago Tribune (Mike Dorning and Rick Pearson, “Clinton, Obama Aim Populist Salvos At McCain”):

“Meanwhile, Sen. McCain has been saying I don’t understand national security, but he’s the one who wants to keep tens of thousands of United States Troops in Iraq for as long as 100 years,’ Obama said.”

Pittsburgh’s Post-Gazette (Timothy McNulty and James O’Toole, “Clinton, Obama Pound On McCain Over Economy”):

“At a subsequent news conference, Mr. Obama defended his repeated references to Mr. McCain's willingness to keep troops in Iraq for 100 years. The Republican has argued that Democrats -- including Mr. Obama -- have unfairly caricatured his comment, which, he said, alluded to a sustained presence on the model of post-World War II troop commitments to Europe or to South Korea after that conflict.

"I don't think it's unfair at all, Mr. Obama said. John McCain -- I mean, we can run the YouTube spot -- has said that we will stay there as long as it takes. And if it takes another 100 years, he's up for that commitment, and that implies that there is some criteria by which we would understand how long it takes."

Democratic Media Consultant Dan Payne, writing in the Boston Globe (“So, You Want To Be A McCain Democrat?”):

“No such thing is happening. Iran, a Shi’ite country, has been training and financing Shi’ite extremists, not Al Qaeda, who are Sunni insurgents. No wonder McCain says we’ll have to be in Iraq for 100 years. He doesn’t know who’s fighting whom.”

And, of course, MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, speaking here on March 31:

“I wouldn’t want to have to defend a recession. I wouldn’t want to have to defend 100 year occupation in Iraq, even if it was reportedly to be peaceful.”

There’s a dereliction of basic journalistic duty on the part of these reporters and personalities; that much is clear from the above quotes. This isn’t something that Americans concerned about politics descending into the gutter have to take lying down, however. There is, in fact, something we can do about this.

Email or call these reporters and personalities, and their editors and producers and tell them that you want them to report accurately, and without bias-inducing omissions and inadvertent validation of blatant mischaracterizations and distortions. Tell them they’re not doing their jobs, and that you, as someone who reads their newspaper, or watches their show, expect better.

Here are the relevant names, numbers and email addresses:

LA Times:

Maeve Reston: maeve.reston@latimes.com; 213-237-5000

Peter Nicholas: peter.nicholas@latimes.com; 213-237-5000

Chicago Tribune:

Mike Dorning: MDorning@tribune.com; 202-824-8223

Rick Pearson: RAP30@aol.com; 312-222-4271

Editor: George De Lama: gdelama@tribune.com; 312-222-2408

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

Timothy McNulty: tmcnulty@post-gazette.com; 412-263-1581

James O’Toole: jotoole@post-gazette.com; 412-263-1562

City Desk Editor: Tom Birdsong: tbirdsong@post-gazette.com; 412-263-3068

Editorial Writer: Susan Mannella: smannella@post-gazette.com; 412-263-1448

Editorial Page Editor: Tom Waseleski: twaseleski@post-gazette.com; 412-263-1669

Boston Globe:

Op-Ed Page Editor: Renee Loth: loth@globe.com; 617-929-3035

MSNBC’s Hardball:
Central feedback receptacle: letters@msnbc.com

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A List of Reporters Who Need To Be Set Straight: Let’s Call Them 27 Comments (0 topical, 27 editorial, 0 hidden) Post a comment »

there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress
--AuH2O--

My God. You just called out Chris Matthews for being insufficiently Pro-McCain. That's priceless, it really is.

And since when has any section of the US media been "allegedly reputable", let alone Tweety? Alleged by whom? You don't like them, the liberals don't like them, who are these people alleging that your media's reputable again?

Questioner: President Bush has talked about our staying in Iraq for 50 years -- "

McCain: "Make it a hundred. We've been in South Korea ... we've been in Japan for sixty years. We've been in South Korea fifty years or so. That would be fine with me."

That seems pretty clear.

It wasn't in his briefing materials.

The Fuzzy Puppy of the VRWC. I've been usurped!

stop calling me Shirley!

Should I have not called them this late in the evening?

Katie Bar the Door, sir.

I think you replied to the wrong post

The next paragraph explains McCain's reasons for wanting to be in Iraq for 50-100 more years, but here it is:

"As long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed. That's fine with me, I hope that would be fine with you, if we maintain a presence in a very volatile part of the world where Al Queada is training and equipping and recruiting and motivating people every single day."

Regardless of his reasons, he did say it.

"As long as Americans are not being injured or harmed or wounded or killed. That's fine with me, I hope that would be fine with you, if we maintain a presence in a very volatile part of the world where Al Queada is training and equipping and recruiting and motivating people every single day."

Regardless of your reasons, you did say it!

Oh, what's that you say? Out of context? Tough!

...your thinking for you do the posting here. We're not really interested in stenographers.

Moe

PS: You'll notice that I'm not even bothering to suggest that you click on the actual links provided.

The Fuzzy Puppy of the VRWC. I've been usurped!

"After two years in Washington, I often long for the realism and sincerity of Hollywood." -Fred Dalton Thompson


"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
-Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777

Let's not be abusive please.

The main basis of this article was, "McCain did not say that." Clearly, he did.

In another interview, he again suggested that it should be 1000 or 10000 years. Silly exaggeration, of course, but when he says things like this, I don't think it helps him. You can expect Democrats to use it, especially with this unpopular war.

Whether it's a distortion by Obama or not is a matter of opinion. Yes, I think Obama might be trying to make a little bit of political hay out of it, but I think it's equally a stretch to call Obama a liar. McCain *did* suggest (rather flippantly) we would be there for 100 years (or 1000 or 10000).

Whether it's a distortion by Obama or not is a matter of opinion.

In the same manner that "2 + 2 = 4" is a matter of opinion. It's possible to posit alternative answers, but they're simply wrong. You're defending the indefensible.

Example, from the article above: Bill Burton referred to "100-year occupation of a country." Since the reference point is Japan or Korea, neither of which is an occupied country, Burton is wrong. This is a fact, not an opinion.

Example, from the article above: "...he’s the one who wants to keep tens of thousands of United States Troops in Iraq for as long as 100 years,’ Obama said." Since the reference point is Japan or Korea, neither of which hosts tens of thousands of US troops, Obama is wrong. This is a fact, not an opinion.

Please note that it's not just me and Moe Lane you're chopping logic with, here. It's the Annenberg Center for Public Policy and the Columbia Journalism Review, neither of which is noted for right-wing distortions.

You're simply wrong. Stop trying to defend liars. It immediately marks you as an ideologue incapable of reasonable debate.

(Unrelated to this topic, please visit my political blog, "Plumb Bob Blog: Squaring the Culture," at http://www.plumbbobblog.com. Thanks.)

There are 31,000 US troops stationed in South Korea, and 33,000 in Japan. Does that qualify as "tens of thousands?"

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"If we want to take this party back, and I think we can someday, let’s get to work." – Barry Goldwater

but they appear to have gone home for the workday.

I thought reporters had voicemail. Did anyone else get voicemail? I only heard voicemail from the Boston paper. I went to Google and found a number for Chris Matthews in Washington DC but it wasn't him--it was someone with a similar name. I called Pittsburgh because they're up the road from me here in Maryland. I was routed to an operator, we chatted for a while, and THE OPERATOR agreed with me--the coverage at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is too liberal and too biased against conservatives!

Just wanted to share that.

Renee Loth has a very nice voice, by the way. I got a little worked up, and I was going to leave a fairly strong protest message, but when I listened to the recording of her voice, I was cordial and I was pleasant on the message that I left, but I think I should have been more displeased.

Katie Bar the Door, sir.

I checked before I posted, and what I found was that a single battalion is posted in South Korea, which would be not more than 2,000 troops. But I could easily be wrong.

What's your source? And, are you sure you're not talking about troops stationed at the DMZ?

(Unrelated to this topic, please visit my political blog, "Plumb Bob Blog: Squaring the Culture," at http://www.plumbbobblog.com. Thanks.)

We have somewhere around 30,000 troops there. The number varies by source, but is close to that amount by most places (see here - 29,500 as of Oct 2007).
___________________________________
Two thirds of the world is covered by water,
the other third is covered by Champ Bailey.

too i have seen Figures down to approximately 20,000 a great many of are troops that were in SK are being moved to other areas around the Globe. The figures of Pre 2004 SK showed over 40,000. That's neither here or there though. I think the point the poster was trying to make is that Approximately 95% of all those troops Stationed in SK are a stones throw from the DMZ zone. Which is totally different than being stationed in a peaceful country.

in the DMZ? Are we being shot at daily in the DMZ? (Like our planes, by the way, WERE, over the Iraqi No-Fly Zone when Saddam Hussein was in power)

I guess, what I am asking, is what point are you trying to make by quibbling with the numbers.

===
When small men cast long shadows, it is a sign that the sun is setting on the Democrat Party

What's your source? And, are you sure you're not talking about troops stationed at the DMZ?

Just out of curiosity, which country do you think the DMZ is in?

===
When small men cast long shadows, it is a sign that the sun is setting on the Democrat Party

 
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