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Monday, August 06, 2007


The big lie

It never stops:
"This is a government [Iran] that has proclaimed its desire to build a nuclear weapon."

- President George "Pinocchio" Bush
I'll update this post periodically to see how the major media do on this. Will they label it an "out-and-out lie"? A "misstatement"? Will they say, as they have with similar lies in the past, that it "appears to contradict" the truth (that in response to Bush's "We demanded that Saddam Hussein let the inspectors in. He did not let them in" lie)? Will they mention it at all? We shall see.

Update 1: The New York Times doesn't disappoint as it covers for Bush:

Mr. Bush has long viewed Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism, and is deeply suspicious of its nuclear ambitions, a view he reiterated Monday.
No, he didn't "reiterate" any "suspicions" of Iran's nuclear ambitions. He flat out lied in claiming they have "proclaimed" such a desire (actually it's really a double lie, since not only haven't they proclaimed such a desire, they have very clearly proclaimed exactly the opposite).

The Washington Post waits until the 13th and penultimate paragraph to quote Bush's assertion, and then in the final paragraph, the one most likely to be cut when the story is reprinted in other papers, it lets its readers in on the truth: "Iran actually has not proclaimed a desire to build a nuclear weapon, maintaining that its enrichment program is aimed only at peaceful civilian power." Not content to let the truth speak for itself, though, the Post follows that with an attempt at an "explanation" for the lie by a Bush spokesperson, an explanation which basically consists of "we think they want nuclear weapons," which in no way justifies Bush's statement.

Update 2: The Los Angeles Times manages to quote the next paragraph of Bush's answer, where he says "the burden of proof is on the Iranian government to show us that they're a positive force." As far as the burden of proof on George Bush (and the Los Angeles Times) to tell us the truth? Nary a mention (I won't even get into the subject of the United States as a "positive force"; I'll let the two million Iraqis who have fled the country the United States invaded speak to that).

From the AP: nothing about Bush's lie. Ditto for Reuters. Chicago Tribune? Not a mention. Baltimore Sun? The same. NPR? Likewise.

My prediction above about the Washington Post's story is even more correct than I thought. Here's a link to a reprint of the story in the Contra Costa Times where you won't find the final two paragraphs about Bush's lie. And that's online where there aren't even any space considerations! The print edition of the San Jose Mercury News also carries the Post story, but, as predicted, not the final two paragraphs about Bush's lie (never labeled as such, of course).

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