by Scoobie Davis
Part two of Josh Marshall's interview with Joseph Wilson. Also, Marshall's Talking Points Memo has a good discussion of Rove and company's attempts to label Wesley Clark a liar. Clark's non-lie about a phone call to Karl Rove reminds me of the Witt flap during the 2000 election. Here's Al Franken on this in his new book Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them:
How about the 2000 presidential campaign? Remember when, in the first debate, Al Gore said he had gone to a disaster site in Texas with Federal Emergency Management Agency director James Lee Witt? Actually, it turned out that he had gone to that disaster with a deputy of Witt. As vice president, Gore had gone to 17 other disasters with Witt, but not that one.
The press jumped all over him. There were scores of stories written about how Gore had lied about Witt. It was as if Witt had been the most popular man in the United States of America and Gore was lying to get some of that Witt magic to rub off on him.
Contrast that with the media's reaction to this Bush description of his tax cut in the very same debate: "I also dropped the bottom rate from 15 percent to 10 percent, because, by far, the vast majority of the help goes to the people at the bottom end of the economic ladder." "By far, the vast majority . . . goes to the people at the bottom." That is what Bush told America.
The truth is that the bottom 60 percent got 14.7 percent. Gee, that's a pretty significant misstatement, don't you think? More important than whether a Texas fire was one of the 17 disasters you went to with Witt. So what was the reaction of the liberal mainstream press?