Thursday, January 31, 2008

Keeping Up with Media Lies, Distortions, Errors

One good way is through Media Matters. Here's an example of just one of the alerts I received by email today. It's nonpartisan, extremely valuable, and free, and I urge you to subscribe:

NY Times, Newsweek articles on Clinton statement on Kazakh president conflict with contemporaneous report
A January 31 New York Times article by reporters Jo Becker and Don Van Natta Jr. claimed that during a September 2005 visit to Kazakhstan, former President Bill Clinton "commend[ed] [Kazakh President] Mr. [Nursultan] Nazarbayev for 'opening up the social and political life of your country.' " Similarly, an article in the February 4 issue of Newsweek by Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball claimed that Clinton "praise[d] ... Nazarbayev, an authoritarian ruler with a poor human-rights record, for 'opening up the social and political life of your country.' " However, both the Times and Newsweek versions of Clinton's quote conflict with an Agence France Presse (AFP) article published at the time of Clinton's visit. According to the September 7, 2005, AFP article, Clinton said: "I applaud this statement you have made about opening up the social and political life of your country and [it's] a good point that you made this statement before the election this year" [emphasis added].
There is an important difference between applauding a statement and applauding an action, especially when the action has not occurred and any praise seems to give credit to someone who might not deserve it.

This kind of twisting of the Clintons' actions occurs all the time. It contributes greatly to the suspicion and dislike that hover over the Clintons like Pigpen's brown cloud.