MSM Lie # 51 - Chris Matthews misrepresents the reasons for war
Click here for the 2005 list of lies.
NewsBusters exposes an example of a recurring lie of the MSM/DNC. It has become an article of faith among the left that President Bush won reelection because many voters wrongly believed that Saddam Hussein planned the 9/11 attacks. The left repeatedly accuses Bush of making that argument - that Hussein planned 9-11. The problem is, Bush and the administration said no such thing. We didn't go to war because we believed Hussein had anything to do with 9/11.
But that did not stop Chris Matthews from repeating the lie last week:
In his opening introduction, Matthews plugged the upcoming segment as "a look at the rhetoric the Bush administration used to perpetuate the idea of a connection between Iraq and the 9/11 attacks," as if this motive were fact. In a setup piece for the segment, MSNBC correspondent David Shuster contended that before the war, President Bush "started claiming that Iraq and the group responsible for 9/11 were one and the same," and backed up this assertion using a soundbite from Bush that was selectively edited to distort an answer Bush made to a reporter’s question.
Shuster showed a clip of Bush saying "you can't distinguish between al-Qaeda and Saddam," which omitted Bush's subsequent clarification that "I can't distinguish between the two because they're both equally as bad, and equally as evil, and equally as destructive," thus throwing water on Shuster’s characterization of Bush’s words. A full transcript of this exchange appears farther down before the transcript from Friday night’s Hardball.
NewsBusters posts an extended transcript.
[There were connections between Al Qaeda and Hussein, but the MSM/DNC has ignored those connections in favor of promoting an easy strawman (see above) for Chris Matthews and others to knock down.]
It is difficult sometimes to decide which MSM/DNC outrages belong in the lie category instead of some other category of leftwing bias. But when reporters or editors make an honest mistake and genuinely want to correct that mistake, they have the opportunity to apologize and correct the record [h/t Michelle Malkin]. If they don't do this and continue to promote the same falsehood, it is a pretty good indication that the falsehood was/is intentional. [Even when they pretend to apologize, such apologies are often misleading and should not allow the MSM/DNC to get off the hook.]