The Administration Takes Advantage of Lie Fatigue

This story should be page one in every major paper, but as far as I can tell from a search on, the only paper in the land to carry it is the Ocala [Fl.] Star Banner: Rumsfeld retreats, disclaims earlier rhetoric: Rumsfeld denies he ever made several pre-war statements.

Think about it. The Secretary of Defense is either delusional, or a really stupid, clumsy liar. Asked about his claims that the Iraqi people would welcome us with open arms, he didn't try to argue that most of the country (by area, not population volume) welcomes the US-led invasion, but rather denied he had ever said it:

“Never said that,” he said. “Never did. You may remember it well, but you're thinking of somebody else. You can't find, anywhere, me saying anything like either of those two things you just said I said.”

But he had. On TV.

It used to be that brazen lying was bad for political figures (for example, Gary Hart). Is there some special reason that Rumsfeld gets a free pass? Or is the media, the nation, so saturated with Administration lies that it has stopped caring? Or is it that 'objective' journalism as practiced today doesn't allow reporters to point out lies, just to report if someone else — and it has to be a heavyweight politician, a mere web site doesn't count — tries to make an issue of the lies? (Calling Sen. Daschle's office. Calling Sen. Daschle's office. Why is the lead item on your homepage meat labeling rules???)

The Ocala Star-Banner has an average daily circulation of about 50,000.

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4 Responses to The Administration Takes Advantage of Lie Fatigue

  1. Bob says:

    According to Google, a 2nd (on-line) site also has the story:
    I don’t know their “circulation.”

  2. Jake says:

    Rosenberg should be hung by his heels for this “journalistic” abomination. Don’t think so? Well. check out the ORIGINAL Lehrer interview and you’ll note that Rosenberg edited out the first sentence of Rumsfeld’s reply which TOTALLY negates Rosenberg’s premise that Rumsfeld was anticipating little or no opposition. And you wonder why ONE paper picked up the story?

    What contemptible BS.

  3. Michael says:

    Here’s the full quote from the Feb 20, 2003 transcript. (Hey, how about a URL next time, please?)

    JIM LEHRER: Do you expect the invasion, if it comes, to be welcomed by the majority of the civilian population of Iraq?

    DONALD RUMSFELD: There’s obviously — the Shiite population in Iraq and the Kurdish population in Iraq have been treated very badly by Saddam Hussein’s regime. They represent a large fraction of the total. There’s no question but that they would be welcomed.

    Go back to Afghanistan — the people were in the streets playing music, cheering, flying kites, doing all the things that the Taliban and the al-Qaida would not let them do.

    Saddam Hussein has one of the most vicious regimes on the face of the earth. And the people know that. Now, is there a risk when that dictatorial system isn’t there that there could be conflicts between elements within the country, get-even type things? Yes. And we’ve got to be careful to see that that doesn’t happen.

    I don’t see how this helps Rummy that much. He’s clearly trying to suggest that the dominant spirit will be “cheering” and that the major risk is inter-communal or internecine violence, not anti-US violence. Yes, it shows he realizes that the Sunnis may have less reason to be happy, but he doesn’t suggest this is a major issue at all since Saddam Hussein is so evil everyone will be glad to be rid of him.

    Certainly doesn’t justify “never said it”

  4. Bob says:

    Following up – Although Google still only shows 2 “news” sites, at least 60 web sites now have the quote. This includes several probable news “papers,” including:
    Seattle Times
    Akron Beacon Journal
    Houston Chronicle

    The article was carried in Hearst’s papers. According to this top 100 list, and assuming it was in all the big ones, that should amount to circulation exposure to well over 2 million people.

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