This story should be page one in every major paper, but as far as I can tell from a search on news.yahoo.com, 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.
According to Google, a 2nd (on-line) site also has the story:
I don’t know their “circulation.”
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.
Here’s the full quote from the Feb 20, 2003 transcript. (Hey, how about a URL next time, please?)
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”
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:
Akron Beacon Journal
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.