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Did a NY Times 'Reporter' Fabricate Bush Quote?

Kerry/Edwards/NYTimes campaign has launched another sleazy attack in an apparent effort to define just how low low really is.

First, the NY Times ran a Bush quote from an event the reporter did not attend, then within hours of the piece running, the Kerry campaign managed to put an ad together and have the press releases done and all the media reporting on it.

New Kerry Ad Exposes Bush's January Surprise - Social Security Privatization
Just over two weeks before the election, the Kerry-Edwards campaign Sunday released a new ad revealing George Bush's real agenda - his intention to "come out strong" to privatize Social Security should he be sworn in for a second term. ...

JOHN KERRY: "I'm John Kerry and I approve this message."

NARRATOR: "The truth is coming out... George Bush has finally admitted that he intends to privatize Social Security in a second term. 'I'm going to come out strong after my swearing in,' Bush said, 'with...privatizing of Social Security.'"

-- Bush at Private Luncheon: "I'm Going to Come Out Strong After My Swearing In With ... Privatizing of Social Security." "'I'm going to be real positive, while I keep my foot on John Kerry's throat,' George W. Bush said last month at a confidential luncheon a block away from the White House with a hundred or so of his most ardent, longtime supporters, the so-called R.N.C. Regents. ... 'I'm going to come out strong after my swearing in,' Bush said, 'with fundamental tax reform, tort reform, privatizing of Social Security.'" (Ron Suskind, "Without a Doubt," New York Times Magazine, 10/17/04)

There's only one problem. The reporter in question, Ron Suskind, did not attend the event he got the quote from. Further, it was not televised, it was a private event and there were no transcripts available. Yet he reports the quote as fact.

Suskind does not explain how he got the controversial quote so accurate but does say about an earlier quote "According to notes provided to me, and according to several guests at the lunch who agreed to speak..."

So Suskind got "notes provided to him" and that was good enough to run such an important quote. I hope Bill Burkett was not the source. Is this what passes for reporting at the Times today?

The Kerry/Edwards/NYTimes campaign has decided they can't convince voters with ringing endorsements so they'll scare old people to death.

For their part, the Bush campaign is denying the quote and some even claimed Suskind made the quote up from whole cloth. In the end, it is of little use, the media is running wild with the story, facts be damned.

--Oh, and who is Ron Suskind that the New York Times is having write a 10 (web) page story on Bush just days before the election? He is the author of "The Price of Loyalty: George W. Bush, the White House and the Education of Paul O'Neill.''"

What do you think the odds are that the NY Times would let John O'Neil write a piece on John Kerry next Sunday?

Update: Jim Kouri is working this story for Wizbang and he has been in contact with Fox News who has questioned the Kerry camp. So far, Kerry is saying "Hey, it was in the NY Times". (paraphrased of course)


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Comments (31)

Geez, Paul, can't you remem... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

Geez, Paul, can't you remember anything? Facts are irrelevant as long as you are telling a "greater truth." In this case, the "greater truth" is that some senior citizens will be worse off if George Bush is re-elected (Theresa Heinz Kerry and Ted Kennedy spring to mind). From there, it's easy to extrapolate that a LOT of senior citizens will be worse off, and the easiest way to explain that is if something bad happens to Social Security. And because everything the Government does is Good and everything the Private Sector does is Bad, privatizing Social Security would be Bad and Harmful to Senior Citizens.

Geez Louise... do I have to do ALL the heavy thinking around here?

J.
(Now suffering from extreme brain-sprain after coming up with that particularly twisted bit of rationale...)

Wow. Just, wow. I wish I co... (Below threshold)
Rich:

Wow. Just, wow. I wish I could say that I was surprised...

If this isn't a cut and dried case of the MSM's direct influence (or attempt at influence) of the presidential campaign, I don't know what is. If it weren't for the blogosphere, this kind of act would go almost completely unnoticed, and completely unreported.

Would that we were able to convince the fever swamps of the obvious, now...

Jeez, why didn't they just ... (Below threshold)

Jeez, why didn't they just have Kitty Kelley or Jayson Blair write it?

He's being saying he's goin... (Below threshold)

He's being saying he's going to privatize social security since 2000. Why is this a surprise?

They didn't have to; they j... (Below threshold)
OneDrummer:

They didn't have to; they just plagarized some DU moonbat meltdown and made a story out of it. Fake, but accurate.

Once again the msm acts lik... (Below threshold)
max:

Once again the msm acts like intentional hit and run drivers against Republicans and President Bush.

The single most dishonest element in American life today by far.

If the DNC, the MSM and Ker... (Below threshold)
Gary:

If the DNC, the MSM and Kerry keep this stuff up, it is going to collapse on them from the sheer cumulative weight of so many things that lack credibility. The American people, for the most part, are not stupid... despite what the DNC, the MSM and Kerry think.

He's being saying he's g... (Below threshold)

He's being saying he's going to privatize social security since 2000. Why is this a surprise?

Joe, does this mean you're opting for the "fake but accurate" defense?

In case any of you didn't c... (Below threshold)

In case any of you didn't check out the linked news release, the ad can be viewed http://www.johnkerry.com/video/101704_privatizing.html there.

Yet another planned, combined attack from the liberals.

Don't get me wrong, the rep... (Below threshold)

Don't get me wrong, the reporter is still irresponsible. But as far as outrages go, I don't find this one too outrageous. There are enough Kerry campaign/DNC lies on the campaign trail (about the draft, for instance) that I'm not too upset about this.

Plus, I'm desensitized afte... (Below threshold)

Plus, I'm desensitized after the NYT endorsement. I knew it was coming, but didn't expect it to sound like it was written by Carville and MacAuliff.

Gary - you're right. Maybe... (Below threshold)
Jim:

Gary - you're right. Maybe this gamnit would work on a huge issue --which SS isn't-- pulled at the last minute. There's too much time for people to think about it and too many people who actually think.

Like the 'lezbo' gambit, a poorly thought out move. Yes they'll garner some votes, but the tradeoff is the loss of a far greater number. That's the idiocy of running by poll: what people answer to a specific question, and what they do in response to an issue are different.

There are enough Kerry c... (Below threshold)

There are enough Kerry campaign/DNC lies on the campaign trail (about the draft, for instance) that I'm not too upset about this.

The outrageous part isn't Kerry's campaign lying -- as you've noted, that's as common as hydrogen. The outrageous part is the willingness of the press to act as the originators of their lies.

Maybe I'm just jaded, but I... (Below threshold)

Maybe I'm just jaded, but I'm neither shocked, angry, or even bothered by the fake quote. It's nothing new from the left. What bothers me more is that the Dims and Lamestream media think privatizing social security is such a bad idea that they're trying to make political hay out of the fake quote and the idea. Or maybe that Bush won't stand up and say, "the quote is fake, but it's a really good idea and we should."

As I watch this campai... (Below threshold)
Allan Yackey:

As I watch this campaign unfold, I wonder how in the world Rove got control of the DNC. From Rathergate to Chaney's daughter as "fair game", I could not design a more suicidal campaign.
It has to be the magic hand of Rove. Unless the DNC is actually comprised of politicially suicidal people.

This NYTimes fantasy quote ... (Below threshold)
-S-:

This NYTimes fantasy quote is, what, something like the four billionath time that Kerry and the DNC (AND the NYTimes) have been identified and proven to be responsible for flaming the fires of misinformation...

BUT, there must be a strategy here -- I dislike having to plunge into the buggery that is this sort of intentional misinformation ("a lie" in real life, or, just "lying" is accurate) but it's necessary to see what it is that those who routinely lie are motivated by. In this case, I've concluded that KERRY lies by his ongoing "step aside" process: get someone else to lie and then say, in utter immorality, that he didn't (works for people who are prone to feel sorry for Kerry, to take pity on him, to believe that Kerry is due as a victim, or that they are, and they then can project easily onto their Leader Victim as one who merits their pity by projection, in which case Kerry's never responsible because of the victim status, however foolish or inaccurate); or, Kerry can and does lie directly without impairment by morality, that clumsy twinge that makes other people modify their charcter to such an extent that they won't lie and deceive others regardless of loss to self.

The NYTimes, however, their motivation -- as with other companions in this deception soup boiled by Liberals -- is an interesting phenomenon of political action working quite dedicatedly to mislead not only Americans but the world, given that the are read worldwide.

So, what I've decided is that there is great incentive to mislead, a benefit in and of itself in "ripping off" intellectually, in misleading people to such an extent that you consider a benefit in the act of immorality itself.

Concluding here: look at who Kerry was twenty years ago and you'll find that same, unrepentent, irrational and quite immoral man promising today, to award and benefit those who lie likewise and behave as mutual misleaders:

The bottom of the barrel.

The NYTimes boasts that they endorse Kerry because of his "morality," and again, I write here and do completely believe that what we have here is a crises of influence in our society and therefore, worldwide: you have those who mislead by nature and take glory in their violations as "righteous" acts, which includes Kerry, theNYTimes, DNC, McAuliffe, Edwards, Clinton I think it's reasonable to include here, Castro, head of the U.N. (sorry, name escapes me as I type this), Saddam Hussein and others, and then you have the rest of humanity, who tries to go to sleep every night and pray that they have done no harm, or at best, can be forgiven for what they have not done rightly.

At this point, I do thank God that Kerry's at least attending Mass, as reported that he is. God can work wonders with even the unrepentent. I pray that he does with Kerry, before he leads any more people astray. About the NYTimes, I pray that they are purchased by Richard Murdoch.

There have been proposals t... (Below threshold)
Jim:

There have been proposals to upgrade SS, including allowing young workers to begin investing part of their SS money in private accounts. However, Kerry is misleading old folks telling them Bush will take away their SS. Of course, Kerry never mentions that he voted to decrease SS payments.

BTW, it's marvelous how the... (Below threshold)
Jim:

BTW, it's marvelous how the DNC works. They send out a press release to the NY Times. The Times prints a story based on that release and then the DNC quotes the NY Times. And then all parties deny any interaction. So we are left to believe that the Kerry campaign created and aired a TV ad quoting a story witin a few hours of when that story was printed this morning. WOW. Gotta hand it to Joe Lockhart, he's a genius. LOL

- This has Karl Roves mind ... (Below threshold)
Hunter:

- This has Karl Roves mind rays all over it....Haven't those dim bulbs at the NYT learned to wear their tin-foil hats at all times...

The media's commitment to d... (Below threshold)
Aslan:

The media's commitment to disinformation is the only reason this election is not over. Be prepared for scorched earth these next few weeks.

Aslan
(for conservative commentary, please visit www.logictimes.com)

Oh, ahahahaha, I was wonder... (Below threshold)
-S-:

Oh, ahahahaha, I was wondering how long it would take for someone to write that "Karl Rove did it!"

~;-D

The NY Times has become the... (Below threshold)
Lee Shore:

The NY Times has become the house organ of the DNC. But it's mainly preaching to the choir -- half or more of its circulation is in NY State, CT and NJ, all of which will go for Kerry. And I suspect most of its subscribers in the rest of the country are liberals. So the damage it can do is limited.

That doesn't mean that it's not infuriating. It is. The Chicago Trib's endorsement of Bush http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/chi-0410170332oct17,1,3673281.story?coll=chi-news-hed is nice but doesn't compensate for the NYT's knee-pad job on Kerry.

I have a suggestion. When Bush wins, we can spend Nov. 3 pounding all its email addresses with gloating messages.

~LS

Remember, the president sai... (Below threshold)
Andy Dobbs:

Remember, the president said he would privitize only a very small part of S.S so the share holder has some say where his money goes ! not the whole thing. The Dems are going down the drain and they are grasping for anything to keep above water.

Andy, you're right. Over th... (Below threshold)
Jim:

Andy, you're right. Over the weekend, Kerry was more vitriolic than ever. He was freaking out actually. I was waiting for the famous Howard Dean rebel yell to emanate from his mouth. He's now going for the "Bush and the Republicans are racists" strategy. He also blamed the Republicans for gated communities and dividing the country, a new play on the Two Americas theme.

The Republicans should get their act together and start going out there and supporting their president.

I think there may be anothe... (Below threshold)
John Keohane:

I think there may be another mistake in the story that should be easy to check and show the accuracy of the report. I think the group that Bush spoke to were the "Rangers" as in Texas Rangers not the Regents.

Ya know, it's gonna be nice... (Below threshold)
Bloghorn Bleghorn:

Ya know, it's gonna be nice when Bush wins. Then we can begin our systematic roundup of all the MSM and DU moonbats and get them all assigned to "re-education" camps. MUAAAAHAHAHAHAAA!!!

"I think there may be anoth... (Below threshold)
Rance:

"I think there may be another mistake in the story..."

Jeez, the paper's been out 48 hours, I expectec to see a full scale fisking by now. You guys are letting me down.

Kerry response, "Hey, it wa... (Below threshold)
Phil:

Kerry response, "Hey, it was in the New York Times"

GOP response, "Hey it was in the New York Times"

The New York Times, a uniter, not a divider.

Absolutely infuriating. I c... (Below threshold)

Absolutely infuriating. I can't stand the fact that they get away with such blatant nonsense.

Keep us updated.

'The Bush campaign is denyi... (Below threshold)
TruthSquad:

'The Bush campaign is denying the quote."

Interpretation: It isn't on tape, so we can deny it without being embarassed like we were after the Osama denial at the last debate.

Are there any audiotapes of... (Below threshold)
Wethal:

Are there any audiotapes of the speech? Remember when that AP reporter filed a story saying that people booed when Clinton's surgery was annouced at a rally and Bush said nothing? Someone had the audiotape, and posted it. The AP backed down and said that the reporter whose byline was listed didn't actually attend the rally, but heard from a stringer what happened. Do you see a pattern here?




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