Note: Links were good at the time we posted this column, but they often go bad after a while. We make no guarantees.
BY JAMES TARANTO
Wednesday, May 28, 2003 4:06 p.m. EDT
The use of ellipses in quoted material is entirely legitimate, but not when it changes the meaning. Many a blogger noted that Dowd did just that, and did so quite egregiously. Here's what Bush actually said, according to the official White House transcript, with the portion Dowd omitted in bold:
Dowd's bowdlerization of the quote changed the antecedent of they, making it appear as if Bush had said al Qaeda as a whole was "not a problem anymore"--something no one claims--rather than that its dead and captured members are no longer a problem, something no one can deny. Spinsanity.com notes that many liberal commentators, in print and on television, picked up Dowd's misleading quote.
Blogress Joanne Jacobs points out that in today's column, Dowd, without acknowledging her previous error, uses the quote again, but this time undoctored--"a sort of hidden correction," as Jacobs calls it. In the same column, Dowd opines that "if Bush-Cheney '04's use of Sept. 11 begins to look like cynicism, then cynicism is precisely what it will produce."
So Maureen Dowd, who used the terrorist murder of 34 people as an opportunity to take a dishonest cheap shot at President Bush, is throwing around accusations of "cynicism." It's as if former Enron adviser Paul Krugman were accusing someone of being vicious and partisan. Oh wait, that already happened. Well, then, what's next? Maybe Tom Friedman will blast the Bush administration for being wishy-washy. Or maybe it'll be Nick Kristof. We can't decide!
But there's bad news about the Saudi press. The Associated Press reports that Jamal Khashoggi has been fired from the Al-Watan newspaper. Khashoggi, one of whose articles we cited favorably last year, is a longtime critic of Wahhabi extremism. He moved to Al-Watan in March from the Arab News, which doesn't seem to have a report on his sacking. The AP reports that Riyadh's Orwellian Ministry of Information is likely behind the firing, and that "many fear the dismissal of Khashoggi, 45, will send a message to other newspapers that the government will no longer tolerate such criticism."
An AP dispatch from May 15--three days after the Riyadh attacks--reports that "Khashoggi, in an Al-Watan editorial, said the government should see Monday's attacks, which fell on the 11th of the Muslim month Rabia al-Awal, in the way Washington saw the Sept. 11 attacks: as the beginning of a new era." His firing suggests that it doesn't, and that doesn't augur well for the House of Saud.
Nabs Five Muslims
Meanwhile, Reuters reports from Rabat that "Morocco said Wednesday it had captured the alleged mastermind"--argh!--"of suicide bombers who killed dozens of people in Casablanca this month but said he had died from chronic heart and liver disease." Ah yes, the old liver-failure-in-jail story.
Seems to us the world was pretty damn dangerous before Washington's war on terror. Indeed, we can think of about 3,000 people who we're sure would agree--if they hadn't been murdered by Islamic fanatics. Perhaps there is merit to some of Amnesty's complaints about the conduct of the war on terror, but they are small beer compared with the human-rights violations of America's enemies and other dictatorships. By emphasizing the former at the expense of the latter, Amnesty inverts idea of human rights and discredits itself.
Geldof also has disdain for the European Union, whose efforts in Africa he calls "pathetic and appalling."
Is it really an "auto"-biography if it's written by a carload of ghosts?
Another item yesterday (since corrected) misstated the name of a Clinton administration Treasury official. He's Roger, not Robert, Altman.
Kidney for a Killer
Even Reyes-Camarena seems to realize giving him the organ may not be such a great idea. "I'm on death row now," he tells Reuters by phone. "Someday, if it got allowed, I'm going to go through appeals and then the man has to do his job. Why take it with me?"
Unappealing Brand Name
Seems a Bit Harsh
All we can say is, thank goodness America has resisted the pressure to adopt the insane metric system. You don't have to worry about a pound wasting away into nothingness.
Imitates 'Sesame Street'
"Jones and other freegans realize that it's not the ultimate solution," the Bee notes. "Dumpster-diving only exists because of the system they hate. In the ideal world, Jones says, people would be as self-reliant as possible, making and growing only what they need."
In other words, these guys long for a return to a time before the Agricultural Age, or at the latest to the very beginning of that age. Jones acknowledges this isn't likely to happen: "When you look at the big picture, you get kind of jaded." Oscar may be a grouch, but even he's more cheerful than sulky Tim Jones. After all, the Muppet malcontent is known to break out into a rousing refrain of "Oh I Love Trash."
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