Let me introduce you to Diana Irey, the flag-waving Republican challenger to Jack Murtha in a fairly bitter U.S. Congressional race in Pennsylvania. Check out this page on her campaign Web site. It's all about the Sun-Sentinel's botched story on Murtha last month that caused a huge stir in the Right Wing blogosphere/media/demagoguery machine. The headline on the page, in big black Drudgian type:
"JUST WHAT DID JACK MURTHA SAY ABOUT THE U.S. POSING A
GREATER DANGER TO WORLD PEACE THAN IRAN OR NORTH KOREA?"
Well, we know by now that the Sentinel published a correction saying that Murtha didn't say he believed the U.S. is a greater threat to world peace than Iran and North Korea, but that he was citing Pew Center poll figures showing that most of the outside world does. Irey, however, continues to blow smoke about whether the Sentinel should have run the correction at all. To wit:
"We've now all seen the video of just what it is that [Murtha] said at Florida International University on June 24. Contrary to what the Florida Sun-Sentinel published in its June 28 'correction,' nowhere in his comments did he mention the Pew Center poll."
Like the touch with correction in quotes? Irey at least has the decency to publish Murtha exact words from that fateful day at FIU. Here they are:
"On the debate on the floor of the House, and I was leading the debate on the floor, and this one fella says, 'You talk about terrorism.' He says, 'Ask Spain.'
"Well you ask Spain. Fifty six percent of the people in Spain think it's more dangerous, the United States is more dangerous in Iraq than Iran is.
"Every one of our allies think that the United States being in Iraq is more dangerous to world stability and world peace, every one of our allies; Great Britain, every single country... They think it's more, uh, we're more dangerous to world peace than North Korea or Iran.
"That says something."
Clearly, Murtha is citing poll figures. It's true he doesn't cite the specific poll, but who the fuck cares? The dishonest campaigner, Irey, likens this nothing-detail to a smoking gun of some kind (and I'm not going to get into the absolutely stupid "Marty McFly" routine, which involves the horrific crime of ... updating of a press release).
This is pathetic -- and it just goes to show how precise reporters have to be when they're working on campaigns. Otherwise their stories will be twisted up in arguments cooked up by politicians like Irey. They're aiming these imprecise and non-sensical assaults at gullible voters, who all too often eat it up without realizing it's pure garbage.
(Thanks to Cliff Hancuff for keeping me up to speed on this thing).