This morning I noted the AP story on the newly discovered records pertaining to President Bush’s Air National Guard service and lamented that the story buried news of Bush’s impressive flight test scores in the story’s penultimate paragraph — likely to be cut by many newspapers that run the story. Reader Jeff Zellerkraut writes to point out that I shouldn’t have worried; the AP itself has already eliminated the paragraph in the story that I linked in “The Globe reports for duty.”
Our man Patrick Frey — proprietor of Patterico’s Pontifications — also writes to note that we may have missed the AP’s hand at work in our discussion of the Cheney quote in “Ideas have consequences.” Patrick suggests that the AP Dowdified Cheney’s quote:
As you will see, Cheney’s quote was snipped to make it sound like a vote for Kerry is a vote for an act of terror, i.e., vote Republican or face another terror attack. What he actually said, if you read it in context, is that a vote for Kerry is a vote to treat terrorism as a law enforcement issue. That is an assertion along the same lines, but one that is far less inflammatory. As word of my post (which highlights this distortion) is making its way through the blogosphere, some Cheney critics (like Michael Totten, for example) are starting to back off their criticism of him on this issue.
Patrick’s post is “AP takes Cheney quote out of context.” Now complete this sentence: He who controls the past…
DEACON adds: I don’t think Cheney was quoted out of context. He said we’re more likely to be attacked if Kerry wins because President Bush has a better approach to the war on terrorism. Patrick makes a good point. It would have been nice if AP had included the bits in which Cheney referenced the major difference in approach — Kerry’s tendency to treat terrorsim as a law enforcement issue. But there’s no doubt that Cheney was telling voters that a vote for Kerry increases the likelihood of a successful terrorist attack, which is what he should be telling them.