The Times Blunders, and Retracts

Today’s New York Times includes another hatchet-job on President Bush, in the guise of a report on his speech yesterday. Read the Times’ article, and see if you can figure out whose side they’re on.

That’s old news, however; here is what is interesting: the original version of the on-line article included a false, below-the-belt shot at the President, which the Times has now retracted. The article in its current form includes this correction:


An earlier version of this article today about President Bush’s speech on the war in Iraq misstated the subject of a comment he made to Matt Lauer of NBC in August 2004, “I don’t think you can win it.” He referred to the war on terror, not the war in Iraq.

I infer that the original version included this quote from President Bush to rebut what he said about winning the war in Iraq in this paragraph:

Even as many Americans are calling for withdrawal of American troops, Mr. Bush said the American presence would not leave until the war in Iraq is “won,” a position he has stuck to even as his critics and much of the public are calling him stubborn.

The Times, of course, considers it an article of faith that the war in Iraq can’t be won. But their recycling of this quote from the summer of last year is simply outrageous. This was a faux controversy that we exploded here. The news media went nuts over a single sentence in an interview with Matt Lauer, and tried to claim that Bush had given up on winning the war on terror. Here is what Bush actually said in the Lauer interview:

I know if steadfast, strong and resolute — and I say those words very seriously — it’s less likely that your kids are going to live under the threat of al-Qaida for a long period of time. I can’t tell you. I don’t have any … definite end. But I tell you this, when we succeed in Iraq and Afghanistan, it’s the beginning of the end for these extremists. Because freedom is going to have a powerful influence to make sure your kids can grow up in a peaceful world. If we believe, for example, that you can’t win, and the alternative is to retreat … I think that would be a disaster for your children.

For the Times to try to recycle this silly controversy in an effort to shore up the Democrats’ position is pathetic.


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