Alternative Reality at the Associated Press

We have written several times about Jennifer Loven, a reporter for the Associated Press who uses her “news” articles as a platform to push her own partisan agenda, as, for example, when she wrote an AP article critiquing President Bush’s environmental policies, without mentioning that her husband was an environmental adviser to the John Kerry campaign.
Today, Loven authored an “analysis piece” rather than a “news story,” so she could tell us what she really thinks about President Bush. Not that it’s easy to tell the difference. Loven’s article is titled The Bush Take on U.S. Opinion. It portrays the President as out of touch and living in an “alternative reality:”

Confronted with strong opposition to his Iraq policies, President Bush decides to interpret public opinion his own way. Actually, he says, people agree with him.
Democrats view the November elections that gave them control of Congress as a mandate to bring U.S. troops home from Iraq. They’re backed by evidence; election exit poll surveys by The Associated Press and television networks found 55 percent saying the U.S. should withdraw some or all of its troops from Iraq.

So there are two views of American public opinion, and the Democrats’ view is right. Loven continues:

Increasingly isolated on a war that is going badly [Ed.: So says General Loven, without support or elaboration], Bush has presented his alternative reality in other ways, too. He expresses understanding for the public’s dismay over the unrelenting sectarian violence and American losses that have passed 3,400, but then asserts that the public’s solution matches his.
‘A lot of Americans want to know, you know, when?’ he said at a Rose Garden news conference Thursday. ‘When are you going to win?’
Also in that session, Bush said: ‘I recognize there are a handful there, or some, who just say, `Get out, you know, it’s just not worth it. Let’s just leave.’ I strongly disagree with that attitude. Most Americans do as well.’
In fact, polls show Americans do not disagree, and that leaving – not winning – is their main goal.
In one released Friday by CBS and the New York Times, 63 percent supported a troop withdrawal timetable of sometime next year. Another earlier this month from USA Today and Gallup found 59 percent backing a withdrawal deadline that the U.S. should stick to no matter what’s happening in Iraq.

In fact, Loven is wrong. President Bush was obviously referring to those who want to pull out of Iraq more or less immediately, i.e., “just leave.” Polls consistently show that most Americans do not favor what Bush called the “let’s just leave” approach. Gallup, to take just one of many examples, recently found just 20% in favor of withdrawing immediately. So Bush was right and Loven wrong; yet on this thin reed, Loven predicated her charge, made under the auspices of the Associated Press, that the President inhabits an “alternative reality.”
Loven’s smears continue:

Seeking to turn up the heat on this argument, Bush has relied lately on an al-Qaida mantra. Terrorists remain dangerous, and fighting them in Iraq is key to neutralizing the threat, he says. ‘It’s hard for some Americans to see that, I fully understand it,’ Bush said. ‘I see it clearly.’
Independent pollster Andrew Kohut said of the White House view: ‘I don’t see what they’re talking about.’

Got it? Al Qaeda is now a “mantra,” which is a meaningless sound or phrase that is repeated over and over. And “independent” (i.e., liberal) Andrew Kohut–is he a general too, like Loven, or just a pollster?–can’t see what Bush is talking about. The threat posed by Islamic terrorists apparently plays no role in Loven’s own alternative reality.
Consistent with her “who cares about reality?” approach, Loven gives the last word to an “expert” on “Presidential rhetoric:”

Wayne Fields, an expert on presidential rhetoric at Washington University in St. Louis, said the president’s new language exploits the fact that there is no one alternative strategy for the public to coalesce around, which clearly spells out how to bring troops home. Bush can argue that people agree with him because no one can define the alternative, Fields said.
But, with the president’s job approval ratings so low and the public well aware of what it thinks about the war, Bush is taking a big gamble.
‘This is a very tricky thing in our politics. We want to think that we want our leaders to stand up to public opinion. But we also like to think of ourselves as being in a democracy where we are listened to,’ Fields said. ‘He risks either the notion of being thought out of touch … or to be thought simply duplicitous.’

Hey, that’s the choice: is the President a liar, or just out of touch? That’s the mountain that Democratic Party hatchet-woman Jennifer Loven builds out of the molehill of a single factual disagreement with President Bush, in which the President was right and Loven was wrong.
Actually, in the Rose Garden press conference to which Loven refers, President Bush did an excellent job of articulating the importance of Iraq in the struggle against Islamic terrorism. You can read the whole thing here. There is a great deal there that readers who rely on the Associated Press will never know.
Via Power Line News.
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