Thursday, December 28, 2006

Would a reporter lie?

Surely not.

Over at Power line I saw this little diddy:

This account by Thomas DeFrank of the New York Daily News casts doubt on Woodward's version of what Gerald Ford said about Iraq. DeFrank met frequently with Ford, and did so for the last time in May of this year. On that occasion, Ford said he'd told Bush he supported the war in Iraq but that Bush had erred by staking the invasion on weapons of mass destruction. According to DeFrank, Ford explained:

Saddam Hussein was an evil person and there was justification to get rid of him, but we shouldn't have put the basis on weapons of mass destruction. That was a bad mistake. Where does [Bush] get his advice?

Woodward's account also focuses on Ford's view of what the best justification for the war was. But Woodward goes further to report that Ford told him he doesn't think he would have gone to war. That statement may not be 100 percent inconistent with Ford telling DeFrank that he supports the war (now that we're there) and that there was justification to get rid of Saddam. But as Jonah Goldberg says, at a minimum DeFrank's account seems more nuanced than Woodward's version.

Well, it is not as if we can ask Ford to clarify his remarks, now can we? And does it really matter?


Barry Dauphin said...

Ughhh. Even if the report is accurate, we still get this WMD meme, as if Bush never made a State of the Union Speech in 2005 and as if failure to cooperate with the weapons inspection was a minor thing. Oh well, I expect that Bob Woodward will tell us what Saddam was saying in the days before his hanging, based on unamed sources. It'll be something like, "I sure wish Jerry Ford or Jimmy Carter were still President, cuz I wouldn't be in this mess."

David Thomson said...

I do not trust anything said by Bob Woodward. We should never forget his highly suspicious “conversation” with the dying William Casey. Medical experts say that the odds against this ever happening are staggering.

David Thomson said...

A relatively short time ago, Hugh Hewitt interviewed liberal journalist Thomas Edsall:

“HH: Have you read State of Denial yet?

TE: Not in its entirety. I've only read the excerpts.

HH: Okay. Do you believe everything Bob Woodward writes?

TE: No.

HH: Do you believe he saw Bill Casey at the hospital bed scene in Veil?

TE: I have real problems with that.

HH: What's the mean, real problems? You don't believe him?

TE: I know the doctor who was treating Bill Casey, and the doctor who is someone who I think is very credible told me that Bill Casey was dead by all standards, except burial. And for him to have said anything cognizant at that time just was incredible to him. And this doctor is a liberal Democrat.”

JB said...

Just take my word for it, little person. I exposed Nixon, you know. I'm very famous.

JB said...

Deathbed journalism is uber-creepy. Unless he can provide an online audio file of the conversation he shouldn't bother.

terrye said...


Well even then you would have to wonder if he edited it, Michael Moore style.

JB said...

Good point. Even that would require a greater benefit of the doubt than he warrants.

terrye said...

Well now that th eold boy is dead we will never know and my guess is that is just how Woodward likes it.

loner said...

Audio and, no, it doesn't matter.

terrye said...


Ford is dead and it seems two reporters have come up with different stories about what he said.

Once again Woodward has dead people giving him stories. Happens all the time with that guy, his sources often as not are dead or in a coma or anonymous.

But Ford was an old man and it could be he told both these guys something different. It happens.

loner said...

Well, it is not as if we can ask Ford to clarify his remarks, now can we? And does it really matter? ...and then the four comments prior to mine.

Audio and, no, it doesn't matter.

There is linked audio of Ford saying what Woodward says he said on July 28, 2004 at the linked page. I'll leave it to the "experts" to determine whether or not it's been edited.

Better times.

terrye said...


I have to tell you I don't have much faith in a lot of this stuff. sorry.

In truth I would be surprised if an old guy like Ford would have supported it, but I think his real problem was with the way it was done. But I simply do not trust journalists.