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September 07, 2009

Shock: NYT Deceives Readership on the Content of Truther Petition Jones Signed

The Truther petition states the suspicion (really an assertion) that Bush and "other high officials" deliberately allowed 9/11 to happen, "perhaps as a pretext for war."

Here's how the Times now characterizes it:

... a petition in 2004 questioning whether the Bush administration had allowed the terrorist attacks of September 2001 to provide a pretext for war in the Middle East.

As Kaus notes, all that means is that Bush "used" the attacks which had already occurred, minus his complicity, to gin up support for military action.

It's a lie. The petition stated that Bush may have had foreknowledge of the attacks and deliberately permitted them to go forward in order to create this situation. Not that he may have acted afterwards to turn the situation to his advantage. That he created it.

The entire point of Trutherism is that it suggests direct, before-the-fact premeditated government complicity in 9/11. Not negligence before the fact. Not cynicism after the fact. But deliberate complicity in mass-murder, either through intentional passivity to allow the attacks or (and this is what they really mean; the "intentional passivity" claim is just an attempt to soft-pedal the actual theory) premeditated involvement in the planning and execution of the greatest mass-murder on American soil in history.

The NYT doesn't know that, it seems. Just sort of slipped past them. (But they can tell you all about the birth certificate controversy!)

The MSM is determined to push readers to the alt-media. They are basically just telling everyone "Don't read us, we're deliberately lying, and, even worse, making the news substantially less interesting due to our lies."

The media is choosing boring lies over interesting truth. Lose-lose.

Via Hot Air. In the headlines, if you want to weigh in there.

I am looking for a better word than "pathetic." This is not pathetic any longer. This is malicious.

Not So Blatant Lie? Commenters question my reading, and suggest the sentence is not outright deceptive, but perhaps "sloppily written."

I now see their reading -- one that didn't occur to me when I read it -- but admit their reading is right there.

However, in that case, I myself have read it the other way, so I know my reading/Kaus' reading is right there too. So it can be taken either way.

And I don't think that is just due to "sloppiness." I think the sentence was edited and tweaked and sanded-off at the corners to permit just that reading.

Because, you know what? If they had just quoted the highly-quotable language of the petition -- no Deciding, no Gatekeeping, just the actual words -- this misreading wouldn't be possible at all.

So why didn't they go with best evidence? Why go with a sloppy paraphrase when the actual words in the petition are brief, clear, and completely to the point?

When the MSM does more work than it actually has to, I think that's for a reason. They are lazy, and if they've chosen to do the additional work to badly-paraphrase a document when the actual quote was short and involved less work in publishing, I think there's a reason they suddenly roused themselves from stenographer mode.

Actually... I see now that Kaus himself saw both readings. He was always questioning why the sentence was so constructed as to allow two readings.

For myself, I read quickly, and influenced by Kaus' gloss, too, but still: I only saw the one reading. It's only now I see two.

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posted by Ace at 02:07 PM

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