“What I didn’t say? I take it back.”

July 21, 2008

This is an interesting post on how team Bush spun that Maliki was ‘misunderstood’ and ‘mistranslated’ when he mentioned how he wanted US troops out of his country within 16 months. All the usual shenanigans from the Bush corner, but I thought this comment really nailed the problem with how the media are reporting the story.

“The retraction stunk from the start because it supposedly refuted something that Maliki apparently didn’t say!
Maliki was reported speaking about timelines and withdrawals and that 16 months seemed a reasonable time-frame.
This was re-reported by quite a few news outlets as ‘Maliki endorses Obama’s plan, which is a reasonable characterization of Maliki’s reported words.
Then the ‘mistranslation’ story appears where the spokesman then says that Maliki didn’t endorse Obama.
This is then re-reported as a ‘refutation’ of Obama’s plan.
Given the quotes of Maliki and later from the ‘re-translation’ the difference and disconnection is clear:
Maliki’s remarks were a reflection of Obama’s plans for the US in Iraq.
Maliki did not say “I endorse Obama for President”, nor was it reported as that.
The subsequent ‘refutation’ was “Maliki didn’t say he endorsed Obama for President”.
So how can do you ‘refute’ something that someone didn’t say in the first place and that wasn’t misreported?”

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