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9 November 2001

Our current howler (part II): Why Andrew lies

Synopsis: Clinton gave a perfectly sensible speech. Then Andrew Sullivan—and his friends—started lying.

Clinton Encourages Islam Debate
Laurie Kellman, The AP, 11/7/01

Clinton Encourages Islam Debate
Joseph Curl, The Washington Times, 11/8/01

On Wednesday, November 7, President Clinton gave a speech to a few thousand students at Georgetown. If you’ve heard I described in the past two days, you might be surprised by Laurie Kellman’s first paragraph for the AP:

KELLMAN (pgh 1): As part of its war against terrorism, the U.S. must encourage debate between the Islamic factions who hate Americans enough to murder them and those who don’t, former President Clinton said Wednesday.

Weirdly, in Kellman’s first paragraph, Clinton didn’t say that the 9/11 attacks were all our fault. And as the AP scribe continued, he kept on refusing to say it:

KELLMAN (2): "This is partly a Muslim issue, because there is a war raging within Islam" between extremists and moderates, Clinton told several thousand students and fellow alumni at Georgetown University. "We need to reach out and engage the Muslim world in a debate." The freedom-of-speech theme is part of a recipe for the nation’s war on terrorism that Clinton has delivered around the world since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

(3) The first step, he said, is to support and "win the fight we’re in," against the al-Qaida network and its leader, Osama bin Laden, for the attacks that left thousands dead in New York and Washington.

(4) Then, he said, the U.S. must help spread democracy, reduce poverty, boost health care systems and bolster education in emerging democracies and other nations that have harbored terrorists.

(5) Such measures are "a lot cheaper than going to war," Clinton said.

Kellman was now well along in her account of the speech, and Clinton still hadn’t said a word about how we got what we had coming. In fact, Kellman’s dispatch extended for eight more paragraphs, and she never reported such comments. According to Kellman, Clinton said he "fully supports the White House’s effort," and he "also tried to reassure students who had gathered to listen that ‘it’s gonna be OK.’" Here were the incendiary comments Kellman reported as she closed out her piece:

KELLMAN (12): Clinton said that terrorism has never succeeded on its own. "Those attacked historically have found ways to save themselves."

(13) "I know it scares you," Clinton said. "But you have to recognize that unless this is something different than has ever occurred in human history, we will figure out how to defend ourselves and civilization will endure." [END OF ARTICLE]

This was hardly a startling speech, unless Laurie Kellman slept through it.

But on Thursday afternoon, Andrew Sullivan began lying to you, right on his web site. The wretched, slick, disturbed little beast had a much better story to peddle. You know Sullivan’s motto—If it feels good, say it. According to Sullivan, Clinton had "call[ed] upon America to be introspective, to look into ourselves for the causes of this massacre." And Sullivan said this: "[I]t seems that the sins of the United States’ past make it impossible to judge the massacre of September 11, according to our 42d president." But guess what? Sullivan’s statements were slick, corrupt lies. Why do we let him keep doing it?

Spin starts: The Washington Times

By today—Friday, November 9—Andrew Sullivan had done something great. He had put a second report on his site, his time linking to the actual comments which Clinton had actually made. And yes, the slick little guy had—weasel-like—acknowledged that his previous statements were wrong. By now, you see, something great had happened—Sullivan had actually read Clinton’s speech! By the way, here’s part of what Clinton had said:

CLINTON SPEECH: The people who died represent, in my view, not only the best of America, but the best of the world that I worked hard for eight years to build. A world of great freedom and growing opportunity; a world of citizen responsibility, of growing diversity and sharing community, a world that looks like the student body here today. Look at you. You are from everywhere. Look at us and you will see how more diverse America has grown in the last thirty plus years. The terrorists killed people who came to America not to die, but dream, from every continent, from dozens of countries, most every religion on the face of the earth, including in large numbers Islam. They, those that died in New York, the Pentagon, and Pennsylvania, are part of a very different world and a very different worldview than those who killed them. Now I would submit to you that we are now in a struggle with the soul of the 21st century and the world in which you students live and raise your own children and make your own way. I believe that there are several things that as Americans we ought to do and I would like to outline them in a fairly direct fashion.

Clinton later told the students that "we have to win the fight we’re in," and he assured them that terrorists always win at first, but "then sooner or later, hopefully sooner, decent people get together and figure out how to defend themselves." But according to the lying Sullivan, that man was actually saying that we have to "look into ourselves for the causes of this massacre"—that we had somehow brought his down on ourselves. Amazing, isn’t it, the things that you read when you read the works of our current race of liars? How in the world, you might well ask, did this recent spate of lying begin?

As usual, it began in the Washington Times, with a bit of slick, page-one propaganda churned out by the slippery Joseph Curl. Headline? "Clinton says U.S. is paying for its past." That isn’t what the AP’s Kellman reported, because she was trying to describe what Clinton really said. But Curl had a different plan—Nephew Joe was playing the culture war game. Even at a time of great national stress, the deviate liars are trying to spin you. Curl picked a tiny particle from a long speech, trying to spin a big national story. Because of useful idiots like Sullivan, Curl got his man on this day.

Curl’s article didn’t out start like Kellman’s, that’s fer sure. Here was his opening paragraph:

CURL (pgh 1): Bill Clinton, the former president, said yesterday that terror has existed in America for hundreds of years and the nation is "paying a price today" for its past of slavery and for looking "the other way when a significant number of native Americans were dispossessed and killed."

Joe Curl is slick—very slick. What he said wasn’t false—it was just grossly misleading. He pulled a tiny, teensy remark from one small part of Clinton’s lengthy speech, and ran it right up to the top of the flagpole. Here are his next three paragraphs:

CURL (2) "Here in the United States, we were founded as a nation that practiced slavery, and slaves quite frequently were killed even though they were innocent," said Mr. Clinton in a speech to nearly 1,000 students at Georgetown University's ornate Gaston Hall.

(3) "This country once looked the other way when a significant number of native Americans were dispossessed and killed to get their land or their mineral rights or because they were thought of as less than fully human.

(4) "And we are still paying a price today," said Mr. Clinton, who was invited to address the students by the university’s School of Foreign Service. Mr. Clinton, wearing a gray suit and orange tie, arrived 45 minutes late for the event

Clinton did make all those comments—but they had almost nothing to do with what his speech was about. By the way—does anyone doubt that we’re still paying a price for the benighted racial acts of our ancestors? The fact that we would pay such a price was the point of Lincoln’s Second Inaugural. Indeed, the slimy Curl could go look it up. It’s on the wall of the Lincoln Memorial.

And so the dissembling began in the Washington Times, with a slick little spin-job by Curl. He pulled a tiny part from a speech; did a bit of slick juxtaposing; and soon he had the soft-minded Sullivan thinking that Bill Said Some Very Wild Things. Indeed, what was truly monstrous about Sullivan’s first dispatch? When he wrote it, he hadn’t read Clinton’s speech! Amazing, isn’t it? Indeed, Sullivan did a truly ridiculous thing, one which shows why he must be discarded. In his dispatch, he idiotically linked readers back to Curl to learn more about what Clinton had said! What exacly should we do with a person as stupid as that?

What should we do with dimwit Sullivan?

Today, the imbecile Sullivan Takes It All Back, admitting what a Big Fool He’s Been. Here is the opening of today’s latest dispatch on Slick Bill:

SULLIVAN (11/9/01):

CLINTON'S SPEECH: Out of fairness, here’s an actual full transcript of Clinton's remarks to Georgetown. In context, the remarks aren’t as inflammatory as they first appear. They are merely platitudinous and, in some passages, thoroughly ill-advised rather than outrageous.

For buffoon Sullivan, "fairness" comes the morning after, when you’ve actually read the speech. In the meantime, of course, his fellow idiots on Fox News have pushed Curl’s idiot tales to the max. You don’t even want to see what the trained idiots on Fox said last night.

But why exactly have we put our culture in the hands of the slick, slippery idiots like Sullivan? His stupid dissembling and reckless slanders have almost defined our sad age. Today, he wipes his sad little nose, and tells us how he got so fooled. Try to believe that we let this fool play a key role in our discourse:

SULLIVAN (11/9/01): [Clinton’s speech is] not equivalent to saying that America asked for the 9/11 massacre, as I implied from what I now see was an appallingly slanted piece in the Washington Times. The speech is interminable of course. It has almost an internal contradiction in every paragraph. But it’s not Noam Chomsky. For that, we should give thanks.

No, and it isn’t simple buffoonery, like Andrew Sullivan’s idiotic work was. Incredibly, our buffoon now sees that the Times piece was "appallingly slanted." After ten solid years of Clinton slanders, it didn’t occur to this imbecile until today that the Times might not be a pristine source.

Why on earth, at a time of such peril, do we allow the idiots like Sullivan to flourish? It’s time that we stood up—like proud Americans—and called him what he is. Buffoon! Liar!!


Smile-a-while (11/9/01)

Pure buffoonism: Andrew Sullivan is a pure buffoon, from his head right down to his cute little toesies. Out of fairness, here’s an actual full transcript of what is posted today on his site:


CLINTON’S SPEECH: Out of fairness, here’s an actual full transcript of Clinton's remarks to Georgetown. In context, the remarks aren’t as inflammatory as they first appear. They are merely platitudinous and, in some passages, thoroughly ill-advised rather than outrageous. It’s clear that he believes that America has been responsible for terrorism itself—and he absurdly equates civilian hate crimes with terrorism. He gives no history of terrorism except that committed by Americans or Christians. Here's a critical passage: "Indeed, in the first Crusade, when the Christian soldiers took Jerusalem, they first burned a synagogue with 300 Jews in it, and proceeded to kill every woman and child who was Muslim on the Temple mound. The contemporaneous descriptions of the event describe soldiers walking on the Temple mound, a holy place to Christians, with blood running up to their knees. I can tell you that that story is still being told today in the Middle East and we are still paying for it." I’m not quite sure what he means by this, but the context is perilously close to saying we deserve to pay for ancient horrors committed by people roughly from the same gene pool as ourselves. Huh? And this in a context that is arguing—against much history—that terrorism has never worked. Still, it’s not equivalent to saying that America asked for the 9/11 massacre, as I implied from what I now see was an appallingly slanted piece in the Washington Times. The speech is interminable of course. It has almost an internal contradiction in every paragraph. But it's not Noam Chomsky. For that, we should give thanks.

As buffoons and idiots always do, Andy is saying that he Wasn’t That Wrong—you know, when he nastily and inaccurately characterized a speech which he hadn’t even read? But Sullivan’s comments are just as stupid today as his behavior was on Thursday. Just don’t ask us to waste our time walking you through his limp mewlings.