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  • Andrew

    Oversight? Smear?

    Whatever it is, it’s the same old partisan hackery that George Will never fails to deliver.

    Even worse, George Will is a profoundly lazy and hypocritical “thinker.”

  • Only a couple of people know exactly what Webb said.

    To me it is a waste of George Wills valuable print space to focus on this kind of pettiness.

    I usually look forward to his commentary. not this time.

  • Kim Ritter

    Although I usually don’t agree with Will politically, I have always respected his intellect and his integrity. It is sad to see him stoop down this low. He is so much better than that.

  • Joe

    My own view that I didn’t put in this post is that I firmly believe he just messed up. I don’t agree with Will on everything but, no, I don’t think he sat down rubbing his hands and dripping at the mouth in gleeful anticipation as he wrote the column and found a way to smear Webb. I think he didn’t like what Webb said and did what my editors used to call a “fatal” on that one. They key to a “fatal” is to correct it but few journalists really do that these days, and even fewer columnists. And I know many will disagree with me, particularly those who hate Will’s views.

  • He’s spinning hard there.

    It’s deceptive.

    Though. Will usually gets the benfit of the doubt on being a scumbag because he speaks so clearly and is so well groomed.

    his book on baseball was a bore, by the way.

  • Mike P.

    All I know is I have a remarkable new Senator to replace the national embarrassment the old one was.

  • Edo

    Smear. Clearly.

    Joe, your false dichotomy has not gone unnoticed: George Will innocently makes a mistake or “rubbing his hands and dripping at the mouth in gleeful anticipation”. Talk about hyperbole. he has a pulitzer, so to think he made an “innocent” mistake is really giving him an unacceptle amount of benefit of doubt. Instead of “dripping at the mouth”, my gut tells me he was thinking “I really don’t like what Webb did, and so I’ll ignore those parts of the quotes that I don’t like–I’m an OpEd columnist so its my call.”

    I think the real acid test is: does Will issue a correction on the two clearly factual errors in his next column. Error #1: the use of [sic] to imply that Webb was not talking about all the troops and just his own son. Error #2: the ommission of Bush’s clearly impolite response: “That’s not what I asked you.”

    Finally, I refer you to my comment on yesterday’s post on the subject. Does not Bush as the host have an obligation to not bring up sensitive or sore subjects with a guest? I say he does. Will’s smear job is just par for the bitterly partisan environment course in DC.

  • Edo

    an unacceptle amount

    ugh…”…unacceptable..” I can spell, honestly.

  • jjc

    I’m not a moderate but I can pretend to be one when I post here.

    I agree with Edo that there’s some middle ground here between all-out hack job and innocent mistake.

    The problem with calling this a smear by Will is that it implies too much with regards to Will’s intent. I’m not ready to say that he deliberately excised the part of the quote that didn’t fit his agenda. I’m not ready to say he didn’t either. I think there was probably less calculated intent than implied in the TPM post.

    But Will himself seems the sort to dismiss the importance of how much or how little calculation went into what he did. The effect is still the same, and he should be held responsible for that effect without much regard for the intent.

    The end, or effect, he clearly did intend. The means, he might not have. In this case, the means involves something he’s supposed to be good at, but he very sloppily allowed his means to serve his end in a manner he very likely would criticize someone else for.

    Whether he intended to smear Webb, he did effectively do so, somewhat in the manner of one who causes a traffic accident while DUI.

  • yeah, you don’t have to be “rubbing his hands and dripping at the mouth in gleeful anticipation” to put together an intentional smear.

    You don’t have to be “rubbing his hands and dripping at the mouth in gleeful anticipation” to be a sleaze.

  • ES

    Too many people have been looking towards the conversation and not enough about the background on the son’s unit which the question had rankled Senator Webb. I have seen in the last three days there were 2 or 3 KIA in that particular unit. People are looking at the veneer of converstation and not to why Webb was put-off with the conversation.

  • ES

    I should say those KIA numbers are unofficial.

  • Tom Fiori

    Considering that Bush will very likely go down in history as the worst president of at least the last hundred years, I’m not sure he deserves much respect. Let’s look at this: he had some goals that even with a Republican Congress and Supreme Court he could not attain, for example, reforming socail security, reforming the tax code, balancing the budget, and bringing about a system of faith based social programs. Bush ignored warnings about Al-Quida before 9/11, about Iraq not having ties to terrorists and WMD (Iraq does have oil however). Bush has created an oil based energy policy, and ignored the impact of global warming. Yet all the Republican pundits refuse to give up on Bush; for some reason they believe that continuing to defend his bad decisions and poor judgement will eventually reverse them. I suppose we will have to see what happens in Iraq, where Bush now carries a moral burden for having created an anarchy instead of a democracy.

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