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Posted by on Aug 18, 2008 in Politics | 9 comments

Kristol Revises his “Saddleback Showdown”

In this morning’s “Bill Kristol’s Cone of Silence,” I quoted Kristol from the online version of his New York Times column “Showdown at Saddleback.” In it, Kristol wrote, as I quoted:

NBC’s Andrea Mitchell reported on “Meet the Press” that “the Obama people must feel that he didn’t do quite as well as they might have wanted to in that context. … What they’re putting out privately is that McCain … may have had some ability to overhear what the questions were to Obama.” There’s no evidence that McCain had any such advantage. But the fact that Obama’s people made this suggestion means they know McCain outperformed him.”

Although I have not read today’s printed version of Kristol’s column in the Times, Jason Linkins over at the Huffington Post tells us:

“In the print version, we get these paragraphs”:

NBC’s Andrea Mitchell reported on “Meet the Press” that “the Obama people must feel that he didn’t do quite as well as they might have wanted to in that context. … What they’re putting out privately is that McCain may not have been in the cone of silence and may have had some ability to overhear what the questions were to Obama.” That’s pretty astonishing, since there seems to be absolutely no basis for the charge. But the fact that Obama’s people made this suggestion means they know McCain outperformed him. (Emphasis mine)

Note how, now that the cat is out of the bag, Kristol’s “may not have been in the cone of silence and“, disappears in the online edition, and “There’s no evidence that McCain had any such advantage” is changed to “That’s pretty astonishing, since there seems to be absolutely no basis for the charge.”

According to Linkins, Kristol has now also “tweaked” even the original online version of his column.

When one now goes to the latest online version of Kristol’s column in the Times, one finds the following:

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: August 19, 2008

In some editions of his column on Monday about the presidential forum at Saddleback Church in California, William Kristol said that there seemed to be no basis for charges that John McCain was not in a “cone of silence” during Barack Obama’s interview with the Rev. Rick Warren, and could therefore have heard questions posed first to Senator Obama. Senator McCain was in a motorcade for part of Senator Obama’s interview. A statement from his campaign said that he “never heard or saw any of Senator Obama’s appearance.”

Why all these changes? Linkins sums it up best in his “Bill Kristol Quietly Revises Column On ‘Cone Of Silence“:

“In other words, since Kristol now has to acknowledge that the “charge” that McCain was not in the “cone of silence” has legs, those details disappear so that Kristol can continue to paint the Obama camp as making baseless charges.”

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