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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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  • PWT

    In order for this story to have any legs outisde of the fever swamps, it is necessary to prove that Mr. McCain heard the questions in advance. No proof, no story.

  • christoofar

    However the *fact* remains that he was not in the “cone of silence” . Not “may not have been”, but flat out wasn’t. And I am guessing that MCain’s inner circle, who were around him during this time, wouldn’t be expected to come forward & admit to anything, if there were some information made available to him prior to his turn .
    So Kristol’s piece is what has “no legs”, or seems to be growing another one, or one leg is shorter than the other, or…

  • StockBoySF

    McCain has been caught in more than one lie before.

    Why would he be late to a forum anyway? It’s mighty odd that a presidential candidate did not make being on time to such an event a priority.

    Politicians keep track of what their opponents and analyzing their moves all the time, even while sleeping. I can’t imagine that suddenly, while courting one of the most important groups that McCain has been wanting the endorsement of for months that suddenly all past behavior is left behind and McCain has suddenly become some sort of saint.

    Puhleeze…. give me a break from all this none sense of McCain not knowing or hearing or discussing some of the questions in advance.

    Though I will also admit I’m not sure how much it actually helped him. McCain took the stage and remained his proven self. The only benefit **may** have been his realizing that he couldn’t touch Obama in the self-reflection area, so his tactic was to offer nothing new and reuse his same old (and crowd pleasing) lines.

    • PWT

      Lets try to apply the same standards to another situation:

      Barack Obama *may* have been giving blow-jobs to his advisors in his limo after his appearance.

  • AustinRoth

    Why would he be late to a forum anyway? Traffic? Or can that not occur to you while wearing a tin-foil hat?

  • Ricorun

    Why would he be late to a forum anyway? Traffic?

    Traffic in OC? Never!! Lol!

    But that’s not the point. The point is McCain had the opportunity and the motive. Whether he acted on them we’ll probably never know.

  • christoofar

    I live in the area. No traffic problems last Saturday.
    The host of the event should have taken the necessary steps to ensure both men were where they were supposed to be before it began, to avoid just such a situation.
    But of course, I’m sure that if it had been Obama out cruising around in his car, things would be totally different now.

  • Lets try to apply the same standards to another situation:

    Barack Obama *may* have been giving blow-jobs to his advisors in his limo after his appearance.

    We don’t want to hear about your fantasies.

  • Gichin13

    The real story here to me is Kristol continuing to print garbage with free license and little accuracy.

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