Today I also read a description of the Rice-Boxer exchange in the L.A. Times. There was no fact-checking of Boxer in the article, which gloated that Boxer’s “sweeping” presentation had “riled” the “usually cool and collected diplomat.” The piece closes with this:
So by the end of the day, Feinstein, the centrist stateswoman, had made inroads with a woman who would very likely be the next secretary of State.
And Boxer, the passionate standard-bearer, had succeeded in getting that woman’s goat.
Good for Boxer! She set out to get Condi Rice’s goat, and she got it. Mission accomplished. A job well done.
Meanwhile, it takes a blogger to point out that one of the few verifiable assertions of fact in Boxer’s “sweeping” presentation was flatly false.
(By the way: I wonder how Faye Fiore, the reporter who wrote the L.A. Times article, would feel if she were the star of a public hearing during which a U.S. Senator attacked her with falsehoods? Do you think that would get Faye Fiore’s goat?)
Can blogs replace Big Media? No, they can’t. Can they sometimes do a better job than Big Media does at covering an issue — especially when the coverage involves fact-checking? As the above comparison shows, they can.
Like many, I listened yesterday to Hugh Hewitt’s excerpts of Sen. Barbara Boxer’s grandstanding at the expense of Dr. Condoleezza Rice. It didn’t sound right to me when Boxer said:
Well, you should read what we voted on when we voted to support the war, which I did not, but most of my colleagues did. It was WMD, period. That was the reason and the causation for that, you know, particular vote.
Somebody did read what they voted on, and it turns out that it wasn’t “WMD, period.” Here is the text of the resolution; you can read it yourself. There are at least 7 separate justifications for the war set forth in the resolution.
Here’s the really funny part. Sen. Boxer actually had the nerve to say to Dr. Rice:
I personally believe — this is my personal view — that your loyalty to the mission you were given, to sell this war, overwhelmed your respect for the truth. And I don’t say it lightly, and I’m going to go into the documents that show your statements and the facts at the time.
My message to Sen. Boxer is this:
I personally believe — this is my personal view — that your loyalty to the mission you were given by your staff, to embarrass Condoleezza Rice, overwhelmed your respect for the truth. Which, let’s face it, didn’t really exist to begin with.
And I don’t say it lightly.