Patterico's Pontifications

2/12/2008

Tim Rutten’s Pattern of Dishonesty

Filed under: Dog Trainer,General — Patterico @ 6:23 am

Time to put Tim Rutten’s latest dishonesty in historical context. Because a clear pattern is emerging. All you have to do is compare Rutten’s statements to the record.

As a reminder, here’s Rutten’s column from this past Saturday:

Meanwhile, in another part of the city, Vice President Dick Cheney was addressing the meat-eaters at the Conservative Political Action Conference. He told them that he was glad the administration had tortured people and that he’d do it again: “Would I support those same decisions again today? You’re damn right I would.”

False. Here’s the only use of the word “torture” in Vice President Cheney’s speech:

The United States is a country that takes human rights seriously. We do not torture — it’s against our laws and against our values. We’re proud of our country and what it stands for.

That’s Tim Rutten falsely claiming that a Bush admininstration official said something that he actually hadn’t said. Here’s the flip side of the coin: Rutten falsely claiming that a Bush Administration official had not said something, that he actually had said.

Here’s Tim Rutten from November 3, 2007:

So what we have here is a president and vice president who want to install as the country’s chief law enforcement official a man who refuses to flatly say that the United States of America should not torture people.

False. Here’s a quote from the New York Times from two weeks earlier:

Mr. Mukasey also pleased the Democrats who control the Judiciary Committee by saying that he considered torture of terrorist suspects to be illegal under American and international law and that the president did not have the authority to order it under any circumstances.

Recall also that in a controversy over war reporting, Tim Rutten claimed a document doesn’t exist, when in fact it did.

From Rutten’s column about Scott Thomas Beauchamp:

It was interesting to note that Drudge provided links to the transcripts and report but not to the purported “Memorandum for Record.”

False. I took the following screenshot from a set of documents taken from what Drudge posted:

memorandum-for-record-2007-dtyir.JPG

Are you starting to see a pattern?

Rutten undoubtedly has a “baroque explanation” for all these false statements. I’m quite sure he feels eminently justified in telling readers that black is white, up is down, and truth is false.

But for you, the reader, my advice is simple. If Tim Rutten asserts a fact about the Bush Administration, don’t blindly accept it. Keep in mind the very real possibility that the truth is the exact opposite of what Rutten has said.

It’s happened too many times now.

7 Comments

  1. Rutten doesn’t need an explanation, baroque or otherwise: he’s a journalist. Bow before him, peasant.

    Comment by great unknown (fd3f06) — 2/12/2008 @ 6:34 am

  2. Isn’t it ok to lie as long as you are impugning the evil Reich Wing? I mean they are evil, racist, warmongering, fascists so it is ok to just make up shit about them. I mean they do it too.

    Comment by LiveFromFortLivingRoom (cc236b) — 2/12/2008 @ 6:59 am

  3. My guess is Rutten could write his columns before Dick Cheney or anyone speaks. He already knows what he thinks and what he is going to say. He could probably write a book on what he believes Dick Cheney thinks about on the weekends in between killing puppies.

    Comment by LiveFromFortLivingRoom (cc236b) — 2/12/2008 @ 7:02 am

  4. Does the government, or do government officials personally have the legal ability to sue newspapers for libel? The people have given the media a terrifying amount of political power in this country, some we need something, anything, to check and balance that power.

    Comment by Justin (747191) — 2/12/2008 @ 9:31 am

  5. Just for the fun of it

    Comment by TC (1cf350) — 2/12/2008 @ 12:36 pm

  6. Tim Rutten is a lying crapweasel of the highest order, a tier occupied by the likes of Krugman, Fish, the Gleens, Ellers McEllerson, and Rather.

    Comment by JD (d5bd6e) — 2/12/2008 @ 2:42 pm

  7. Regardless of Rutten’s lying liarness, can’t we torture the terrorists a little? Just ’cause it feels good? Torture has been given a bad rap, imo.

    Comment by Kevin (3efe14) — 2/13/2008 @ 9:02 am

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