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.”
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:
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.