01/20/2006: Not to pick on Josh Marshall....
But I think he misses an important nuance in this post:
In the bizarre AP piece I referenced below there's this surreal passage ...Josh, of course, gets the main point: Then comes the next line -- that Democrats are trying to link Abramoff with Republicans. This is like when Republicans tried to link James Carville to Democrats. The Republicans are spinning like mad (and probably succeeding), trying to paint this as a bipartisan scandal. But the nuance he misses? Go look at the exact quote from the AP piece: With the midterm elections 10 months away, Democrats have tried to link Abramoff to Republicans...The Abramoff investigation threatens to ensnare at least a half dozen members of Congress of both parties and Bush administration officials. Abramoff, who has admitted to conspiring to defraud his Indian tribe clients, has pleaded guilty to corruption-related charges and is cooperating with prosecutors.At least half a dozen members of both parties.
With the midterm elections 10 months away, Democrats have tried to link Abramoff to Republicans, the main recipients of his largesse.
That's quite a line. We're just on the outer edge of this investigation. And I'm certainly not willing to claim or predict that no Democrat, either in or out of Congress, will be taken down.
But to the best of my knowledge no credible claim has been made that any Democrat is even under investigation in the Abramoff scandal, let alone facing potential indictment. At least half a dozen Republicans have been so named in press reports, with varying degrees of specificity. The sentence is a plain statement of misinformation posing as news reportage.
Then comes the next line -- that Democrats are trying to link Abramoff with Republicans. This is like when Republicans tried to link James Carville to Democrats. Link him to Republicans? He's been a professional Republican and major GOP power-player for a quarter-century.
Not "Democrats are trying to link Abramoff....", in the present tense, but "Democrats have tried to link Abramoff..." In the past tense. And to my mind, by stating it in the past tense in this way, the writer it subtly guiding the reader to come to a conclusion: that the Democrats have tried and failed to link Abramoff with the Republicans. As Josh points out, the Democrats are still trying to link the GOP to Abramoff, though with Abramoff singing like a canary to the Justice Department as we speak, it's more likely that Abramoff will link the Republicans to himself much better than the Democrats can.
Regardless of whether he's missed a subtle nuance or not, Josh does come to the correct conclusion:
All the factual claims noted here in this article appear to be willful distortions, or statements with omissions so great as to be meant to confuse.How, indeed?
How can the public know what's happening in their government when the reporters of the news seem so bent on misleading them?
Len on 01.20.06 @ 07:58 AM CST