The Corner

Misquoting Mistake On Mistakes

Both ABC’s Kate Snow and NBC’s Norah O’Donnell made the mistake yesterday of suggesting that the President couldn’t think of a single mistake he made in his presidency. AP’s Calvin Woodward did that one better last night:

“President Bush acknowledged a good deal of introspection after all the questions lately about his government’s actions before the Sept. 11 attacks and in Iraq, but not a whiff of contrition. Bush was asked in his prime-time news conference if he had made any mistakes. ‘I’m sure something will pop into my head here,’ he said Tuesday. It didn’t.”

At least the AP story develops more of the exchange with Time’s John Dickerson than ABC or NBC did, but they all mangle the question Dickerson actually asked: “After 9/11, what would your biggest mistake be, would you say, and what lessons have you learned from it?” Bush had trouble identifying his BIGGEST mistake, not any mistake. You’ll notice in the AP story that Kerry took that misquote and underlined it for audiences. “The president may refuse to acknowledge a single mistake in the course of his presidency…”

Tim GrahamTim Graham is Director of Media Analysis at the Media Research Center, where he began in 1989, and has served there with the exception of 2001 and 2002, when served ...


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