Media Blog

White House Accuses Ron Suskind of Using Material from Wikipedia

Looks like the White House isn’t happy with President Obama’s portrayal as getting “rolled by his advisers.” Jake Tapper from yesterday’s briefing:

TAPPER: I just wanted to give you the opportunity to respond to the book, the Ron Suskind book, which the entire — well, it seems like almost the entire White House participated in. You guys gave the author a 50-minute interview with the president. It seems like he had first-person interviews with most of — most if not all of the players involved. He paints the picture of a president who is rolled by his advisers and at times does not make tough decisions when being asked.

And I wanted to make sure you had an opportunity to respond.

CARNEY: Thanks for that. Look, I too have not read the book, although I’ve read a lot about it. What we know is that very simple things, facts that could be ascertained — dates, titles, statistics, quotes — are wrong in this book. So I think that — in fact, one passage seems to be lifted almost entirely from Wikipedia in the book. I think, based on that, I would caution anyone to assume that if you can’t get those things right, that you suddenly get the broader analysis right.

That analysis is wrong. Tim Geithner, who lived it, just told you that it bears no resemblance to the reality he lived.

And what I just talked about goes right to that. The extraordinarily difficult times that this country was going through when this president took office and the extraordinarily complex and difficult decisions that this administration, this president, took, they weren’t easy, but they were necessary. And it took decisive leadership. It took a clarity of vision about where we needed to move the country. And it took a willingness to suffer political risk in order to do the right thing for the country. And that was absolutely at the heart of all the decisions the president made, and the president made them.

TAPPER: What part was lifted from Wikipedia?

CARNEY: We can get that for you. It just — it’s — there’s almost a word-for-word Wikipedia.

-Jake Tapper


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