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Media Fact-checks White House (UPDATE: and doesn’t)
Posted by: Jon Henke on Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Yesterday, the White House responded to Al Gore's speech by claiming that...
"[Al Gore's] hypocrisy knows no bounds. It was the Clinton administration that used warrantless physical searches. An example is what they did in the case of Aldrich Ames. And it was the Deputy Attorney General under the Clinton administration that testified before Congress and said, "First, the Department of Justice believes and the case law supports that the President has inherent authority" — inherent authority — "to conduct warrantless physical searches for foreign intelligence purposes and that the President may, as has been done, delegate this authority to the Attorney General."
After initially passing on this White House assertion unremarked, the Associated Press eventually updated their story to include this smackdown...
But at the time of the Ames search in 1993 and when Gorelick testified a year later, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act required warrants for electronic surveillance for intelligence purposes, but did not cover physical searches. The law was changed to cover physical searches in 1995 under legislation that Clinton supported and signed.

I hope this continues. Our political discourse will be well-served if the media will continue to immediately correct misstatements by politicians at all levels.

A politicians lie might travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes — or being blogged — but the media doesn't have to provide politicians with free travel.

[MORE BELOW]
 
Well, you win some, you lose some. Captain Ed notes that New York Times reporters seem unable to differentiate between "sought uranium" and "took delivery of uranium". Eric Lichtblau writes...
A high-level intelligence assessment by the Bush administration concluded in early 2002 that the sale of uranium from Niger to Iraq was "unlikely" because of a host of economic, diplomatic and logistical obstacles, according to a secret memo that was recently declassified by the State Department.
You know, I once looked into purchasing a large piece of furniture for which I had no delivery vehicle and insufficient room in my home. I didn't buy it, but I did inquire into it. The two are not mutually exclusive.

As Ed observes, Lichtblau uses the "same trick employed in Wilson's original op-ed; both start off by talking about the fact that no sale had been completed — a true statement — and then substitute that for no attempt to purchase uranium had been made".

MORE:


Another good fact-check from the Washington Post...
In a call with reporters, Leavitt said enrollment in the program, called Medicare Part D, exceeded expectations and put the administration "well on track to meet our goal of enrolling 28 to 30 million in the first year."

Last year, officials predicted 39 million seniors and disabled people would participate, according to documents published in the Federal Register on Jan. 28, 2005.
If they kept this up, we bloggers would spend a lot less time fact-checking the media and a lot more time congratulating them.

UPDATE: Hm. It looks like this last fact-check was accurate, but misleading. The White House did, indeed, claim in early 2005 that "39 million people would receive drug coverage in 2006 through a Medicare drug plan or an employer-sponsored health plan subsidized by Medicare". But by June of 2005, they'd already amended it to the figure they currently claim is the administration goal:
In June, Secretary Leavitt scaled back the official estimate. He predicted that 28 million to 30 million people would receive drug coverage next year. He said those figures came from "Wall Street analysts."
Consider us all fact-checked. I think the Washington Post ought to consider correcting that story.
 
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
Just another example of how comfortable liberals are with the concept of "forged, but true". They could really "tell the story" about the Bush administration if it weren’t for all those niggling "facts".
 
Written By: Notherbob2
URL: http://
That’s good that they’re fact checking the administration. Now if they will fact check the opposition (demoncrats), other media venues (NYT,WaPo), compatriots (Radley Balko-no search warrant, all white jury, etc.)we will soon be able to make informed decisions.
 
Written By: tom scott
URL: http://
http://media.nationalreview.com/087553.asp

They don’t even want to be bothered to do their jobs anymore according to this...
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Re your last "MORE" on Medicare: The statement "enrolling 28 to 30 million in the first year" is NOT inconsistent with "39 million seniors and disabled people would participate".

What about the qualifier "in the first year" did you not understand? There is certain to be a ramp up period for a program of this size, and that ramping up looks to take over a year.

Consider YOURSELF (and the WaPo) factchecked.
 
Written By: A.S.
URL: http://
That "demoncrats" was a Freudian slip typing mistake. I don’t get off on juvenile name-calling.
 
Written By: tom scott
URL: http://
I am not sure what the "smackdown" of the first part implies. It seems clear that before FISA was amended to cover physical searches, several administrations authorized warrantless domestic searches for intelligence purposes.

The change in FISA only seems to bear on the argument that when Congress specifically disagrees with the Executive branch, then the Executive branch’s discretionary power is at its minimum (I forget which Supreme Court case this came from). Yet even then, it is unclear to me why warrantless physical searches, which are covered by significant case law, would be something the Executive could authorize prior to the FISA change.

In the last part, "predictions" and "goals" are two different things. A dieter may have a minimum goal of losing 5 pounds this year, a prediction of losing 10 to 15, and a hope of losing 20 pounds. It is not clear what "predictions" and "goals" meant, and it is ironic that such an update followed one pointing out substitution fallacies.
 
Written By: Michael
URL: http://
While 39 million may participate, that doesn’t mean all 39 million will enroll in the first year. But that is nitpicking. Chances are 39 million is the total number of people eligible for the program or some such.

If I thought we could afford the new coverage, I could point out that even meeting 75% of your goal isn’t too shabby. This for a government whose effort to put 100,000 cops on the streets resulted in about 50k instead. But since I don’t think we can afford it, I won’t complain if we fall shy of the goals.
 
Written By: Jeff the Baptist
URL: http://jeffthebaptist.blogspot.com
warrantless physical searches sound more intrusive to me than warrantless survailence anyway.
 
Written By: Noodles
URL: http://
Re your last "MORE" on Medicare: The statement "enrolling 28 to 30 million in the first year" is NOT inconsistent with "39 million seniors and disabled people would participate".

What about the qualifier "in the first year" did you not understand? There is certain to be a ramp up period for a program of this size, and that ramping up looks to take over a year.
Slow down. The administration did predict that "39 million people would receive drug coverage in 2006 through a Medicare drug plan or an employer-sponsored health plan subsidized by Medicare". But I see they’d also announced a scaled down prediction last year, rolling it down to "28 million to 30 million" in June.

Both are right. The administration did set a goal of 28-30 million and they had previously set a goal of 39 million. I’ll add that to the story.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
warrantless physical searches sound more intrusive to me than warrantless survailence anyway.
Indeed. But one was explicitly statutorily illegal and one was not.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net

 
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