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Monday, July 21, 2008
NewsBusters Misleads on Maliki Comments
Topic: NewsBusters

A July 20 NewsBusters post by Dave Pierre claims that a Los Angeles Times article stating that Iraqi President Nouri al-Maliki has endorsed Barack Obama's 16-month timetable for removing U.S. combat troops from Iraq is "dishonest." Why? Because "the Times makes no mention of the fact that a spokesman for the prime minister immediately disputed the story and said comments from Nouri Maliki in a controversial interview in Germany's Der Spiegel magazine 'were misunderstood, mistranslated and not conveyed accurately.'"

We'll take that as a sign that we can call Pierre dishonest in his criticism. Why? Because Pierre didn't mention that -- according to the Washington Post in an article posted two hours before Pierre's --  the spokesman's comments followed a call to the prime minister's office from U.S. government officials in Iraq. Further, the spokesman did not say what specific comments were "misunderstood, mistranslated and not conveyed accurately." In other words, it appears that the "dispute" is actually Bush administration damage control.

Further, according to the New York Times (h/t Talking Points Memo), the interpreter forthe article was Maliki's, not Der Spiegel's, and Der Spiegel provided the Times with a tape recording of the interview, which was then independently translated and confirmed the accuracy of the original Der Spiegel account. The Times also details the White House's pressure on the Iraqi government to walk back Maliki's comments.

Will Pierre (or anyone else at NewsBusters) tell readers about all of this? Somehow we doubt it.

Posted by Terry K. at 8:56 AM EDT

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