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Wednesday, January 6, 2010
NewsBusters Complains Maddow Put Napolitano Statement In Its Proper Context
Topic: NewsBusters

NewsBusters' Jack Coleman is upset with Rachel Maddow. Why? Because she had the audacity to put a statement by Janet Napolitano in its proper context.

Coleman goes on at great length in a Jan. 2 NewsBusters post to express his unhappiness at Maddow for pointing out that Napolitano's statement that "the system worked," placed in its proper context, applies to events after the Christmas Day attempted airliner bombing incident, and not to the failure to detect the bomber, and that by suggesting that the phrase applied to pre-bombing events, Republicans were "attacking her for saying something she never actually said." We'll let Coleman take it from here:

Nice try, Ms. Maddow. The problem for Napolitano isn't that Republicans are putting words in her mouth -- it's that they are quoting her accurately (as shown by Maddow's footage of Congressman King). And what Napolitano said, starting with a simple declarative sentence that stands or falls on its own, was ludicrous.

In fairness to Maddow, she gets it half right, which is certainly encouraging. Napolitano did gloss over the lunacy of her "system worked" assertion by whittling "the system" to only those components functional on the day in question.

What makes Maddow's defense of Napolitano's inanity all the more bizarre is that it came after Napolitano backpedaled on it herself, appearing on the "Today" show Dec. 28 and agreeing with Matt Lauer when he asked if "the system" had "failed miserably" to prevent a terrorist with explosives from boarding an airliner.

Maddow condemns Republicans for "selective editing" and taking Napolitano's remarks "out of context." Having set the bar high for others, Maddow then shows her unwillingness to abide by the same standards.

Note that at no point does Coleman contradict the fact that Republicans were taking the line out of context or even express shame for having done so -- indeed, he praises the statement as "a simple declarative sentence that stands or falls on its own" and, presumably, a perfect target for taking out of context.

Posted by Terry K. at 10:59 PM EST

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