Best friends of Lawrence and Rachel: Last evening, on the Last Word, David Corn recalled the way this country went to war with Iraq.
Corn mentioned one famous name, chose not to mention another:
CORN (3/18/13): Colin Powell, that speech he gave February 5, 2003, everyone remembers that, you know—Before we get to Colin Powell, let’s mention two other points:
O’DONNELL: That swayed a lot of people.
CORN: It swayed a lot of people. And the coverage was like over the top. It was like writing about a rock star.
But then if you turned inside and you kept on reading 20 inches in, you would find people saying, “Wait a second, we don’t know about this, we don’t know about that.” So yeah, the people who dig deep can find this.
And I remember at the time this—there was a tide. It was hard to swim against. He would give that speech, then you go on TV and go—
O’DONNELL: You had some amazing moments on TV in those days.
CORN: A lot of fights. I said, “Wait a second, the Post, the Times is reporting. I’ve talked—”
I would do my own reporting. I have talked to nuclear scientists about these aluminum tubes and they would say the case isn’t proven. You literally would be laughed out of the green room. And this is not just from conservatives.
O’DONNELL: It was a wise man’s view of this, a serious man’s view.
CORN: A total media consensus. I’ll tell you one story. I won’t embarrass the person, because it is someone we both know. But he told me his opinion was going to be determined by what Thomas Friedman wrote, a guy who worked for a major paper, who we see on TV all the time. There was a consensus that dominated.
O’DONNELL: You’re right. I remember people surrendering their opinion to Colin Powell, to influential columnists because it was so tricky and complex an issue and the amount of homework was so massive.
First point/Tribal flattery: Lawrence recalled the “amazing moments” Corn had “on TV in those days.” In response, Corn seemed to say that he had “a lot of fights.”
Those amazing moments don’t seem to exist. Using Nexis, we can find no record that Corn ever mentioned Colin Powell after his famous UN speech. We find only one time when he ever challenged the drive to war with Iraq. That occurred on March 4, two weeks before the invasion, and his statements were nuanced.
In those days, Corn was a regular on Fox. Below, we’ll show you two excerpts.
Second point/Protecting the guild: Corn recalled a mutual friend who sold his soul to Thomas Friedman concerning war with Iraq. Needless to say, no name was mentioned. Corn and Lawrence didn’t want to embarrass their mutual friend!
Setting this bullshit aside, the boys recalled the fawning reaction to Powell’s U.N. address. This country was always headed for war. But Powell’s address set off a stampede among the nation’s fawning liberal columnists.
We named all their names in real time. last night, Lawrence still wasn't willing to name them.
That said, the boys recalled the terrible trouble caused by Powell’s U.N. address. But how strange! Just one hour earlier, Rachel Maddow interviewed the man who assembled that U.N. address—and the topic was never mentioned! Instead, Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson was allowed to name-call other major Republicans, giving us rubes the sense that we were being exposed to The Real Dope.
Wilkerson has been Rachel’s best friend for four years now. She has never asked him to explain how he managed to assemble the ridiculous bullshit Powell presented to the U.N. But then, when she interviewed Powell himself, she even forgot to ask him!
Rachel doesn't ask questions like that. People, it just isn't done!
You get conned every night of the week on The One True Liberal Channel. On the brighter side, our heroes stuff big bucks in their pants as they treat us like fools.
Amazing moments with Greta and Mr. O: Using Nexis, we find no sign that Corn ever mentioned the name “Powell” after that U.N. address.
According to Nexis, Corn wasn’t on TV a whole lot during this period. And when he was, he appeared on Fox. We find only one place where he challenged prevailing wisdom concerning war with Iraq.
When he did, he challenged rather gently. According to Nexis, there weren't “a lot of fights.”
Here he was with Greta, two weeks after Powell's address. He had been invited to discuss the fight for the Democratic nomination:
CORN (2/20/03): The only thing that I can, I think that we can safely predict is that between now and the start of the primaries, which is almost a year from now, three things will happen that we can't predict, that will have an impact, that'll happen either on the—either on the war on Iraq, the war on terrorism or the economy. And how, and so what—We wouldn’t call that an amazing moment. According to Nexis, Corn’s one attempt to challenge conventional wisdom concerning invasion came when he spoke with Mr. O.
The race is going to be shaped by how the candidates, I think, end up reacting to these things we can't predict. But obviously—
VAN SUSTEREN: And if they chose the right horse on the war, ultimately.
CORN: Yes, and—
VAN SUSTEREN: I mean, if we go, if we go into Iraq, find lots of weapons of mass destruction and you were for the war, then you're better off than if you weren't.
CORN: Well, depending, because the war on Iraq will transition, if it happens in the next month, in the next days, and if it's over within a week or two, as they promise it will be, the issue will transition from the war in Iraq to what do you do afterwards and what happens there. And that's going to open a whole other kettle of fish, a whole other set of issues for the Democrats to contend with and to do battle with George Bush on.
VAN SUSTEREN: It'll be fascinating. David, nice to see you.
CORN: Good to be with you.
War was now two weeks away. This was part of this evening’s battle:
O'REILLY (3/4/03): You don't believe that Saddam Hussein is a threat to the world?That wasn’t exactly amazing either. Until Lawrence got busy reinventing the past for us pitiful rubes just last night!
CORN: I don't think he is an imminent threat to the world—
O'REILLY: You don't?
CORN: —that calls for invasion and occupation of the country.
O'REILLY: So you, David Corn, a respected journalist, do not believe that Saddam Hussein has the capability or the potential to hand off an anthrax, a V.X., to al Qaeda that would be used to hurt us. You don't believe that?
CORN: There is no evidence that—
O'REILLY: OK, do you believe that or not?
CORN: I believe it may be possible, but I don't believe it's—
O'REILLY: All right. So you believe it may be possible—
CORN: May be possible.