Speaking of test scores, Josh Rogin can’t read!

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 5, 2013

Still able to work as a journalist: The explosion of media have exposed two situations which had largely been hidden.

We’re able to see how crazy, true-believing and gullible many of us the people are. Comment threads help us see this.

Also, it has become much easier to see how dumb our journalists are.

To cite one example, Josh Rogin can’t read. We say that because he writes this passage in today’s Daily Beast:
ROGIN (6/5/13): Other GOP senators told The Daily Beast that they wanted to know exactly what [Victoria Nuland’s] involvement was in the crafting of the talking points that U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice used on September 16, 2012, on the Sunday news shows to argue that the attack was a spontaneous reaction to events in Cairo caused by an anti-Islam video.
Sorry. Susan Rice didn't “argue that the attack was a spontaneous reaction to events in Cairo caused by an anti-Islam video.” If you have the transcripts and you know how to read, you can quite easily see that.

Josh Rogin doesn’t know how to read! On the even gloomier side, this is no longer a bar to employment in our upper-end press corps.

For Rogin's full bio, click this.

35 comments:

  1. Quaker in a BasementJune 5, 2013 at 5:08 PM

    A little confused on this one, Bob. Is your quarrel with the word "argue"? Barring that, the rest of the statement is accurate. Rice did say the attack was a spontaneous reaction to events in Cairo and that the events in Cairo were a reaction to the video.

    From Meet the Press:
    But our current best assessment, based on the information that we have at present, is that, in fact, what this began as, it was a spontaneous — not a premeditated — response to what had transpired in Cairo. In Cairo, as you know, a few hours earlier, there was a violent protest that was undertaken in reaction to this very offensive video that was disseminated.

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    1. But "Meet the Press" was not the only program she was on. And yes, "argue" is the whole point. She didn't "argue" anything, as the words you chose not to highlight, words which were repeated over and over and over throughout the day, demonstrate conclusively without the possibility of good faith dispute. Further, TDH has demonstrated conclusively without the possibility of good faith dispute that at least two news organizations reporting from within Libya, as well as the CIA, had information indicating that a spontaneous demonstration over the Cairo protest about thew video was the beginning of everything in Benghazi.

      Not only that, but to Bob Schieffer that day Rice expressly acknowledged that there could be al Qaeda involvement, which also conclusively demonstrated without the possibility of good faith dispute that there was no attempt to "argue" that there was no "terrorism" involved.

      Delete
  2. "Rice did say the attack was a spontaneous reaction to events in Cairo and that the events in Cairo were a reaction to the video."

    No, she did not. She said (to lift from your own quotation), "But our current best assessment, based on the information that we have at present, is that, in fact, what this began as, it was a spontaneous — not a premeditated — response to what had transpired in Cairo."

    "Our current best assessment, based on the information we have at present...." What you're doing is called cherry-picking -- or, you just need to learn how to read properly.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Oops. Meant as reply to Quaker, above.

      Delete
    2. Quaker in a BasementJune 5, 2013 at 7:49 PM

      Sorry, still not getting it. She said it was spontaneous. She said it was a reaction to what happened in Cairo and that events in Cairo were in response to the video.

      If "argue" is the hangup, I guess I get that. But you and urban legend are trying to deny what is there in black and white.

      Delete
    3. "Argue" is not the hangup, at least in the point I am making. When you say, "She said it was spontaneous" and "She said it was a reaction," you misrepresent the Meet the Press transcript by omitting the context Rice carefully created for her statement -- a context which limited and qualified it ("But our current...began as").

      Delete
    4. Quaker in a BasementJune 5, 2013 at 11:45 PM

      Not misrepresenting anything.

      After all she presented all the context and caveats, what did Rice say about intelligence regarding the cause of the attack?

      If she didn't say spontaneous and she didn't say Cairo and she didn't say video, what is it you think she said?

      Delete
    5. When somebody says everything I say is tentative and preliminary at best, he or she is not saying anything "is" anything. With those caveats, only an idiot would think she was saying anything except that this is what it might be, this is what it looks like right now but we don't know for sure.

      Why are we still arguing over this utter crap?

      Delete
    6. Because we are arguing with douchebags.

      Delete
    7. After all the wailing and tearing of hair, it will be funny to see how TDH tries to reconcile Susan Rice being "thrown under the bus" and "left for dead" with her big new promotion.

      Unless those terms mean "in line for a great new job with even more power" then TDH has badly misread events.

      Delete
    8. mch, please don't give her credit for using weasel words.

      A high-ranking government official making the rounds of national TV five days after the attack shouldn't be saying anything that she isn't sure of with a high degree of certainty.

      What is wrong with government officials having the honest of saying, "We don't know yet" instead of showing up with pre-approved "talking points" that later prove to be way off the mark?

      At least "we don't know" would be the truth.

      Delete
    9. Q in B, maybe this example will help.

      Jane is asked: "what was the weather 5 days ago?"
      She replies:"based on the best information I have, it rained, but I don't have all the information, and as more is learned it might be that the case is otherwise." In fact, it hadn't rained, but she had been told by Jill who was in the area on the day in question (Jane was away at the time)that she believed it had rained, and the newspaper also said reports were to the effect that it had rained. In fact it hadn't rained.

      Applying the same logic of those continuing to advance the phony, manufactured Benghazi scandal, Jane said it had rained, and did so in an attemmpt to conceal the truth.

      Delete
    10. AnonJun6@9:41am: tell it to Darrell Issa.

      Delete
    11. Quaker in a BasementJune 6, 2013 at 12:23 PM

      Applying the same logic of those continuing to advance the phony, manufactured Benghazi scandal, Jane said it had rained, and did so in an attemmpt to conceal the truth.

      I agree that one can argue with "did so in an attempt to conceal the truth," but Jane did indeed say that it rained. She might have carefully couched her report in all manner of appropriate cautions and caveats, but why would it be wrong to write "Jane said it rained"?

      Delete
    12. Quaker in a BasementJune 6, 2013 at 12:31 PM

      When somebody says everything I say is tentative and preliminary at best, he or she is not saying anything "is" anything.

      Well that's just silly.

      If someone starts off with "tentative and preliminary," whatever follows is simply self-canceling and can't be quoted ever?

      Beyond the word "argue," Rogin seems to have reasonably summarized what Rice said. He's not guessing at motive. He's not assuming conspiracy. I've been reading Bob's work for many, many years and I'm aware that he sometimes makes very precise distinctions about phrasing and usage. Sometimes his objection escape me if he doesn't lay out his objections in detail.

      This is one of those times.

      Delete
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    ReplyDelete
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    1. Rogin is ambiguous at best and mendacious at worst.

      Was it the GOP senators who claimed that Susie argued spontaneity as the cause and he simply passed it on, or did Rogin come up with that?

      Also, it appears that Rogin knows how to read Jake Tapper (who truly doesn't know how to read) since he lifted Tapper's 9/16/12 abcnews.com article headline and inserted it into the cited portion.

      Finally, re: Rogin's bio - so what?

      Delete
    2. Please don't call someone with the position and expertise held by Rice "Susie". It diminishes her. She doesn't deserve it. Further, this tends to be done with women more than men, so it usually reflects some sexism. You don't say "Joshie" to refer to Rogin.

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    3. Anonjun6@9:09am: the commentariat's own Georgie Zimmerman

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  4. The post is about journalists who can't (or won't read). If you need another example, here's the ultimate centrist tool John Dickerson yesterday at Slate:

    "On the Sunday public affairs shows, Rice had promoted the idea that rioters were spontaneously angered by an anti-Muslim video and that they were not terrorists with links to al-Qaida who may have planned the attack. This message helped to protect the president's re-election chances, which were built in part on his administration’s competence fighting terrorism."

    Can you read that with a straight face say that Somerby doesn't have a point? I'm sorry, but that is absolutely, unfu@king-believably disingenuous. To claim Rice said that they were "not terrorists with links to al-Qaida" is just beyond belief.


    RICE: "Well, we’ll have to find out that out. I mean, I think it’s clear that there were extremist elements that joined in and escalated the violence. Whether they were al Qaeda affiliates, whether they were Libyan-based extremists or al Qaeda itself, I think is one of the things we’ll have to determine."

    So how's that for ruling out al-Qaida links? Sounds to me kinda like she said that the attackers may have had al-Qaida links.

    This is not a complicated issue. People like Dickerson are either so incompetent or dishonest that they have no place in serious public discourse.

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    1. Look, by this point in time every word Rice spoke on those sunday shows has been scrutinized and examined to the nth degree looking for any quotes to use against her. There's no way possible they don't know what she really said, except of course for people like Tom Brokaw or Bob Woodward who are too rich and important to do any actual work.

      Delete
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