Brother Kessler’s historic quote!


Truly, a world-class keeper: We’ve changed one part of yesterday’s headline. But truly, Brother Kessler’s recent quotation is a wonderfully comical keeper:

“We’re not trying to pick on Jindal, but Gore did not actually say this.”

Kessler’s statement belongs to the ages! For the pitiful details, click here.

For today, let’s review:

Fourteen years later, Bobby Jindal is still repeating an embellished statement, something Al Gore “did not actually say.” In fact, the situation is even worse:

In his recent appearance on Fox, Jindal put the statement, which Gore didn’t say, into the present tense. He implied that Gore is still parading around making the statement today!

Gore never “actually said” it. But so what? Fourteen years later, Jindal is still claiming he did. Indeed, he’s making a famous misstatement about Gore quite a bit worse.

In the face of this provocation, how does the Washington Post’s official Fact Checker react? Of course!

He says he doesn’t want to pick on Jindal! Kessler has let us gaze on the soul of a thoroughly broken age.

He doesn’t want to pick on Jindal! What could be clearer than that?


  1. If I understand Bob correctly, his complaint is Kessler's disclaimer, "We’re not trying to pick on Jindal". Kessler isn't complaining about Kessler's analysis of Jindal's false statement. Bob appears fairly satisfied that Kessler carefully explains the background of Gore's statement, and why Jindal's statement is incorrect (except that Kessler overlooked Jindal's wrong use of present tense.)

    IMHO Bob is making too much of that disclaimer. Despite the disclaimer Kessler did pick on Jindal. Kessler's disclaimer is like the guest who says, "I don't want to take the last piece of cake," then does just that. Perhaps Kessler added the disclaimer because so many people misstate what Gore said, but Jindal is the only misstater he mentioned.

    1. Why should he make that disclaimer. His job is to fact-check, not to privilege the feelings of any particular public figure. If many people have misstated Gore, Kessler should have said exactly that. Kessler isn't supposed to go easy on favored people, he isn't there to be "nice" by ignoring factual errors. He isn't there to compound the malfeasance of previous journalists by allowing the misstatement to continue, in a worse form than originally stated. This matters because some conservatives are afraid Gore might reenter politics or lead an attempt to address global warming again. They may feel they need to keep discouraging any move in that direction. Otherwise, you have to ask why they keep repeating this misstatement so long after the decide in which it was spoken. Yes, Somerby cares about this, but so do conservatives and mainstream journalists and the powers they serve, judging by their actions.

  2. Governor Jindal is systematically trying to destroy Al Gore by repeating what is false and that has to be pointed out by an honest fact checker.

  3. What an absolute loser.

    GORE has joked about the internet thing. Its a JOKE - jokes are based on taking liberties with the truth.

    And what freaking difference would Gore have made if he had become president instead of baby Bush. Baby Bush killed a million Iraqis - but at least liberated the country from inhuman sanctions Clinton/Gore kept on for 8 years while periodically killing Iraqi armed forces from the sky. And at any rate that windbag Gore, trying to show he was a tough guy, had said in a debate that Senior Bush should have gone all the way to Baghdad.

    Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the obsession goes on.

    1. "Meanwhile, back at the ranch," it would seem that ignorance is blissful. To believe that a Gore administration would not have made any difference from that of Bush's, and/or that he would necessarily have continued all of Clinton's policies, is ludicrous and asinine.

    2. I know that ignoring trolls doesn't make them go away, but also there is no need to state the obvious to someone who is just trying to stir up trouble.

  4. "Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the obsession goes on."

    And meanwhile . . . The Washington Times has dropped Rand Paul's weekly column because it has discovered that many of those columns had freely lifted from the work of other people without attribution.

    Of course, Bob has already labeled that "trivial". Let us instead focus for the next several days on one line Kessler wrote.

    1. Wouldn't it have been better if they had dropped Paul's column because its content does not benefit public discourse? (A fancy way of saying it isn't worth reading.)

      Obama used a tried-and-true Chicago tactic of having an opponent disqualified based on a technicality. Yes, he won, but isn't it better when a candidate is elected because more voters prefer his or her policies? Those of you in the win-at-any-cost faction may be gleeful when someone like Rand Paul is diminished by an accusation of wrongdoing that is more technical than substantive, conveniently forgetting that Obama himself plagiarized part of his campaign speech from Deval Patrick. The rest of us would rather Rand Paul were diminished because people found his stated opinions ridiculous and reached an intelligent decision not to vote for him. The latter has the virtue of trusting the voters to make good decision with sound information. The former suggests we cannot trust voters and thus must manipulate the electoral process at every opportunity.

    2. Right. The Washington Times has long been in the habit of dropping columns that do not benefit public discourse, whatever your definition of that would be, and it would certainly be highly subjective.

      "Obama himself plagiarized . . ."

      And allow me to plagiarize from Obama: Please. Continue (to make a total ass out of yourself.)

    3. Lindy,

      Whom did Obama disqualify?

      Where did you get the idea that claiming disqualification is a "Chicago trick"?

    4. Alice Palmer, in 1994.

    5. If you really want to talk about Alice Palmer, the first thing you should know is that it came down at the end of 1995 and early in 1996, not 1994.

      Palmer, an Illinois State Senator, announced she would not be seeking re-election in 1996 and instead would run in a special November 1995 for the U.S. House seat vacated by the indicted Mel Reynolds. She even held a press conference in which she introduced Barack Obama as her anointed successor to her state senate seat.

      After she finished a distant third in the runoff, she changed her mind and hastily held a petition drive to get her name back on the ballot for the senate seat, with Obama already in the race.

      Obama challenged the petitions, and nearly a third of the signatures were declared invalid, leaving Palmer far short of the number needed.

      So there were no "Chicago tricks" played here to disqualify Palmer.

  5. "...Obama plagiarized part of his campaign speech from Deval Patrick."

    Actually it was two words: "just words". Your points are well taken, but it seems to me misleading to conflate "just words" into "part of his campaign speech".

    Also, it is now becoming apparent that Rand Paul's "borrowing" is not limited to those Wikipedia references that the blogger commented on. Thus, I'm not sure that your comparison of Rand Paul's "borrowings" is equivalent to Obama's since I'm not aware of any other incidents of Obama plagiarizing others' content.

    1. And actually, he and Deval Patrick spoke about using that passage from Patrick's 2006 speech before Obama used it.

      And of course, when the Clinton camp accused Obama of plagiarism, you know what he did? He said, yes, he should have cited Deval Patrick.

      In other words, he admitted it. He didn't challenge Hillary to a duel then have a continuing meltdown for a solid week.

      He admitted those were Patrick's words and ideas, and he should have given him credit.

      End. Of. Story.

    2. Watch the excerpts from Patrick and Obama's speeches and see that it was far more than just the phrase "Just words". Patrick gave Obama permission after the fact -- he covered for him, but clearly the excerpt is uncredited and identical to Patrick's speech.

      My point isn't that Obama is a bad person. It is that behavior that is wrong for Rand Paul is equally wrong for Obama or anyone else on the liberal side, and adopting a double standard that justifies Obama when he plagiarizes while pillorying Rand Paul, is wrong. Personally, I think neither one of them should have plagiarized.


    3. Well you got that wrong. According to the accounts of both men, it was Deval Patrick's idea, well beforehand, to use that passage to stem criticism coming from the Clinton camp that Obama was nothing more than a silver-tongued orator.

      And Patrick not only gave him permission BEFORE THE FACT, not after, but urged him to say it.

      Regardless, once the Clinton camp caught that Obama was using Patrick's words without attribution, Obama admitted it. And he didn't do it again. End of story.

      But this fable does offer a reminder of how intense the primary fight was between Obama and Clinton. They went at each other with every tool at their disposal, including the kitchen sink. Remember the famous "3 a.m. phone call" ad that tried to define Obama as an inexperienced lightweight?

      And when it was over, they set it aside and joined. And Hillary served as Obama's secretary of state.

      What's really hilarious about it was that the McCain camp then went searching for a female candidate to put on the ticket, hoping to lure disaffected Hillary voters and close the gender gap.

      And they came up with Sarah Palin, who was the worst VP choice in at least recent history, Dan Quayle and Joe Lieberman included.

    4. When was Joe Lieberman Vice President? I know he ran with Gore in 2000.

  6. I have reviewed many past Somerby posts analyzing statements written or uttered by others.

    I think it is fair to say Kessler is right. Al Gore did not actually say this.

    But to use one of Somerby's famous analytical techniques, it is also fair to say Al Gore "suggested" he created the internet.

    1. He certainly "seemed" to say that, using another of Somerby's famous analytical techniques.

    2. Anonymous, as we both know, Somerby is a voracious reader on internet commentary. In fact he read and reported on the commentary to Kessler's piece in the original post.

      He is also one to take seriously the failure to remain silent when other writers perpetrate erroneous facts, views, or interpretations. See also the original post on this subject:

      Kessler " a hollowed-out soul," lwhen he "didn’t speak up about this invention....He didn't say how blindingly stupid..... He didn’t reject ...He didn’t challenge the ranting deceptions...His colleagues pimped this shit... Kessler didn't say squat."

      Let's presume for a moment Somerby leaves these comments on his own blog unchallenged: namely that Gore "suggested" he invented the internet or that Gore "seemed" to say he invented the internet.

      Are you, I, or anybody for that matter, free to link to this post and say:

      Even on TDH, which everyone knows was founded in part in to refute the Al Gore "I invented the Internet" urban legend, it has been written that Gore did seem to suggest he invented it.

  7. TDH Reader's poll: Which quote will actually be historic?

    "I took the initiative in creating the Internet"
    Al Gore

    "We’re not trying to pick on Jindal, but Gore did not actually say this" Brother Kessler