Invention watch: Dowd spreads Trump's invented fake fact!

MONDAY, MAY 2, 2016

The way elections are lost:
Yesterday, Maureen Dowd affirmed Donald Trump's invented fact.

She did so in a column which appeared on the front page of the New York Times' Sunday Review. It was a very high-profile piece. This was part of her column:
DOWD (5/1/16): The prime example of commander-in-chief judgment Trump offers is the fact that, like Obama, he thought the invasion of Iraq was a stupid idea.


You can actually envision a foreign policy debate between Trump and Clinton that sounds oddly like the one Obama and Clinton had in 2008, with Trump playing Obama, preening about his good judgment on Iraq, wanting an end to nation-building and thinking he could have a reset with Russia.
In that first excerpt, Dowd seems to say that it's a "fact" that Trump opposed the war in Iraq. In the second excerpt, she imagines Trump "preening about his good judgment on Iraq" in the October debates.

Here's the problem:

As a million fact-checkers have noted by now, there is zero evidence that Donald J. Trump opposed the war in Iraq. There is zero evidence that he ever displayed any good judgment concerning this topic.

About a million fact-checkers have noted this point by now. But so what? The New York Times seems heavily invested in helping Trump spread this phony fact.

This is the way elections get lost; we'll discuss that recurrent problem later in the week. For today, let's record the recent efforts by the Times to spread this invented fake fact.

Last Thursday, the invented fact appeared at the very top of the New York Times' front page. This was the second paragraph of a front-page news report about Trump's foreign policy address:
LANDLER AND PARKER (4/28/16): Mr. Trump, the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, pledged a major buildup of the military, the swift destruction of the Islamic State and the rejection of trade deals that he said tied the nation’s hands. But he also pointedly rejected the nation-building of the George W. Bush administration, reminding his audience that he had opposed the Iraq war.
Right at the top of the Times front page, Landler and Parker vouched for Trump's invented fact—for the widely-debunked, inaccurate claim that Donald J. Trump opposed the war in Iraq.

Three days later, Times readers met the phony claim again, this time in Dowd's column. That column appeared on the front page of the Sunday Review, a very high-profile placement.

Sadly, these weren't the first instances in which the Times affirmed Trump's phony invented claim. Over the weekend, we read Mark Landler's cover story from last week's New York Times Sunday magazine.

We'll be danged if Landler didn't play this phony card too:
LANDLER (4/24/16): Neither Trump nor Cruz favors major new deployments of American soldiers to Iraq and Syria (nor, for that matter, does Clinton). If anything, both are more skeptical than Clinton about intervention and more circumspect than she about maintaining the nation's post-World War II military commitments. Trump loudly proclaims his opposition to the Iraq War. He wants the United States to spend less to underwrite NATO and has talked about withdrawing the American security umbrella from Asia, even if that means Japan and South Korea would acquire nuclear weapons to defend themselves.
It's true that Trump "loudly proclaims his opposition to the war in Iraq." He has been doing so since at least last summer.

It's just that a million fact-checkers have noted that Donald J. Trump seems to maybe perhaps be lying about this. There is zero evidence that he opposed the war, and some evidence that he didn't.

Last summer, Trump said he could produce twenty-five news reports about the way he opposed the war. So far, no one has been able to find even one.

Despite this fact, the New York Times now seems to be working hard to endorse Trump's invented fact. They're even framing his invented fact in exactly the way he likes it.

This is the way elections are lost. To date, the evidence suggests that we liberals will sit and twiddle our thumbs about this bizarre conduct by the Times, just exactly as we've done at other such times in the past.

Dowd says she can picture Trump playing this card in October's debates. Given what the Times is doing, we can now picture that too.


  1. I was hoping TDH wrote about this today.

    There is no credible chance in hell that Mo Dowd and the NY Times doesn't know that their own fact checkers have shown Trump to be a blatant LIAR about his superior judgment with regards to the Iraq invasion.

    There is only one reason for the NY Times to push this bullshit, and that is to use as a club to beat Hillary.

    Where the hell is the Public Editor?

    1. Hillbern ClindersMay 2, 2016 at 9:11 PM

      "Where the hell is the Public Editor?"

      On the far side of Neptune, awaiting the 7th chapter of "How He Got There."

  2. OK, write a letter to the public editor and demand a correction, or whatever. You have every right to do that, and if enough people do, perhaps Bob will get results!

    But good grief, let's keep our heads about us shall we?

    This race is going to be a blowout. One bad line and one Dowd column about how Trump opposed the war while Hillary voted to authorize military force ain't going to change that one bit.

    Now why do I suspect this?

    Because Bernie Sanders actually voted against the same resolution that Hillary voted for. It's an established fact that he's been shouting from the rooftops for months to question Hillary's "judgment."

    And it turns out, it didn't mean doodly squat in the Democratic primary campaign. Democrats, far more disposed to hate that war than the general public, still chose Hillary and it wasn't really that close.

    On top of that, unlike Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders is a heck of a likable guy who hasn't pissed off huge chunks of the public.

    So if a vote Hillary made 14 years ago made no difference for Sanders, why would you think it would make any difference for Trump?

    1. This “reporting” by the times is truly execrable – but maybe it’s not reporting! Apparently, there’s a thing called “opinion,” so people can write whatever the *uck they want and escape their culpability in spreading false ideas.

      No need to say what Donald says is untrue – you just say he said it and voila!, the unquestioning reader may believe what the unquestioning writer either believes, or wants the reader to believe.

      And actually, I think it’s a big deal. I remember millions of people around the world protesting our decision to invade Iraq. I was certainly against it, as should have been any truly conscious human being.

      But I don’t really care what Trump thought at the time, never did. The only reason I care now is that he’s on the verge of being the Republican nominee.

      What I really care about are the stances taken by our Democratic candidates. And Sanders is over Clinton by a wide margin on issues of conscience, including Iraq and the Patriot Act.

      So it would be a shame if Trump were allowed to acquire the sheen of having the same good judgement as Sanders on these issues, especially if it’s untrue. Guess we’ll see how the false meme plays out.

      Guess I'm getting worked up, voting in the primary tomorrow.

    2. So, Anon. @ 3:41, you would prefer to overlook the lies of a major news outlet due to the fact that "This race is going to be a blowout." We would then condone bad journalism. Methinks that this is precisely the point Bob has been making, lo, these many years. Let us all go off for a hike into the woods again, as this bullshit happens and it all blows over.

  3. If I could, I would kick Bob in the lip!

  4. I'd like to think lots of people DO write the public editor to complain. Then they can get the response I did: the public editor has moved on and there has not yet been a replacement. The NYT will read each letter but will not respond individually.

  5. Bernie Sanders has voted against far more bills than he has supported. That means he is going to get one or two of those protest votes right. It is also why he has so few accomplishments to show for his lengthy career in the Senate.

    Clinton has been supported by Democrats because they have accepted her statements about her Iraq vote, he explanation that the authorization itself was not a vote for war, that she opposed the war and that she considers her vote a mistake given Bush's actions. Very few Democrats consider Clinton a supporter of the Iraq war. On the other hand, Trump did support the war at the time and his tough guy statements are nothing like Clinton's approach to diplomacy. She abhors all violence. That Dowd would equate the two is a major insult to Clinton and a yuge distortion of reality. Every time I wonder if she could possibly be more offensive, Dowd sinks to a new low.

    1. "We came, we saw, he died." Ha ha!

      Yup, she's a an abhorer, for sure.

      But I agree with with you on Dowd. And apparently, Bernie is no saint either. But he's the closest thing we have to a changer.

    2. Read Jeffrey Sachs piece on Clinton the Candidate of the War Machine.

    3. "Read Jeffrey Sachs' screed in the Huffington Post on Clinton the Candidate of the War Machine."

      FTFY - NFO

  6. Watching CNN report on the WH Correspondents Dinner, one would never know, and I mean NEVER even get a clue that some of the sharpest and hardest hitting lines were reserved for media in general and CNN/MSNBC in particular.

    This information has been erased from the memory banks, disappeared from all reporting.

    “He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.”
    ― George Orwell, 1984

    1. It is amazing someone could be so right way back 32 years ago.

  7. Dowd has been trashing Dems for years. She told lies about Gore in 2000. She called President Obama nasty names in 08. Now she is attacking Clinton and spinning for Trump. She has totally gone over to the dark side.

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