Did Quayle call Pence, or did Pence call Quayle?

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2021

As performed on Morning Joe: Yesterday morning, we made a point of watching Morning Joe. Woodward and Costa were going to be there to discuss their under-sourced new book.

Seven minutes into the segment, Woodward mentioned former Vice President Pence. Was he perhaps a bit too kind in what he said about Pence? 

WOODWARD (9/21/21): [As January 6 approaches], Pence is really working hard to see if he can do something to stay on the good side of Trump. At the same time, as Bob [Costa] pointed out, amidst Dan Quayle, who calls him and reads him the Constitution and the law and says, You are not an actor is this. You simply mechanically count the votes. And Pence is under lots of pressure from Trump, and his lawyers and confidantes are just saying, You cannot do this, and in the end Pence stood up and did the constitutional right thing. At the same time, when he's there and they're voting to certify, if he'd just said, "Oh, I'm confused" and walked off, we would have had worse than a constitutional crisis, because it would have undermined the legitimacy of the presidency.

In Woodward's account, Quayle called Pence and told him that he had to do the right thing. On January 6, Woodward says that Pence did exactly that, despite lots of pressure from Trump. 

This may not have been negative enough concerning Pence. Also, did Quayle call Pence or did Pence call Quayle? Continuing directly, Willie got the overall story back on track, while performing an unannounced correction:

GEIST (continuing directly): But Bob Costa, as you report in the book, Bob, it's, you know—he was fishing around, Vice President Pence, for a reason to get this done for President Trump, calling Vice President Quayle, who shut him down pretty quickly...

That was more like it! Willie stressed the way Pence was fishing around for a way to get the election undone. 

Also, in Willie's account, it was Pence who called Quayle, not the way Woodward had it. Heroically, Quayle shut him down!

How about it? Did Pence call Quayle, or did Quayle call Pence? Assuming that any of this occurred, it wouldn't exactly matter.

That said, when Maddow read from the book last Tuesday night, it was Pence who telephoned Quayle, and that is what it says in the book. ("In late December, Pence phoned former vice president Dan Quayle.") 

Yesterday morning, Woodward had that fact turned around. Willie simply plowed ahead, blowing past Woodward's apparent misstatement and getting the overall story back on track.

Did Pence call Quayle, or did Quayle call Pence? More importantly, what happened when the two men spoke, assuming they actually did? And on what basis can Woodward and Costa report what the two fellows said? 

On what basis should we assume that their account of this alleged call is actually accurate? Who or what is the source of their account, in which they literally quote substantial parts of this conversation?

As widely presented on liberal cable, this new book launched a pleasingly unflattering story about Pence. But on what basis should anyone think that Woodward and Costa's account of this matter is accurate? (It certainly may be, of course.)

These are the obvious questions to ask. But given the clownish way our upper-end corporate discourse works, none of the millionaires of "cable news" are ever going to ask them. Our discourse is Storyline all the way down, and the big players all know this.

You'd almost think that our logicians (or our "epistemologists") might speak up at some point. As it turns out, they have better things to do:

Revisionists versus Unitarians, they're debating the (unreadable) Theaetetus!


27 comments:

  1. Somerby is choosing to disbelieve Woodward and Costa in advance of the book's publication (presumably), otherwise he could check the sourcing by reading the attributions in the book itself. The books was released yesterday, the date of the show Somerby watched, but apparently Somerby as no interest in substantiating his claim that the book is unsourced by actually looking at it.

    It seems unlikely that Woodward and Costa had no source for something like the reported phone call between two vice presidents. Either or both could deny the conversation but have not done so.

    I wonder how Somerby verifies the weather report each morning. It too is unsourced. Or the sports reporting. How can he know who was injured in which game without calling hospitals or player families?

    Journalist sources are protected because they otherwise might be subject to retaliation or pressure and because our democracy depends on public access to important information, such as how our vice president decided not to commit treason despite being pressured to commit an illegal act.

    Somerby's obvious attempt to discredit two reporters with strong records of accuracy, without bothering to investigate, is about on a par with how conservatives operate these days.

    Those of you who have a copy of the book can perhaps look up the sourcing on that particular conversation and let us know what was said about it. Meanwhile, the nonsense about who called who is not only irrelevant, but how would quayle know to call pence in the first place? And who is the official caller if Pence texted Quayle "Call me ASAP" and Quayle did so? Somerby's preoccupation with this question is just another attempt at flinging poo at the book. It is too ridiculous to stick.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 'It seems unlikely that Woodward and Costa had no source for something like the reported phone call between two vice presidents. Either or both could deny the conversation but have not done so.'

      I'm guessing the main source is Quayle, who likely makes his own role more dramatic. Possibly one of Pence's aides verified the call took place. But yes, if the conversation didn't take place, either would have denied it. In fact, I can't really remember an instance in any of Woodward's books where someone has flat out denied that took place. Tenet claimed his 'slam dunk' quote was taken out of context, but never denied the quote.

      Somerby is as incapable of reading the book himself as he is of understanding relativity - he's a moronic Trumptard.

      Delete
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  2. Why is Somerby claiming that the logicians are in charge of sourcing claims about history? Shouldn't historians or biographers weigh in on this?

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  3. "But on what basis should anyone think that Woodward and Costa's account of this matter is accurate?"

    Oh dear. How can dembottery be accurate, dear Bob? Next you're going to ask if Joseph Goebbels' shit was accurate.

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  4. Here, dear Bob, Matt Taibbi writing about the Russiagate indictment. And your rotten liberal cult in general.

    https://taibbi.substack.com/p/russiagate-more-like-watergate-f45

    Your goddess Rachel is mentioned, among other dembots of your goebbelsian media.

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    Replies
    1. It is a public service whenever you expose Taibbi for the right wing shill that he is.

      Delete
    2. More right wing shilling from Poltico.

      https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.mediaite.com/news/politico-confirms-emails-from-hunter-biden-laptop/amp/

      Evidently, the FBI did have a reason that was relevant to the Biden’s campaign in their investigation of Hunter Biden. An investigation that was going on when Trump talked to the Ukrainian president.

      But there was a technocracy-media blackout on this info prior to the election and after.

      On the other hand, Jake Tapper and Jim Comey made sure we’d learn about the Perkins Coie Russiagate op.

      Here we find out that this was all apart of the regular ole “ugly normal”.

      Somebody tell Robert Mueller. I suspect Natalia Veselnitskaya and Glenn Simpson of FusionGPS have always been hip to that.

      https://www.google.com/amp/s/news.yahoo.com/amphtml/durham-preparing-very-well-laid-014500672.html

      sheesh.

      Delete
    3. More nothing burger. Keep throwing that mud at the wall.

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    4. Just mud. Not terrifically important stuff like writing that the former VP is the craven coward you know him to be for irresolutely asking for guidance.

      Delete
    5. Cecelia, doesn't it strike you as odd that Pence would seek clarification from a politician instead of a lawyer, if his question were about his constitutional duty?

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    6. Right. This blog post today and my statement are a defense of Pence.

      Delete
    7. “the former VP is the craven coward you know him to be for irresolutely asking for guidance.”

      I’d say it’s important to know that the Vice President was irresolute over the relatively minor decision about whether to overturn the election. If Woodward’s account is accurate, it’s important to have that confirmation, rather than just our knowing in our hearts that Pence was a craven coward, although Woodward points out what we all know, that Pence ultimately did the right thing.

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    8. Oh, no, mh. Questioning or asking for substantiation of Woodward’s report is tantamount to defending Pence.

      Delete
    9. Somerby said nothing that raises any serious question about Woodward's accuracy. Somerby called him "unsourced" without any evidence at all. So, yes, that constitutes an attempted defense of Pence.

      No one believes Woodward would write an unsourced book with so many bombshells, except Republicans, who seem to believe that lying and denying can carry the day. Unfortunately, only about 25-30% of people will believe those lies and the rest of the nation will believe Woodward and Costa, because we have all seen Trump and watched what happened on 1/6. So, this pose of Somerby's is fooling no one.

      You don't belong here. You need to comment on a conservative blog if you want affirmation of your own worldview.

      Delete
    10. Nobody? Almost everyone at one time or another. Including Ben Bradlee.

      I don’t need that type of affirmation of my own world view. That’s why I can serenely follow a blog in which you say I don’t belong.

      https://www.politico.com/story/2012/04/6-bob-woodward-controversies-075738

      https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2005/11/bob-woodward-s-questionable-timetable.html

      https://www.mhpbooks.com/bob-woodward-is-the-jig-finally-up/

      https://www.google.com/amp/s/abcstlouis.com/amp/news/nation-world/long-history-of-accuracy-problems-in-woodward-stories-under-reported-by-media

      https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.theatlantic.com/amp/article/257487/



      Delete
    11. Uh, Ben Bradlee thought that Woodward and Bernstein might have dramatized some of their encounters with Deep Throat. But the story was accurate and won Pulitzers.

      There have been controversies regarding some of his reporting, but not on the nitpicking basis that Somerby puts forth.

      Delete
  5. Yesterday Trump called Woodward and Costa's book a work of fiction. That is essentially what Somerby is calling it too. Here is yet another example of Somerby promoting right wing memes.

    "As widely presented on liberal cable, this new book launched a pleasingly unflattering story about Pence. But on what basis should anyone think that Woodward and Costa's account of this matter is accurate? (It certainly may be, of course.)

    These are the obvious questions to ask. But given the clownish way our upper-end corporate discourse works, none of the millionaires of "cable news" are ever going to ask them. Our discourse is Storyline all the way down, and the big players all know this."

    ReplyDelete
  6. Here is Rude Pundit's take on the Woodward & Costa book (as of 9/17):

    "Nancy Pelosi told Milley, "He's crazy. You know he's crazy. He's been crazy for a long time." Sorry, but that's way more important than whose toes Milley might have stepped on. And if Trump announces that he's running in 2024, then we're gonna need to make the fact that he's out of his tiny mind front and center in any discussion of him. It's the only story. We can't be too polite about talking about the mental health of someone whose mental health affects every person on the fucking planet. And we sure as hell can't be distracted by something that isn't about life and death."

    That includes questions such as who called who, Pence or Quayle. There are big fish to fry.

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    Replies
    1. 'That includes questions such as who called who, Pence or Quayle. There are big fish to fry.'

      Somerby is such a moron that he thinks other people are like small puppies to be distracted by a meaningless bit of trivia like who called whom. But then he is a clueless Trumptard.

      Delete
  7. https://www.theroot.com/the-root-institute-2021-storytelling-is-a-revolutionar-1847722598?utm_source=theroot_newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=2021-09-22

    Somerby thinks stories are bad. Here is a different perspective.

    ReplyDelete
  8. 'Did Pence call Quayle, or did Quayle call Pence? More importantly, what happened when the two men spoke, assuming they actually did?'

    Somerby is such a a lying, obvious Trumptard. He doesn't want to get into the unflattering details about his Lord and Master Trump detailed in the book, so he throws in this meaningless complaining about a call. The possibility that there may have been a bit of a telephone tag before the call doesn't occur to Somerby's microcephalic brain.

    Somerby also suggests the book is deliberately trying to be unflattering to Pence because of tribalism. Somerby is the tribal here, but more importantly he's such a tribal fool that he doesn't realize Quayle actually comes off well here, but liberals aren't fond of Quayle either, so there is no tribal imperative.


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  9. 'Did Pence call Quayle, or did Quayle call Pence? More importantly, what happened when the two men spoke, assuming they actually did?'

    Woodward has been writing books for decades. Several of his books aren't too flattering about Dems/liberals either - his book on the SC was pretty nasty on the SC's liberals. There have been occasional controversies about some of his book, notably 'Veil', but in general his books are very well sourced. In interviews regarding his previous books, he's mentioned that he has audio or interviews transcripts. There are legit criticisms of his writing.

    But Somerby's criticism are as meaningless and inane as his lies and stupidity about Blow yesterday. A Trumptard to his very (rotten) core.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Oh, and I forgot to mention this, but in his last book on the Trump administration 'Rage', Woodward had several hours of interviews on tape. Likely has the same now for several interviews.

    A journalist has to take precautions when dealing with Trump, because he is a liar like Somerby

    ReplyDelete
  11. Woodward told Steven Colbert that he has tapes backing his conversations with sources.

    Somerby's contention that the book is unsourced is wishful thinking by a Trumptard.

    ReplyDelete
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