Thursday, June 23, 2005

Now Franken is lying about Howard Kurtz

This is really an incredible story.

Back on June 8 and again on the 21, Franken attacked as "scandalous," Bill O'Reilly as having taken an interview of Joe Biden by "stephy" Stepahnopoulos on the issue of prison abuse at Gitmo and whether the prison should be shut down, and edited out key words from the interview. Among the points that O'Reilly "edited" out was Biden's calling for a commission to investigate the accusations. But O'Reilly himself has called for a commission and it looks like, according to Franken, that O'Reilly claimed Biden's idea as his own.

Further, Franken claimed that when he tried to peddle this story to Howard Kurtz of the Washington Post and CNN's 'Reliable Sources,' Kurtz replied, "well, they do that all the time."

Here is the truth:

1.While O'Reilly did edit some of Biden's interview, the context was in no way altered - Biden did support the closing down of Gitmo.

2.Yes, Biden called for a commission - but he wanted a commission that would report back that the allegations of abuse were true and that Gitmo should be closed down. O'Reilly, on the other hand, called on the president to appoint a commission in the belief that they would exxonerate the troops and put all the rumors to rest.

3. In an email exchange with Howard Kurtz, he denied saying anything resembling what Franken attributed to him. What Kurtz claimed he said was, "these charges are made against Fox (and others) all the time.


At 8:16 PM, Blogger Monster, Indeed! said...

Look, you want to read what Biden said, and how O'Reilly altered it, go to

They've got transcripts of both there, not just spin.

As for the email exchange with Kurtz - was this exchange with you or someone else? Could you share the actual contents with your readers?

At 6:48 PM, Blogger A. Skorski said...

I know exactly what Biden said, as I record all of Franken's radio shows.

O'Reilly did not alter the context.

The email exchange you allude to was between myself and Howard Kurtz.
I forwarded him the comments that Franken attributed to him, which by the way, has now been picked up by "The Guardian."

Franken lied about what Kurtz told him. Pretty shameless and despicable, regardless of ideology.

At 6:11 PM, Blogger Monster, Indeed! said...

Thanks for responding.

The links are actually for any reader here who wants to see what was actually said, not just your spin on it, which is misleading.

Specifically, you misleadingly claimed that both Biden and O'Reilly called for different kinds of commissions, when they obviously called for the same thing: an "independent commission." Biden obviously felt that such a commission's conclusions would call for shutting down Gitmo, while O'Reilly probably felt that it wouldn't. Both know that independent commissions don't have their conclusions dictated to them. That's why they're independent. And that's why it was dishonest for O'Reilly to call for one while pretending that Biden didn't.

As for Kurtz, what I'd like to see is your actual email exchange - what you asked him, what he replied, word-for-word. I think that's only fair.

At 8:19 AM, Blogger A. Skorski said...

On the commission, I totally disagree with you. Biden told Stephy that he wanted a commission to investigate the torture allegations. When he was asked if he wanted Gitmo shut down, Biden replied that he did, but wanted the commission to make that call, so it wouldn't look like he was the only one. O'Reilly, on the other hand called on the President to appoint a commission, believing it was in Bush's interest to exonerate the troops. Yes they both called for a commission, but clearly for different reasons. What I wrote was factual, pointing out the differences between what Biden was looking for versus what O'Reilly was looking for.

As far as my email exchange with Kurtz, it's in the book.

Kurtz did write that O'Reilly should not have edited Biden's words, but in the end, he agreed that the context was not altered.


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