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Monday, August 29, 2005

Rice Cooking

Camera unveils some pretty shoddy and distorted reporting by the NYTimes:

When New York Times reporters Joel Brinkley and Steven Weisman interviewed Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice a few days ago, she apparently didn’t say what they wanted to hear regarding Israel. So the enterprising reporters twisted her words to fit their own political agenda. (Credit for spotting their dishonest recounting of the Secretary’s words goes to blogger Rick Richman.)

... they quote Rice as saying: “Everyone empathizes with what the Israelis are facing”, Ms. Rice said in an interview. But she added, “It cannot be Gaza only.”

Did Ms. Rice really say “It cannot be Gaza only?” Not quite. Here’s the exact quote:

The other thing is, just to close off this question, the question has been put repeatedly to the Israelis and to us that it cannot be Gaza only and everybody says no, it cannot be Gaza only. There is, after all, even a link to the West Bank and the four settlements that are going to be dismantled in the West Bank. Everybody, I believe, understands that what we're trying to do is to create momentum toward reenergizing the roadmap and through that momentum toward the eventual establishment of a Palestinian state.

What the Times portrays as Ms. Rice’s statement was actually her recounting of what others are saying “to the Israelis and to us.” Yes, she expresses the US position in favor of the Roadmap and the “the eventual establishment of a Palestinian state,” but that’s a far cry from immediate pressure on Israel to go beyond the Gaza withdrawal, which is what “It cannot be Gaza only” clearly means in this context.
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