Joe Klein seems kind of pissed — “I’m mentioned in two columns today with similar themes: that people like me–the liberal elite media, we’re called–are playing into Obama’s hands by insisting on accuracy from John McCain (according to Bob Novak) and by hoping that, given the mess we’re in, this can be an election about big issues (Steven Stark).”
This has been going on for so long that it hardly even phases me anymore, but it’s striking the extent to which the conservative discourse about Iran hinges crucially on misrepresenting uncontroversial facts about Iran. How many articles or speeches have you read on the subject of the Iranian nuclear program that dwell at length on inflammatory rhetoric from Ahmadenijad without noting that he doesn’t control the relevant aspects of Iranian policy? Beyond that, I recall at least one Weekly Standard article that was unable to make due with outrageous things Ahmadenijad actually said and just decided to attribute some additional conduct to him. Beyond that, it’s been over two years since Charles Krauthammer said Iran was months away from nuclear capacity almost two years since Bernard Lewis confidently stated that Iran would unleash the apocalypse on August 22, 2006, etc.
There’s just no concern — at all — with facts or accuracy on this issue.