Everyone has seen the ubiquitous ads run by the ‘Video Professor’ on all cable networks 24/7. The smiling bald guy introduces his ‘product’ with which anyone can learn anything about operating a computer. Then the ad cuts to the bewildered woman who says, “My three-year-old knows more about using a computer than I do.”
The New York Times has just demonstrated that it is collectively dumber than a three-year-old, in an article on 9 April, 2005, entitled “One Mother in Crawford.” It is about Cindy Sheehan from Vacaville, California, whose son was killed in Iraq after he reenlisted and returned there. The article says:
“Mr. Bush obviously failed to comfort Ms. Sheehan when he met with her and her family. More important, he has not helped the nation give fallen soldiers like Casey Sheehan the honor they deserve....
“Perhaps most troubling, Mr. Bush is not leveling about where things stand with the war. He continues to stay on message, as he did with the platitude he offered last week: ‘We will stay the course; we will complete the job in Iraq.’ ”
[As a history-based aside, President Roosevelt offered a similar “platitude” about both Japan and Germany in WW II. Prime Minister Churchill offered the same platitude about the defense of England, ending with the famous phrase, “If England lasts a thousand years, they will say, This was their finest hour.” Not bad for a platitude.]
What the Times missed, which any computer user could have found, was that Ms. Sheehan said exactly the opposite when President Bush met personally with her and her husband in June, 2004. Her hometown newspaper printed her account of that meeting when it happened. It quoted her as saying, “"I now know he's sincere about wanting freedom for the Iraqis ... I know he's sorry and feels some pain for our loss. And I know he's a man of faith." About the President comforting them and parents of other soldiers who have been killed, she said, "That was the gift the president gave us, the gift of happiness, of being together."
The Vacaville Reporter reprinted its original story yesterday, because of the high interest generated by a Drudge Report account of Ms. Crawford’s contradiction today of what she said then. With some irony, Ms. Sheehan had that original article on her OWN website, until the Drudge Report pointed out the radical difference between her statements then, and now.
So, the Times ran an article that had been debunked the day before by Drudge, the blogosphere, and FreeRepublic.com. Pushing a few buttons on the computer would have revealed the verbal fraud. Calling the Video Professor! Calling the Video Professor!