To show the feeding frenzy that is the MSM -- as well as the constant inaccuracy -- reports abounded yesterday with rebukes to Rudy Giuliani from Democratic candidates for the 2008 Presidential election over something they all merely assumed he said at a campaign appearance.
Every single paper out there quoted the stern rebukes of each of the front running Dem. candidates and nearly every source of MSM news, from TV to the internet, repeated what it was that Rudy "said" to force the rebukes.
Unfortunately for all concerned, it appears that Rudy never said the phrase attributed to him.
Yet, not a soul in the MSM (except Fox's Brit Hume) took the time to do the research necessary to fact check and assure the story was correct.
The original phrase came from a single source; Roger Simon at The Politico. Giuliani warns of 'new 9/11' if Dems win
Rudy Giuliani said if a Democrat is elected president in 2008, America will be at risk for another terrorist attack on the scale of Sept. 11, 2001.
Notice that the sentence above does not contain quotes? Notice that this is the distilled interpretation of the writer, and NOT a quote from Rudy?
After the Politico story the MSM took the claims up with a relish, seeking comment from all the Dem candidates that they then rushed to report. The Boston Globe, ABC News, CBS News, The Washington Post and more rushed their stories to publication. The New York Times even massaged the quotes down to single words to try and make it appear that Rudy was saying what they wanted him to say.
But, Brit Hume got to the hub of the matter, showing that the press and the Dems are attacking Rudy for something he didn't quite say.
Washington woke up to morning headlines that Rudy Giuliani predicted a "new 9-11" if a Democrat wins the presidency in 2008. Barack Obama responded that Giuliani has "taken the politics of fear to a new low." John Edwards said Giuliani's comments were "divisive and plain wrong." And Hillary Clinton called it "political rhetoric" that would not lessen the threat of terrorism.
The problem is Giuliani never said what the headlines claimed. It all started with a story in The Politico newspaper, which contained not a single quote to support its lead and headline. But it got picked up elsewhere nonetheless.
What Giuliani actually did say is what he has been saying for weeks, that Democrats would play defense instead of offense in the War on Terror, the same approach tried back before 9/11.
Rudy is a smarter candidate than to come right out and say that the USA would suffer another 9/11 if a Democrat was elected. He does say enough that would lead the listener to that conclusion, but it is not a conclusion Rudy says directly.
Yet, on the strength of one non-attributed claim of what Rudy "said" the MSM goes off on a feeding frenzy of Rudy rebukes, never once checking if Rudy really even said what was reported.