With a headline that reads, Mandela still alive after embarrassing Bush remark, Reuters does its best to make a Bush "gaffe" where none exists.
JOHANNESBURG (Reuters) - Nelson Mandela is still very much alive despite an embarrassing gaffe by U.S. President George W. Bush, who alluded to the former South African leader's death in an attempt to explain sectarian violence in Iraq.Heartwarming that Reuters is so concerned over Mandela's health, isn't it?
But here's the problem. During the press conference, Bush was not talking about the actual Nelson Mandela. He was talking about people like Nelson Mandela and speaking metaphorically. And listening to Bush's entire segment, while not artfully stated, makes it clear that he was not talking about the actual Nelson Mandela.
Here is Bush's entire segment transcribed: (My bold emphasis)
"I thought an interesting comment was made when somebody said to me, I heard somebody say, 'now where's Mandela?' Well, Mandela's dead. Because Saddam Hussein killed all the Mandela's.Could it be any more obvious that Bush is saying that there aren't any Iraqis filling the same sort of role in Iraq that Nelson Mandela filled in South Africa? Could it be any more clear that Bush was saying that Saddam "killed all the Mandelas" of Iraq?
He was a brutal tyrant that divided people up and split families and people are recovering from this. So there's a psychological recovery that is taking place and it's hard work for them and I understand that it's hard work for them."
But even with that, Reuters seems to understand that their headline is a lie because they include this paragraph in their story:
In a speech defending his administration's Iraq policy, Bush said former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein's brutality had made it impossible for a unifying leader to emerge and stop the sectarian violence that has engulfed the Middle Eastern nation.OK, then if you KNOW what Bush meant, what he was actually talking about... then why this trumped up story?
Ah, it's solely because you want to make Bush look bad, eh Reuters?
Now we get it.
Update 09-22 18:18 | Matthew Sheffield. It's a fundamental rule of argument that if you're going to say someone else is an idiot, you need to make sure all your facts are straight.
Zell Miller, please call your office. Another media type needs help understanding what a metaphor is.
Similarly firing intellectual blanks was self-righteous left-wing comedian Jon Stewart for whom 80% of all political jokes involve the punchline "Because Republicans are idiots." The irony is thick enough to cut with a knife.