Goldberg quoted Kerry out of context to distort his position on terrorism

››› ››› SIMON MALOY

In his October 29 nationally syndicated column, National Review Online editor at large Jonah Goldberg echoed President George W. Bush's distortion of a quote by Senator John Kerry from an article in the October 10 New York Times Magazine. Goldberg quoted Kerry out of context in order to assert that "Kerry admitted that the September 11 terrorist attacks hadn't changed his thinking about foreign policy 'much at all.'"

From Goldberg's column:

[Kerry]'s the candidate for those who think America was wrong in Iraq and too gung-ho on the war on terror. Indeed, in a recent New York Times profile, Kerry admitted that 9/11 hadn't changed his thinking about foreign policy "much at all."

Goldberg omitted the rest of Kerry's quote, in which he explained that the 9-11 attacks "accelerated, confirmed in me, the urgency of doing the things I thought we needed to be doing [with regard to terrorism]." Here's what Kerry actually said, according to an October 10 New York Times Magazine article titled "Kerry's Undeclared War," authored by contributing writer Matt Bai:

When I [Mr. Bai] asked Kerry how Sept. 11 had changed him, either personally or politically, he seemed to freeze for a moment.

"It accelerated -- " He paused. "I mean, it didn't change me much at all. It just sort of accelerated, confirmed in me, the urgency of doing the things I thought we needed to be doing. I mean, to me, it wasn't as transformational as it was a kind of anger, a frustration and an urgency that we weren't doing the kinds of things necessary to prevent it and to deal with it."

Goldberg's distortion of Kerry echoed what has become a talking point for the president. Bush has made this claim in a number of campaign speeches recently, including an October 28 speech he gave in Saginaw, Michigan: "The security of our country is at stake. Senator Kerry says September the 11th, in his words, 'did not change him much at all.' That's what he said."

Goldberg is a contributing editor to the print version of National Review, a conservative news magazine that bills itself as the "best alternative to the slanted 'news' served up daily by the liberal media."

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2004 Elections
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