Nationally syndicated columnist Cal Thomas and Media Research Center president L. Brent Bozell III joined the chorus of conservatives echoing the false claim that White House senior adviser Karl Rove did not attack Democrats during a June 22 speech to the New York Conservative Party. Thomas claimed Rove "was talking about liberals" and "didn't mention Democrats," while Bozell claimed "Rove was singling out liberals ... not Democrats in general." In his speech, however, Rove claimed that "liberals saw the savagery of the 9-11 attacks and wanted to prepare indictments and offer therapy and understanding for our attackers," and specifically mentioned Democratic National Committee chairman Howard Dean and Senate Minority Whip Richard Durbin (D-IL).
MoveOn.Org, [filmmaker] Michael Moore and Howard Dean may not have agreed with this, but the American people did. Conservatives saw what happened to us on 9-11 and said: we will defeat our enemies. Liberals saw what happened to us and said: we must understand our enemies.
Has there been a more revealing moment this year than when Democratic Senator Richard Durbin, speaking on the Senate floor, compared what Americans had done to prisoners in our control at Guantanamo Bay with what was done by Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot -- three of the most brutal and malevolent figures in the 20th century? Let me put this in fairly simple terms: Al Jazeera now broadcasts to the region the words of Sen. Durbin, certainly putting America's men and women in uniform in greater danger. No more needs to be said about the motives of liberals.
Nevertheless, in his June 27 syndicated column, Thomas wrote: "Democrats cried foul, and worse, but Mr. Rove wasn't talking about Democrats, not all of whom are liberal ... Mr. Rove didn't mention Democrats, so if the Democratic leadership responded to his critique of liberals, I guess those feigning outrage must be considered liberals."
In his June 29 nationally syndicated column, Bozell cast Dean as a "liberal" rather than a Democrat -- despite the fact that he is chairman of the Democratic National Committee -- and ignored Rove's comments about Durbin to falsely claim Rove had not singled out Democrats. Bozell wrote: "In turn, liberals must grant the point that Rove was singling out liberals, specifically the MoveOn.org folks and Michael Moore and Howard Dean, not Democrats in general."