On Today, Newsweek's Alter falsely suggested Illinois House candidates have "similar view" on Iraq

››› ››› RYAN CHIACHIERE

NBC's Jonathan Alter falsely suggested that Republican Peter Roskam and Democrat Tammy Duckworth, candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives from Illinois' 6th District, have "a similar view of the war" in Iraq. But Chicago newspapers have reported that Duckworth, an Iraq war veteran who lost both her legs in combat, and Roskam, who recently accused Duckworth of favoring a "cut and run" strategy in Iraq, are "worlds apart" on Iraq.

On the October 17 broadcast of NBC's Today, NBC News contributing correspondent and Newsweek columnist and senior editor Jonathan Alter falsely suggested that the two candidates running for Congress in Illinois' 6th District, Republican state Sen. Peter Roskam and Democratic candidate and Iraq war veteran Tammy Duckworth, have "a similar view of the war" in Iraq. In fact, Chicago newspapers have reported that Roskam and Duckworth are "worlds apart" on Iraq. Further, Alter did not report that Roskam has recently accused Duckworth of favoring a "cut and run" strategy in Iraq.

Noting that "Duckworth says Congress is failing to oversee spending on the Iraq war," Alter asserted that Roskam "takes a similar view of the war," and then quoted Roskam stating, "We disagree about taxes, we disagree about immigration. The area where I agree is that there are hard questions that need to be asked and need to be answered [in Iraq]."

But during a September 22 debate on WBBM radio's "At Issue" program, Roskam characterized Duckworth's position on withdrawing troops from Iraq as "cut and run." Duckworth stated during the debate that she favors a "phased redeployment" of U.S. troops, while Roskam said he believed "finishing well" should be the U.S. goal. Duckworth lost both her legs when her Blackhawk helicopter was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade in Iraq.

Following the debate, three Chicago newspapers detailed the two candidates' differing positions on Iraq: The Daily Herald reported that Roskam and Duckworth had "[n]o shared opinions" on issues including Iraq; the Chicago Sun-Times reported that the two candidates were "worlds apart" on Iraq as Duckworth stated during the debate; and the Chicago Tribune reported that Roskam and Duckworth had "[l]ittle common ground" on Iraq and other issues.

From the October 17 edition of NBC's Today:

ALTER: Duckworth says Congress is failing to oversee spending on the Iraq war. Roskam, backed by retiring incumbent Henry Hyde, takes a similar view of the war.

ROSKAM [video clip]: We disagree about taxes, we disagree about immigration. The area where I agree is that there are hard questions that need to be asked and need to be answered.

ALTER: It can't be easy running against a war hero.

ROSKAM [video clip]: Most voters, myself included, admire her service and admire her sacrifice. But part of admiring somebody, and part of respecting someone, is not patronizing them.

Posted In
National Security & Foreign Policy, War in Iraq
Network/Outlet
NBC
Person
Jonathan Alter
Show/Publication
Today Show
Stories/Interests
2006 Elections
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