There's a big blog flap today over yet another factual miscue in Bill Kristol's New York Times column. Kristol, who loves to cite rightwing sites for his "facts," today offers this, in attempting to debunk Obama's denial that he was ever present when his pastor made some of his most "offensive" remarks: "But Ronald Kessler, a journalist who has written about [Rev. Jeremiah] Wright’s ministry, claims that Obama was in fact in the pews at Trinity last July 22. That’s when Wright blamed the 'arrogance' of the 'United States of White America' for much of the world’s suffering, especially the oppression of blacks. In any case, given the apparent frequency of such statements in Wright’s preaching and their centrality to his worldview, the pretense that over all these years Obama had no idea that Wright was saying such things is hard to sustain."
Kristol does not identify Kessler as writing for far-right NewsMax.
Now, Marc Ambinder at theatlantic.com, and others, have charged "error," pointing out that Obama was in Miami campaigning on the day in question. Kessler bases his story on another righty who claims to have actually attended that sermon and even says he saw Obama "nodding" in agreement.
UPDATE: Kristol has just admitted his error, posting at the end of his column on the Times' site: "In this column, I cite a report that Sen. Obama had attended services at Trinity Church on July 22, 2007. The Obama campaign has provided information showing that Sen. Obama did not attend Trinity that day. I regret the error." Fox News' latest over-the-top coverage:
Monday, March 17, 2008
UPDATED: Kristol cut again?
is author of a dozen books (click on covers at right), including the new "THE TUNNELS: Escapes Under the Berlin Wall and the Historic Films the JFK White House Tried to Kill." He was the longtime editor of Editor & Publisher. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @GregMitch