Kristol and the Cone of Silence

To the Public Editor:

Re: Showdown at Saddleback By WILLIAM KRISTOL, published: August 17, 2008

The correction offered about Kristol's baseless assertion that there was no basis for the Obama campaigns assertion that McCain was not in a "cone of silence" did not explain why Kristol took his position.

The Times, I'm sure you know, wrote:

Correction: August 19, 2008:
In some editions of his column on Monday about the presidential forum at Saddleback Church in California, William Kristol said that there seemed to be no basis for charges that John McCain was not in a “cone of silence” during Barack Obama’s interview with the Rev. Rick Warren, and could therefore have heard questions posed first to Senator Obama. Senator McCain was in a motorcade for part of Senator Obama’s interview. A statement from his campaign said that he “never heard or saw any of Senator Obama’s appearance.”

Kristol has a history of stating, as fact, what he *wishes* to be true without full information. But when he's caught making a groundless assertion, he rarely owns his mistake.

It would be nice if the Times would issue corrections that fully own the mistakes made by its employees, if their employees are not going to own them, themselves. (Why are such people employed by the Times, anyway?)


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