We’ve written a lot about Fox News and their extremely questionable news judgment, but a story from the most recent news cycle makes us want to jump back into the fray. Disgraced and disastrous former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld took a quick break from retirement on Wednesday to call Barack Obama a liar. Yes, it’s quite the charge from the man whose DoD covered up the Pat Tillman fratricide and orchestrated the Jessica Lynch “rescue.”
So what’s the scoop? Let’s head on over to CNN’s Political Ticker for the nuts and bolts, shall we?
Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld criticized President Obama’s assertion Tuesday that the Bush administration ignored requests for more troops to battle the Taliban, declaring the president’s remark made during his address on Afghanistan a “bald misstatement.”
Rumsfeld said Wednesday that during his time as Bush’s Secretary of Defense, he was “not aware of a single request of that nature.”
CNN’s story continues for one more paragraph before a counterpoint is presented. Meanwhile, at foxnews.com, Rumsfeld’s side of the story goes on for six paragraphs before another voice is given time.
In the FOX story, that voice is White House press secretary Robert Gibbs — a logical choice given that he’s the president’s spokesman, but not exactly a non-partisan expert. From their story:
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs explained Wednesday that Obama was referring to requests that came in during 2008, and suggested Rumsfeld was on thin ice with his criticism.
“I will let Secretary Rumsfeld explain … whether he thinks that the effort in Afghanistan was sufficiently resourced during his tenure as secretary of defense,” he said.
After that, the article points out that Secretary Robert Gates was in charge at the Pentagon in 2008, as if that makes any difference, considering George W. Bush was still the Commander in Chief, the decider, the War President and Gates’ boss.
FOX then returns to Rumsfeld’s side of the story, and presents no other points of view.
If only there were an additional expert they could’ve found — someone who was there…
Strangely, CNN was able to find such a person!
But Admiral Mike Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff since October of 2007, said Wednesday that the former top commander in Afghanistan, General David McKiernan, had requested more troops during the previous administration, but they were sent to Iraq instead.
“In my tenure here, Gen. McKiernan specifically had a fairly substantial request for upwards of 20,000 forces which we couldn’t meet because they just weren’t there. They were in Iraq,” Mullen said. “I spoke out early that Afghanistan was under resourced… We didn’t have them because they were pushed to Iraq. We didn’t have the flexibility to move them. That was the priority of a previous president. We do what the president says and that’s what we did.”
Weird how FOX couldn’t dredge up anything like that, eh? Guess it wouldn’t fit into their storyline of Bush always doing right by the troops. Plus, it would’ve angered people like ryryakak1, a commenter on foxnews.com.
We’re not saying they saw it here first, but Media Matters added even more detail to this story here. Seriously, the people at FOX News have to go to pretty extraordinary lengths to miss details like they did.