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Follow Up on Mother Jones-Brad Friedman Attack on Charles Koch

John on September 7, 2011 at 10:12 am

Looks like another bad day for Brad Friedman. This morning Ben Smith joined myself and Kevin Drum in pointing out that Friedman’s claims about Charles Koch aren’t supported by the facts:

“We have Saddam Hussein, this is the Mother of All Wars,” reads the Mother Jones transcript, from the BRAD Blog.

But it’s possible to hear the transcript a bit differently: The word “as” isn’t in the transcript, but as I hear the (ambiguous) line, Koch is quoting Saddam here, not comparing Obama to him. In that version, the quote reads:

“We have, as Saddam Hussein [said] this is the Mother of All Wars,” Koch is quoting Saddam, rather than making a comparison between him and Obama.

Seems like everyone besides Brad and his editors at Mother Jones can hear what was said. Also, Koch’s spokesman sent Politico a note saying:

To be clear, Mr. Koch was not referring to President Obama in his remarks. The “Mother of All Wars” is a common phrase, frequently attributed to Saddam Hussein on the eve of the first Gulf War. Amid record U.S. unemployment, continued economic decline, and loss of liberty, the U.S. has been plunged into its own “Mother of all wars.” Our nation’s future will be determined in the coming months by the choices Americans make to address the serious economic issues facing our country.

In sum, Brad Friedman’s splashy claim about Charles Koch comparing the President to Saddam Hussein is false and Mother Jones really has no leg to stand on refusing to correct it.

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