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June 18, 2006


Christopher Taylor

Yeah, I'm with O'Niell on this one, that's not time enough for something to be drawn up in government, especially the first few weeks of a new government installing it's self in office.

And the deliberate attempt by either Suskind or 60 minutes to portray this as some manner of oil seizure in Iraq was just laughable.

jj mollo

I heard that interview. O'Neill and Suskind were definitely not on the same page. I thought it was lack of professionalism, but I think your explanation is better. I was also impressed with Terry Gross. She's pretty good except for when she's interviewing real conservatives.

Frank Warner

The only thing I'd fault Terry Gross for is not following up immediately and demanding to know how "60 Minutes" could have gotten the story so wrong.

Considering she had just seen the "60 Minutes" show three days earlier, and it was all the rage, she should have asked, Don't you think that "60 Minutes" show deceived a lot of people? What are you going to do to correct this terrible error?

She didn't ask that. I think she expected Suskind and O'Neill to elaborate on the "Blood for Oil Map" conspiracy. When suddenly it was clear the story was nothing, she simply moved on.


What I'm finding interesting is that your's is the only website I have read that questions (with good reason) Suskind's credentials. I pretty much just read conservative sites, but I'm starting to get the impression that if a story paints jihadis in a bad light, it's accepted on face value to be accurate.

That's pretty scary. The main reason I don't like the MSM is because of their group-think mentality. I'd hate to learn that my favorite sources of news are starting to do the same thing.

Frank Warner

Power Line noted some misgivings toward Suskind. But most commentators seem to have forgotten Suskind's dishonesty about the Iraq oil-field map.

I won't forget it.

jj mollo

old bulldog


old english


Don't you think it's a little disenguous to call Suskind's interpretation of the map dishonesty? Suskind can be wrong about something without it being a lie. That brings me to my next point. You are picking out one disputable point and saying that discredits everything Suskind says. Nobody ever gets everything right, so by your standard no one would have credibility to say anything. I suggest, instead, to read a variety of sources, all with a critical eye. I'd like to add, however, that I appreciate you digging up the map incident. I was unaware of it.

Frank Warner

This wasn't just anything Suskind got wrong. This was a big thing.

It has become far too clear that Suskind first imagines a good story and then later pieces together just enough facts, distorted impressions and ambiguous quotes to make it appear he has proved his original thesis.

That's not news reporting. That's novel writing.

He gave "60 Minutes" the wrong story on that Iraq oil-fields map (I'd love to hear Leslie Stahl explain this), and he tried to push the deception just long enough to sell more books.

Had O'Neill not been with him at that Terry Gross interview, Suskind probably would have gotten away with it even longer. (Actually he did get away with it. If you didn't listen to NPR that day, you probably still have no idea how irresponsibly inaccurate that "60 Minutes" story was.)

I'm not saying that everything Suskind says is wrong. I'm saying I'm going to have a hard time believing anything he says.

Christopher Taylor

Don't you think it's a little disenguous to call Suskind's interpretation of the map dishonesty?

No. He knew where he got it and what it was, and he went on national television to lie about it for a specific political purpose.


"No. He knew where he got it and what it was, and he went on national television to lie about it for a specific political purpose."

No doubt the 60 minutes story was at best sloppy, at worst dishonest. And there's obviously a difference of opinion between O'Neill and Suskind about what the map meant. And it's even likely that Suskind was wrong in what he believed the map was about. But it's a stretch to say he lied. It's an even bigger stretch to state that this invalidates any further investigative journalism from Suskind.

On the other hand, I agree that the map incident is a reminder that one should read Suskind with a critical eye -- same goes for all journalists.


This is ridiculous. Obviously, journalists get facts wrong from time to time (blogs are 100 times worse); obviously, journalism should be read critically (blogs, too). But you can hardly judge an entire book by one mistake or error made by the author. (Has this blog never made an error?) Too many modern conservatives reflexively dismiss "bad" news by claiming that the source is biased. That's a great way to live in a bubble world, like our President.


Haha, Pot, meet Kettle...

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