MSM morphs Murtha to cover for Dems
Briefly, Vietnam vet Murtha held a press conference in which he repeatedly called for an immediate pullout. Here's how Schmitt wrote it as of noon Friday:
...an influential House Democrat on military matters called for the immediate withdrawal of American troops and Republicans escalated their attacks against the Bush administration's critics.So far, so good (well, except for the gratuitous and predictable slap about Republicans "escalating their attacks against...critics"!) But then some GOP tactician decided to accept the challenge: They introduced a resolution to do exactly what Murtha had garnered so much fawning press coverage saying--withdraw the troops immediately.
Whoops! The Dems and the MSM thought they had the Administration in another trap: Here's a retired colonel and Vietnam vet calling for immediate pullout. Add hours of emotionally-charged press coverage and stir. One more chance to make the Bush folks look like they were actually anti-military.
Dems never expected the tactical resolution in response. Now they'd have to either support what their guy had just gotten through calling for (with so much laudatory press coverage) and thus show their true colors, or else help defeat what their guy had just called for--thus showing how transparently political the whole charade was.
No doubt sensing the trap, Schmitt's 7:30pm story read like this:
House Republicans are attempting to split the ranks of the Democrats tonight by offering a resolution to withdraw American troops from Iraq immediately.It's like Murtha's press conference never happened. Not a word of background, no context--it's like the GOP just came up with this out of thin air!
With the defeat of the measure assured (it failed 403-3) Schmitt and the Times needed a rewrite--of their earlier reporting. So at 10:30 pm, the 'official' Dem-approved version of history:
Democrats accused Republicans of pulling a political stunt by moving toward a vote on a symbolic alternative to the resolution that Mr. Murtha offered on Thursday, calling for the swift withdrawal of American troops from Iraq. Democrats said the ploy distorted the meaning of Mr. Murtha's measure and left little time for meaningful debate.
And indeed, the resolution proposed by Murtha did call for a pullout "at the earliest practicable time." But just ten hours earlier Schmitt and the Times had run with the far more damaging (and destabilizing) wording "immediate withdrawal."
Now that the GOP had cleverly turned the tables, Schmitt and the Times had to push the earlier version down the memory hole--because providing any reference to it would have exposed the Dem/MSM effort as transparently political. Which of course it was.
Amazing. And predictable.