I was never into MtP, I only caught it a few times, so I have no opinion of Russert as a journalist. My impression from the last few years is that he asked tough questions with little follow up, played devil’s advocate, and was manipulated by Cheney. Now that he has suddenly died, everyone seems to think that he was the best since Konkrite. Jonathan Schwarz isn’t so sure. Apparently TR willfully ignored the facts about Saddam and weapons inspectors. Was Russert acting as a responsible journalist before the war?
What facts are those?
Chris Matthews said that Russert supported the invasion because he bought into the “mushroom cloud” bullshit. Matthews said he had asked Russert privately how he could justify supporting the invaion and Russert said, “The nuclear thing. If they’ve got a nuke, we can’t walk away from that.”
Shoot, I knew that looked wrong. But to be fair, he was retired before I started watching the news.
Mr. Moto- that’s the point of linking, isn’t it? So that one doesn’t need to repeat the whole thing. But, to summarize, TR said that Saddam kicked out the inspectors in 1998, when in fact, they were withdrawn by the UN.
Who is Jonathan Schwartz and why should we believe him?
An honest question-- I’ve never heard of the guy and know nothing about him.
Read the link. Russert repeatedly kept reporting that saddam Huseen had thrown out the weapons inspectors, even though they left at the behest of the US, not Saddam Hussein. Russert kept repeating the lie even after he had been corrected on it several times. He did support the invasion and he did suck Bush-Cheney cock during the runup.
Why should you believe him about what? What Russert said on the air is independently verifiable.
Well, then independently verify it. I clicked on the guy’s web site and it looks more like a cartoon than anything else. The only thing it says it that Russert erred about when the inspectors were kicked out. There needs to be more than that.
John- Some info on JS. I’m a fan of This Modern World, and he co-blogs there.
The list of journalists who acted responsibly in the pre-war period would be pretty short. If the worst you can say about Russert is that he was wrong about the inspector issue three times, that’s not too bad. Especially since the link (which details absolutely nothing else about his coverage of that period), and to a lesser degree the thread title, make it sound like Russert was responsible for the war.
From the wikipedia article on the subject:
OK, here’s the whole sequence:
Looks like SH kicked them out to me.
I can independently verify it. I saw the show with Al Gore where Russert said that and I saw follow up shws where he repeated it. Maybe the first time was an error, but the repeats were lies. What is your point with this? Do you think that Russert never really said this stuff?
It was pretty complicated, but the Post re-wrote history.
Read your own cites, dude.
Saddam didn’t kick anybody out, UNSCOM withdrew at the request of the US Government.
Honestly, if that’s ALL the evidence there is against Russert, it’s the dumbest criticism in the history of Jonathan Schwartz, which is saying a lot.
He asked a few people a few questions about what they were doing about Iraq - YEARS before the war, in fact some time before Bush was elected. On three occasions his question might have been inaccurate, depending on who you believe and how you interpret who was at fault for the UN inspections ending.
That’s it? That’s all there is?
Fuck, let’s dig up Russert and hang him.
No. Saddam kicked them out, then let them back in, then they pulled out and he refused to let them back in. Read the whole time frame.
Well, but it also says:
October 31, 1998
- Iraq ends all forms of cooperation with the UNSCOM teams and expels inspectors from the country.
So, it looks like the UNSCOM teams left Iraq twice…once, on October 31, 1998, when Sadaam kicked them out, and the second, December, 1998, when they withdrew on the advice of the US, after Sadaam stopped cooperating with them again.
No, UNSCOM pulled them out. Saddam didn’t kick out anybody.