“I didn’t set a red line” was the statement up for review Friday by Washington Post fact checker Glenn Kessler. Easily obtainable videos show President Obama clearly setting that red line, so this is obviously a four-Pinnochio statement, right? Let’s say three, just to account for the Washington Post’s obvious bias. What’s that? Kessler gave the comment “no rating”?
Kessler’s logic? Obama’s original threat of a red line in Syria was “an ill-considered rhetorical statement,” and the president “bungled the language again” when he attempted to walk back his words. Kessler’s conclusion is this: “We don’t try to play gotcha here at The Fact Checker, so we are inclined to leave this question to our readers. Some may find the president’s apparent discomfort with his own words more meaningful than any potential misstatement.”
Got that? Claiming that he never set a red line is not a lie but a “potential” misstatement, and the president certainly feels bad about it, and isn’t that what’s important?
.@GlennKesslerWP what's more important: what is planned to be said our what is actually said? This is weird.
— Cuffy (@CuffyMeh) September 6, 2013
It wouldn’t be fair to judge the president on a misstatement; eventually we’ll let him be clear, and then we can judge.
@glennkesslerwp Frankly, I think you've created a story wherein you know what was on Obama's mind and conclude he misspoke on key occasions.
— Byron York (@ByronYork) September 6, 2013
— James Taranto (@jamestaranto) September 6, 2013
When @glennkesslerwp looks at GOP statements, he says the LITERAL TRUTH doesn't matter, if he can find an implication that he finds false.
— Everyone's Famous (@AceofSpadesHQ) September 6, 2013
If Obama was punching you in the face and saying, "I'm not punching you in the face," @GlennKesslerWP would say, "It's not so simple…"
— Jim Treacher (@jtLOL) September 6, 2013
— John Sexton (@verumserum) September 6, 2013
@GlennKesslerWP I guess what's hard to understand is if Obama set the red line but then said he didn't isn't that misleading at best? Or lie
— Cory (@Jake_Sam) September 6, 2013
@Jake_Sam as I said, I thought about giving Pinocchios and nearly did. A case could be made for Two at least, but it didn't seem needed here
— Glenn Kessler (@GlennKesslerWP) September 6, 2013
That’s some concession. He could have given a blatant lie two Pinocchios, but didn’t want to “play gotcha.”
@GlennKesslerWP You're a fact checker?
— Jose (@JosesTwits) September 7, 2013
— Taro Tsujimoto (@RCannon74) September 6, 2013
When the media can't even so much as admit to something that is on video, what's the point? @GlennKesslerWP
— #NeverTrump (@OrwellForks) September 6, 2013