Franken takes Bush drunk driving and cocaine question out of context, ignores Clinton’s answers

Lines after attacking the right for taking Gore out of context, Franken crops an interview answer given by Bush in order to call the answer “a bold faced lie,” while ignoring more egregious of the same nature made by Clinton.

Franken writes:

Regarding Love Story, at no time during that controversy did Gore ever get arrested for drunk driving. The contrast to Bush’s 1976 arrest for drunk driving couldn’t be more stark. More damaging still is the bold-faced lie that Bush told reporter Wayne Slater of the Dallas Morning News months before the drunk driving arrest had been disclosed. According to Slater, their conversation went like this. I think you’ll agree, it’s unambiguous.

SLATER: Governor, were you ever arrested after 1968?


When falsely accusing Bush of a “bold-faced lie,” Franken actually put the word “lie” in bold.  I guess he really wants us to think Bush was lying.  But Franken only included the first word of Bush’s response.  Bush said, “No.  Well, wait a minute, let’s talk about this” (Dallas Morning News, Nov. 4, 2000).  That is, almost by definition, ambiguous.

Karen Hughes stopped the interview and Bush did not fully correct himself.  However, Franken takes it out of context and mischaracterizes it as a “bold-faced lie”.

That is ironic, given the fact that Franken had just gotten through accusing others of taking Gore’s claims out of context.

According to Franken, “The drunk driving thing unleashed a whole zoo full of lyin’.” Specifically, he calls Karen Hughes a liar for saying that “there was some discussion that he [Bush] appeared to have been driving too slow.”

According to the Boston Herald, “The police report indicates Bush was stopped for driving too slow.”  Instead of telling his readers what the actual police report has to say, however, Franken tells us what was going through Karen’s mind:

What would be the least deadly way to drive drunk? Erratically? No. Too fast? NO!!! Too slow? Yes! Too slow. That’s it. “There was some discussion that he appeared to have been driving too slow– too slowly.” That’s good.

The media dutifully picked up on this, even following her line of reasoning. As a columnist in the Washington Times wrote: “As for Mr. Bush, it may be revealing that he was not speeding like so may people driving under the influence of alcohol, but was in fact, pulled over by the police because he was driving too slowly.”

Great job, Karen!

Then there’s the cocaine. Bush refused to give an answer to the question of whether he had ever snorted cocaine. Franken, I guess, doesn’t realize that if Bush is guilty then the refusal to answer the question shows he is refusing to lie and is therefore being honest.

Franken however holds Bill Clinton in high esteem, who chose not to refuse comment when confronted with embarrassing details from his past. Not only did Clinton lie, he called into question the character of others for supposedly fabricating the allegations. Moreover, he did it with not only a straight face, but with feigned sincerity – with a mix of feigned indignation, feigned forthrightness, feigned amazement and feigned disillusion.

Clinton didn’t just lie, he lied really well. One does not get that good at something without a lot of practice. In his book, All Too Human, George Stephanopoulos recounts an example:

Clinton was masterful– calm about the past, impassioned about the future, with just the right degree of indignation… In the final minute of the show he squeezed in a sterling sound bite:

Ted, the only times you’ve invited me on this show are to discuss a woman I never slept with and a draft I never dodged.

That is what dishonesty looks like.  It is an art form used by people like Clinton and Franken to deceive.