JUST WHEN I THOUGHT IT WAS SAFE TO READ AN AP STORY – AT 1:14 P.M. ET: Well, maybe it was too good to be true, reform at AP, I mean. The news service has done some fine work in the last 48 hours, finally noticing that Al Qaeda is targeting the West and that Obama blames BUSH (!!) for almost everything.
But now AP disappoints once more. This AP story has gone viral around the internet:
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani set off a tempest about terrorism Friday with his claim that the United States "had no domestic attacks" under former US president George W. Bush.
Giuliani somehow neglected to mention the September 11, 2001, terror attacks in his own city as he contrasted US President Barack Obama's handling of terror cases with that of Bush in light of the failed Christmas Day attempt by a passenger to blow up a US-bound flight. The September 11 attacks toppled New York's World Trade Center, killed nearly 3,000 people in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania and earned Giuliani accolades as "America's mayor."
The Republican said of Democrat Obama on ABC's "Good Morning America" that "what he should be doing is following the right things that Bush did."
While saying he believes Obama "turned the corner" on understanding the nature of terrorism when he publicly declared the United States at war, Giuliani added that Obama has plenty of room to improve on terror.
"We had no domestic attacks under Bush," Giuliani said. "We've had one under Obama."
COMMENT: This is absurd. Rudy was no doubt sloppy in his comments, but what he clearly meant was that under Bush we had no successful attacks on American soil after 9-11. In other words, Bush zipped things up pretty tightly as he launched the war on terror.
The AP went a little nuts on this. Indeed, much later in the story, it takes it back:
When Giuliani was questioned later Friday about his statement, he explained to CNN's Wolf Blitzer that he misspoke.
"I usually say we had no domestic attacks, no major domestic attack under President Bush since September 11," he said. He said after all the warnings of more attacks that came immediately after September 11, many were surprised that this country avoided another major terror attack.
Giuliani said: "I did omit the words 'since September 11.' I apologize for that."
There is no story here, and yet it's all over the internet.
This is not good journalism.
January 9, 2010