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Nate Cohn Fired Over Email Controversy

Nate Cohn is an American political journalist who covers national politics, alternative energy, health care, the media, and other issues facing our nation. He is currently employed as a staff writer for The Upshot, a publication from The New York Times. His reporting typically focuses on national polls, politics, demographics, and public opinion in the US. 

Like many reporters in both print and television news outlets, he often asks the tough questions that most Americans do not often ask. In one famous interview with John King on CNN, for instance, Nate asked John King whether or not President George W. Bush should have been impeached before he got impeached by the House of Representatives over the Iraq War.

According to a Washington Post review, the question that dominated the discussion was “how will you define dishonesty and fraud?” Mr. Connolly noted, “Nate Cohn had made some comments about the press being the ‘gatekeepers of news.’ That set off a long exchange between them.”

The two exchanged a number of other heated words that elicited several tweets from Mr. Connolly and from President Bush. There were a number of interesting nuggets from the interview that I have included here. (Click on the links to read past the jump cut.)

President Bush noted that the media were distorting his statements on the War in Iraq and that the American people had a right to know the truth. Many people believe that the media is distorting Bush’s words, but it is also interesting that a former US president thinks that the American people have the right to know the truth!

Then-President Bush noted that both the media and his own political opponents were distorting his statements on the War in Iraq. He then proceeded to list a number of the statements that were being distorted and misconstrued by the media.

One example was that Nate Cohn had said that the number one priority of the military was to defeat Al Qaeda. But when the reporters asked him specifically if he intended to use troops to accomplish that goal, he answered “that’s not what I meant.” In other words, he was stating that our primary mission in Iraq is not to defeat Al Qaeda.

It is interesting that President Bush went out of his way to correct the record and state that he did mean to say that our mission was to defeat Al Qaeda. Even though the reporter clearly had the point and had asked the question in the right way, the president repeated what he had said earlier in the interview. This is standard campaign rhetoric, as politicians often say, but it is unfortunate that the president repeated what proved to be misleading rather than clarifying his position.

Facts

The fact that President Bush cares about the truth is an admirable quality, but he has a tendency to shoot himself in the foot. He often says things that are misleading because they serve his political interests. And sometimes he just makes up facts for political expediency.

What is surprising is that the media is attacking him for making up stories and using falsehoods. Why is that? Is the press afraid that the real story will show that what the president has said is not true? If so, why would they attack the man who is trying to bring the truth to America? Perhaps it is because all journalists have a liberal bias and they are fearful of being called out on their liberal biases by a strong conservative voice.

Regardless, it is a shame that the press is not standing up for the president. Perhaps, the press needs a course correction. But I thought Nate didn’t deserve to get bashed. Perhaps you do too.

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