8/15/2005

LiberalOasis: Bush on Phantom WMD: "What's The Difference?"

December 17, 2003 PERMALINK
Bush on Phantom WMD: "What's The Difference?"
(posted Dec. 17 1 AM ET)

Last night, ABC News aired an hour-long interview of Dubya by Diane Sawyer.

A fair amount of it was the typical softball questions we have come to expect.

But for about five minutes, Sawyer pressed Dubya on the question of the Phantom WMD harder than anyone has, perhaps harder than anyone has pressed him on anything since 9/11.

And in response, Dubya was defensive and evasive, clinging tightly to his talking points.

Judging from the wire reports of the interview, it doesn't look like anyone in the mainstream media is going to pick up on the fact that when faced with such questions, Bush has no good direct response.

The wires focused on Bush's call for the death penalty for Saddam, and his remarks on gay marriage, which had varying interpretations.

That's not surprising. In both those cases, Bush said something new, hence it is "news" by traditional standards.

Evading questions with old talking points doesn't meet that standard.

(UPDATE Dec. 17 2 PM ET -- A late night AP writeup, that was mostly about the death penalty remark, did also touch upon Dubya's WMD remarks.)

Since the full transcript of the interview does not seem to be available on the internet anywhere, below is an extended excerpt (with a few helpful observations in parentheses) of the WMD portion of the interview.

(UPDATE Dec. 17 11:45 AM ET -- ABC's site now has a more complete transcript posted, in three parts.)

This is the transcript of what the ABC audience saw. The interview appeared to be edited, and video clips and graphics were interspersed throughout.

It's long, but worth reading. And more commentary to follow.

LiberalOasis: Archives For The Week of December 14, 2003

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