Saturday, July 19, 2008

Shocker! The media misrepresents a report favorable to Obama - A rare lapse of objectivity, I'm sure. CNN "Iraqi PM disputes report on withdrawal plan": "But a spokesman for al-Maliki said his remarks "were misunderstood, mistranslated and not conveyed accurately." Alas, this will not put the cap on Josh Marshall's long line of fawning posts on the Obamessiah's perfect grasp of foreign policy.

Extra - Gateway Pundit: "It's as if they are rooting for Obama or something." Something like that.


Anonymous said...

Yeah! Our country's media is unbelievably biased for Obama. Especially Reuters, and Der Spiegel.

Anonymous said...

What's Arabic for 'Spin'?
The Iraqi government has sent out a statement to push back against Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's interview in Der Spiegel in which he seemed to endorse Sen. Barack Obama's 16-month U.S. troop withdrawal plan -- accidentally blast-e-mailed out by the White House to reporters Saturday.
Neither the Iraqi government nor CENTCOM explained exactly what had been mistranslated or misunderstood.

JorgXMcKie said...

anonymous, which part of THE US MEDIA picked up and promoted a report in Der Spiegel (not noted for it's pro-American stance) by way or Reuters? Especially since it's not obvious to me what language was being spoken by Maliki. Does he speak German? And, if so, was he speaking it to Der Spiegel?

You are a tool. But then, we always knew that.

"Neither the Iraqi government nor CENTCOM explained exactly what had been mistranslated or misunderstood." You know that because ABC didn't say so? Were you too lazy to look it up yourself? Ignorant, lazy, or in the tank?

Anonymous said...

Dave, since you're so clued in and on top of it, and since proving a negative is absurd, why don't you explain what WAS mistranslated? Was Maliki really calling Obama a jelly doughnut?

Also, does the Bush White House count as U.S. media now? They're the ones who originally "broke" and disseminated this totally bogus and misinterpreted story.

Anonymous said...

Der Spiegel today:,1518,566914,00.html

In an interview with SPIEGEL, Iraqi Prime Minister al-Maliki expressed support for Obama's troop withdrawal plans. Despite a half-hearted retraction, the comments have stirred up the US presidential campaign. SPIEGEL stands by its version of the conversation.
A Baghdad government spokesman, Ali al-Dabbagh, said in a statement that SPIEGEL had "misunderstood and mistranslated" the Iraqi prime minister, but didn't point to where the misunderstanding or mistranslation might have occurred... The statement was sent out by the press desk of the US-led Multinational Force in Iraq.

A number of media outlets likewise professed to being confused by the statement from Maliki's office. The New York Times pointed out that al-Dabbagh's statement "did not address a specific error." CBS likewise expressed disbelief, pointing out that Maliki mentions a timeframe for withdrawal three times in the interview and then asks, "how likely is it that SPIEGEL mistranslated three separate comments?" Matthew Yglesias, a blogger for the Atlantic Monthly, was astonished by "how little effort was made" to make the Baghdad denial convincing.
SPIEGEL sticks to its version of the conversation.

Anonymous said...

SPIEGEL sticks to its version of the conversation.

Which one? SPEIGEL carried two different versions.

Anonymous said...

Pithy comeback, but incorrect. Compared to most other languages, Arabic is notoriously more difficult to translate. Separate, honest translators will arrive at the same general sense without necessarily using the same precise phraseology. If JFK had been an Arab, we might be hearing about "It is more important for the citizen to serve his country than for the country to cater to the individual." The alleged "versions" of the interview are absolutely not a "gotcha" moment. Is there one, and only one, correct version of the Bible?

Another problem for the MORE MSM BIAS! troops is that Der Spiegel's interpretive translation wasn't done by a Der Spiegel employee with a liberal agenda. The offending translation came from an employee in Maliki's Iraqi office.

The New York Times has had the original audio re-re-translated, and it's "Yet Another Version!!!," but it's still not coming out McCain's way:

in an audio recording of Mr. Maliki’s interview that Der Spiegel provided to The New York Times, Mr. Maliki seemed to state a clear affinity for Mr. Obama’s position, bringing it up on his own in an answer to a general question on troop presence.

The following is a direct translation from the Arabic of Mr. Maliki’s comments by The Times: “Obama’s remarks that — if he takes office — in 16 months he would withdraw the forces, we think that this period could increase or decrease a little, but that it could be suitable to end the presence of the forces in Iraq.”

He continued: “Who wants to exit in a quicker way has a better assessment of the situation in Iraq.”

Anonymous said...

Pithy comeback, but incorrect.


Yeah, Arabic's notoriously hard to translate properly. Thanks for that update. Never would have known that if you hadn't let me know. But that fails to change th fact that Der Speigel significantly altered the quote after initial publication.

I'm curious: did you just start using the internet this week?

Anonymous said...

Yes, so significantly altered. Such a 180-degree change in meaning.

By the way, I have some baaaaad news for you:

As it turns out, not only did Maliki's office provide the (cough) "mistranslation," but it got an advance copy of the finished interview and reviewed AND approved its wording before publication.

Der Spiegel has even been criticized for this policy, since it allows interview subjects to polish and revise their original statements.

Websites that yowl about "Liberal Jesus" may not like it, but it's looking like Maliki knew exactly what he was saying to Der Spiegel. And which U.S. President he'll be dealing with in 2009.


Yes, you were. But congratulations on your astounding expertise with the internet. (You might want to stick with sites like, though.)

Anonymous said...

I'm not holding my breath that you'll show any shame. Obviously, the lie that works for you is more attractive than the truth that hurts.

Still, deep down, you know I'm right. It stings. And that's enough for me.

Anonymous said...

the truth that hurts... It stings.

As opposed to your dull head that's apparently unresponsive to all outer stimuli?

("Deep down, you know I'm right": the online motto of the loser.)

It's a funny thing about these 238 different translations. Every one of them still ends up with Maliki endorsing Obama's platform. They just haven't been able to translate that small detail out of the text yet. Come on, #239! Conservative bias needs a new pair of shoes!

Maliki wants us to withdraw, Obama's going to withdraw, and now even Bush and McCain are saying they'd "time horizon." Either they're living in an episode of "Quantum Leap," or they've finally stopped denying the view that Obama's been promoting all along. And just in time for voting, too! What a coinky-dink!

Anonymous said...

Actually, use of "the online motto of the loser" is self-defining.

You apparently can't read, or if you can, comprehend. You refuse to acknowledge fact inconvenient to your desperate wishes. You persist to say black is white when a full scientific explanation of why that cannot be so is proffered.

And yet, you persist in insisting that we're thick-skulled. You, sir, are the hubristic tool you claim your bete noir W to be.

You have met the dunderhead, and he is you.

Anonymous said...

That was a powerful response (I assume, since I can't comprehend it).

Paragraph One: "I know you are, but what am I?"
Paragraph Two: "You know I'm right, and it stings. Please. Tell me it stings. I live for the sting."
Paragraph Three: "I know you are, but what am I?"
Paragraph Four: "I know you are, but what am I?"

Let's cut to the chase. Can you identify any translation, from any source, at any stage of this monstrous scandal, that rebuts the fact that all "versions" of Maliki's words support Obama's plan?

If it'll help, here's a direct quote from the Patterico website YOU listed. Presumably it didn't need to be translated into English, but in these fearful times, one can never be sure:
I think conservatives have to come to grips with the fact that, differing translations aside, Maliki has clearly indicated some level of comfort with something closely resembling the Obama plan. The exact level of agreement has been muddied by the irresponsible secret rewrites of this interview by Der Spiegel, but all translations (and subsequent events) point to Maliki generally being on board with something like Obama’s plan — and if conservatives aren’t facing up to that, and are using the translations as an excuse, they should stop.

Well, maybe most conservatives have come to grips with it.

Anonymous said...

The bluster. And then, the silence.

Some folks go fallow pretty quickly, once they've played their ultimate +80 trump card: "you're a stupid stupidhead who's stupid." (Your Patterico link rocked, though.)

Deep down, you know I'm... oh, who are we kidding? You have no deep down.