Get your facts right, boys

NRO's Jim Geraghty is still upset about our Rudy story, and so is Tucker Carlson! Plus: I'm on "Hardball" tonight.


Joan Walsh
August 22, 2007 11:05PM (UTC)

Poor Jim Geraghty. The National Review "Campaign Spot" writer is so hopped up to defend Rudy Giuliani from our story showing that the mayor of 9/11 spent more time going to Yankees games than at ground zero, he's getting his facts wrong -- again. Tuesday he made mistakes in an early post about the story, which he had to correct. In today's post calling me an "axe-grinding hack" (ouch!), he insists that both Alex Koppelman (who wrote the original piece) and I refused to acknowledge that when the New York Times tallied Giuliani's hours at ground zero, it started counting on Sept. 17, because it couldn't get his schedule for the hectic days after the attack.

In fact, Koppelman and I both noted that fact about the original Times' survey in what we wrote. I even added a conditional to my descriptions of the Times' tally: "(which, to be fair, did not include the first five days after the attack)." As long as we're writing about things we don't know for certain, we also noted that it's possible that Giuliani went to more Yankees games than we could find in the public record, so in fact our count of his Yankee-watching time was equally conservative. And we didn't count the games he watched on television! Maybe Geraghty should get an intern to read our stories to him aloud, so he doesn't miss anything.

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Then there's my good friend Tucker Carlson. He ran a segment about our story Tuesday, featuring two people who agreed with him that it was unfair to Giuliani, sputtering Mort Zuckerman and the normally smart but apparently off her game Rosa Brooks. Funny, Tucker has my phone number, I've done the show before (as well as debated him on other MSNBC shows), but he didn't seek out anyone from Salon. And he introduced us as "the fervently left-wing, but occasionally accurate, Salon.com." Cheap shot, Tucker.

Of course Tucker has been inaccurate himself, but one particular time stands out for me: When he had me on his show last year to attack Salon for running the second set of Abu Ghraib photos, he insisted their publication would lead to anti-American violence. "I don't think there's any question that these new images that you have put up on your site will incite people possibly to violence," Tucker told me. Didn't happen. Instead, they incited the Pentagon to finally comply with a court decision and release additional Abu Ghraib photos -- and the Pentagon press release cited Salon's publication of the photos as part of the reason for the change of heart. Tucker, you can do better than that.

I'll be on MSNBC's "Hardball" tonight talking about the '08 race.


Joan Walsh

Joan Walsh is the author of "What's the Matter With White People: Finding Our Way in the Next America."

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