All the news that's fit to print?

Should a journalist let a Republican accuse a Democrat of saying something he didn't say?

Published October 26, 2007 11:36AM (EDT)

We're usually big fans of Dana Milbank's work in the Washington Post, and this morning's portrait of Republican Rep. Christopher Shays' hearing-room duet with Condoleezza Rice has much to recommend it.

The highlights: Milbank notes -- as we have before -- that more Americans believe in the supernatural than approve of the way George W. Bush is handling Iraq. And in describing Shays' flipping and flopping on Iraq -- he talked a lot about ending the war when running for reelection last year, not so much now -- Milbank gets off a good line about the congressman's "vigorous defense of the administration in odd-numbered years."

But Mr. Milbank, sir, when you say that Shays "condemned a House Democratic leader for saying that 'if the Iraqi war went well it would be bad for Democrats,'" wouldn't it be nice to acknowledge that the House Democratic leader in question didn't, in fact, say that at all?

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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