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Memory Lapse: Politico Asks, "What if Bush Had Done" Things He Actually Did

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

By Media Matters

In support of his dubious argument that the press is treating President Obama more favorably than President Bush, Politico's Josh Gerstein falsely suggested that unlike David Axelrod, Karl Rove was never involved in national security meetings. In addition, Gerstein advanced the falsehood that the Bush administration did not attack MSNBC and other news outlets.

Politico falsely suggested Rove, unlike Axelrod, never participated in high-level national security meetings

Bush aide Feaver: "Oh, the howling and screaming that would have happened if" Rove was part of high-level security meetings. Politico reported that "[t]hroughout the Bush administration, liberal critics warned that the hand of Bush political adviser Karl Rove was spreading politics into all corners of government" and that consequently "some Bush aides went nearly apoplectic earlier this month when they spotted [White House press secretary Robert] Gibbs and Obama's political guru, David Axelrod, in photos of a Situation Room meeting on Afghanistan policy." Furthering its suggestion that Rove did not participate in high-level national security meetings, Politico quoted former Bush White House aide Peter Feaver asserting: "Oh, the howling and screaming that would have happened if Karl Rove was sitting in on even a deputies-level meeting where strategy was being hammered out. People would have just gone ballistic." [Politico, 10/27/09]

But Rove and other political advisers reportedly were involved in national security meetings. According to The Washington Post, "regular participants" in the White House Iraq Group -- which "met weekly in the Situation Room" during the run-up to the war and whose purpose was "to set strategy for each stage of the confrontation with Baghdad" -- included Rove and communications strategists Karen Hughes, Mary Matalin, and James R. Wilkinson. [The Washington Post, 8/10/03]...(Remainder.)

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