In case you missed it, Tim Russert had another round with Aaron Broussard on Meet the Press last Sunday. Relevant links:
The segment was interesting for me in that it provided the closest thing I’ve ever heard to an on-air mention of lies.com. True, Russert only referred obliquely to bloggerdom, and even then he probably had in mind folks like John at Wuzzadem, not my humble Bush-hater self, or even valued lies.com commenter trg34221, who actually got the ball rolling, pretty much, by posting links to the relevant articles in the comments here. That got me to post about it, and update the Aaron Broussard page at Wikipedia, which is where John of Wuzzadem got his info.
It’s also interesting to me that there are two people I think highly enough of to have in my blogroll who have posted about this item, but both of whom disagree with my take on Broussard.
Basically, at this point I think it’s clear that Aaron Broussard is one of two things:
A) A more-or-less honest guy who has been doing his best under very trying circumstances, and who as a result told an untrue story about how federal authorities failed to rescue Eva Rodrigue on Tuesday, and on Wednesday, and on Thursday, and on Friday, or,
B) A cynical politician who used (twice, now) an on-camera emotional meltdown and blatant lies to manipulate public perception.
If the truth were (A), I would have expected him to use his second Meet the Press appearance to apologize for the error and move on to his larger point about the failures that occurred and the need for accountability. But he didn’t do that. Instead he engaged in what comes off (to me at least) like self-serving political spin, repeating the falsehood that Eva Rodrigue died on Friday (rather than on the previous Monday, which is when all media accounts, quoted authorities, and her son Tom have said she died), and, while not quite acknowledging error and apologizing, making responses designed to allow those who don’t know the facts to retain their belief that his version of events is the factually correct one.
To me, that argues pretty persuasively for (B). No, I’m not sure he was intentionally lying. But the things I have to believe in order to believe explanation (A) are a lot more of a stretch for me than the things required by explanation (B).
If we’re willing to give someone a pass on accountability just because he’s on our side, we’re really no better than the Bush supporters. Which would be pretty sad.