The Trouble With Being Roger Simon

In all the kerfuffle yesterday over just what transpired in Silly-Hat-Gate, I somehow neglected to mention that the author of the Politico post, Roger Simon, is not the same as the PJM Editor, Roger L. Simon, who has this to say about the incident:

having viewed the video, I can say this: I don’t know what the hell the other Roger Simon was talking about.

A lot of us are wondering that. However, I should have been clear in differentiating between Roger Simon-sans-L and Roger Simon with-L. So there you go.

Something else that I forgot to mention was that this is not the first time that Simon-sans-L created a political gaffe out of whole cloth. And I don’t mean in those other stories knocking Fred Thompson alluded to by Jay at Stop the ACLU:

Maybe the hit piece had something to do with the writer, who has a history of not liking Fred that much.

Instead, I’m talking about the firestorm that engulfed Rudy Giuliani back in April:

Rudy Giuliani created quite a stir among Democrats when, according to DNC Chairman Howard Dean, he declared that electing a Democrat President would lead directly to another 9/11:

Dear Friend,

Rudy Giuliani should be ashamed.

The former New York City Mayor is politicizing September 11th in his 2008 presidential bid. Here’s what he said at a recent campaign stop in New Hampshire:

If a Democrat is elected president in 2008, America will be at risk for another terrorist attack on the scale of Sept. 11, 2001… Never ever again will this country ever be on defense waiting for (terrorists) to attack us if I have anything to say about it. And make no mistake, the Democrats want to put us back on defense!”

Rachel Morris, writing for the Washington Monthly, quoted some Democrats working themselves into high dudgeon over the remarks:

Those Democrats were quick to hit back. Barack Obama charged Giuliani with taking “the politics of fear to a new low.” Hillary Clinton’s office issued a less pithy statement: “There are people right now in the world, not just wishing us harm but actively planning and plotting to cause us harm. If the last six years of the Bush administration have taught us anything, it’s that political rhetoric won’t do anything to quell those threats.”

The problem was that, as James Taranto pointed out at the time, Giuliani never said any such thing. Roger Simon-sans-L only claimed Rudy had.

Here’s the Simon lede:

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Angry Democrats lashed back after Rudy Giuliani said Tuesday that if a Democrat is elected president in 2008, America will be at risk for another terrorist attack on the scale of Sept. 11, 2001.

If you read the entire piece by Roger Simon, you won’t find a single quote from Rudy akin to what is being attributed to him. Quite to the contrary, Simon summarizes a portion of Rudy’s speech this way:

The former New York City mayor, currently leading in all national polls for the Republican nomination for president, said Tuesday night that America would ultimately defeat terrorism no matter which party gains the White House.

And the Washington Post provides this direct quote:

“We’re going to win that war whether there’s a Republican president or a Democratic president or any other president,” he said. “The question is going to be: How long does it take and how many losses will we have along the way? And I truly believe that if we go back on defense for a period of time, we’re going to ultimately have more losses and it’s going to go on much longer.”

As with the Silly-Hat kerfuffle, the reality of Rudy’s speech did not comport with Simon-sans-L’s reporting. In both cases, Simon included his own opinion of the events he witnessed as facts in his stories. In both cases, Simon sans-L’s opinion was grossly slanted towards making the subject of his stories look bad. Does that really qualify as journalism?

Bob Owens is starting to dig into Simon-sans-L’s reporting of the Silly Hat story, and Jimmie at The Sundries Shack has requested some answers from the author as well. It will be interesting to see what they learn.

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