March 3, 2005

"I misspoke"

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Crook and Liars
perseverance pays off. We called CNN and demanded an on-the-air apology by Novak himself because of the lie he spread about Howard Dean. Earlier in the week Judy Woodruff issued an apology for Novak's lie, but we felt that wasn't enough. We called and spoke to a PR person who said they would talk to the producers of Inside Politics and get back to us. We promised that we would not go away.

Since Novak claimed on February 26 edition of CNN's The Capital Gang: "Howard Dean gave a speech at Cornell on Thursday of this week in which he said that 80 percent -- over the years, 80 percent of the Social Security benefits will be lost." Then he repeated the lie on Inside Politics the following Monday. Off course Dean actually said: "if Social Security were left alone for 30 years, benefits would be reduced to 80 percent of what it is now." The GOP repeated his lie with video on their website (scrubbed now) and subsequently Rush Limbaugh used the same quote on 3/3. Novak came on the air today and apologized saying: "On Monday I said, I misspoke myself...what I meant to say..."

We know that he knew the actual quote being a seasoned "journalist," but chose to try and tarnish Dean with a lie. Also he claimed to have said it on Monday only, which of course is not true. The fact that he got on the air at all shows what can be done if we put our minds to it. Media Matters was on top of the story as well and proved invaluable in getting Novak to denounce himself. Thanks to all that called and emailed their concerns to CNN.

(Update-many feel it wasn't a good enough apology. We do agree. He still tried to say that Dean didn't "toe" the party line, which of course is incorrect. However, we still feel that it was important to get him to acknowledge his lie on the air, "something that had to kill him to do," even in the under handed way that he did it. We never expected him to admit much more. We tried our best.)

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