Thursday, June 30, 2005

Miniprop strikes again

State Department Doctors Bono Quote
A State Department release from Monday doctored remarks from U2’s Bono, twisting his quote to mean the very opposite of what he apparently believes. Here’s the State Department paragraph, two graphs below the lede [besides underlining, excerpt appears exactly as published]:

Bono, lead singer of the Irish band U2 and longtime activist for aid to Africa, echoed Geldof’s praise for President Bush as he told an American television interviewer June 26, “[Bush] has already doubled and tripled aid to Africa .… I think he has done an incredible job, his administration, on AIDS. 250,000 Africans are on anti-viral drugs; they literally owe their lives to America.”

In fact, Bono only said the latter half of that quote during his appearance on Meet the Press last Sunday. The first part — “[Bush] has already doubled and tripled aid to Africa” — is deceptively transplanted from an interview Bono did with Time magazine that Tim Russert quoted on the show, and the State Department has taken it entirely out of context. Here’s the full quote:

Question: Which of the G8 leaders do you think remains the toughest nut to crack?

Bono: The most important and toughest nut is still President Bush. He feels he’s already doubled and tripled aid to Africa, which he started from far too low a place. He can stand there and say he paid at the office already. He shouldn’t because he’ll be left out of the history books. But it’s hard for him because of the expense of the war and the debts.

In other words, Bono was relaying President Bush’s claim (which he repeated during his press conference with Tony Blair this month) that his administration has tripled aid to Africa. Yet we know Bono does not believe that Bush has tripled aid to Africa. On Meet the Press, Bono said that while Bush has made a commitment to triple aid, that will only be the case “if he follows through” on that pledge.
From Think Progress.

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