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David Shuster Is A Liar

7:54 PM, Jun 15, 2009 • By MICHAEL GOLDFARB
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MSNBC's journalistic standards are, shall we say, somewhat flexible. Even by its weak standards, however, David Shuster today issued a report that was breathtaking for its mendacity. Simply put, Shuster lied--brazenly, knowingly, on the air.

The subject of Shuster's piece was the left's all-purpose villain Joe Lieberman. He charged that Lieberman is a "hypocrite" because, in Shuster's words, he's "been praising President Obama and his administration these days even as Lieberman fights most of the most crucial Obama policies."

And what, pray tell, is Shuster's evidence? He says of Lieberman: "You've publicly declared it's a mistake to engage in dialogue with Iran. You've taken issue with President Obama offering a time table for withdrawal of troops from Iraq."

Frankly, we here at TWS would be delighted if these were Joe Lieberman's views. Alas for us--and more importantly, for whatever pretense of integrity David Shuster tries to maintain, they're not. Shuster made these things up, apparently out of whole cloth.

First, Iraq.

Yes, it's true that Lieberman opposed a timetable for withdrawal . . . back in 2007 and 2008, before Obama became president. However, here's what Lieberman said when Obama actually announced his Iraq policy, as president, in a speech at Camp LeJeune on February 27: "The President has outlined a reasonable plan for the withdrawal of additional U.S. forces from Iraq, based on the extraordinary progress our brave troops have made there over the past two years. At the same time, as the President emphasized, our approach must remain responsive and flexible to conditions on the ground and the recommendations of General Ray Odierno and other military commanders."

So tell us, David, where's the evidence that Lieberman has been "fighting" Obama on his timetable for withdrawal of troops from Iraq?

Next up, Iran. Shuster says Lieberman "publicly declared it's a mistake to engage in dialogue with Iran."

Again, not so much. Here Lieberman is in a speech about Iran on April 27: "To be clear, I am not opposed to talking to the Iranians."

Then, in the Wall Street Journal on June 1: "I am not opposed to pursuing direct engagement with the Iranians. It is certainly the preferred way to end Iran's nuclear program."

So again, we ask David: Could you please provide us with the evidence that Joe Lieberman has been "fighting" President Obama's administration on talking to Iran?

We don't expect the likes of David Shuster to let little things like facts to get in the way of his opinions. But we do expect that the producers and executives at MSNBC might care a bit more about the consequences of spreading easily verifiable falsehoods on the air.