Retract This, Please, Part 2

Gossip, speculation, and scuttlebutt about politics.
Sept. 18 2001 4:42 PM

Retract This, Please, Part 2

(Continued from Page 1)

"Many families have been devastated tonight. This just is not right. They did not deserve to die. If someone did this to get back at Bush, then they did so by killing thousands of people who DID NOT VOTE for him! Boston, New York, DC, and the planes' destination ofCalifornia--these were places that voted AGAINST Bush!

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"Why kill them? Why kill anyone?"

--Docusatirist Michael Moore on his Web site, Michaelmoore.com, Sept. 12.

Moore has now removed the offending language from his Sept. 12 posting. Chatterbox retrieved the omitted passage from the Sept. 14 "Best of the Web" column in OpinionJournal.com.

[Update, 3:10 p.m.: On Sept. 17, Moore wrote that the Journal  took the language in question "out of context. ... [D]o I have to explain satire to these people?" But if the Journal misconstrued a meaning that was obviously benign in the original context, why did Moore omit the passage?]

No. 6

"The middle part of the country--the great red zone that voted for Bush--is clearly ready for war. The decadent left in its enclaves on the coasts is not dead--and may well mount a fifth column."

--Andrew Sullivan, the Sunday Times of London, Sept. 16. (Note: The "fifth column" reference is on this page.)

[Update, Sept. 19, 10:15 a.m.: In re his use of the term "fifth column," Sullivan today posted on his Web site the following:

"I have no reason to believe that even those sharp critics of this war would actually aid and abet the enemy in any more tangible ways than they have done already. And that dissent is part of what we're fighting for. By fifth column, I meant simply their ambivalence about the outcome of a war on which I believe the future of liberty hangs....I retract nothing. But I am sorry that one sentence was not written more clearly to dispel any and all such doubts about its meaning. Writing 6,000 words under deadline in the heat of war can lead to occasional sentences whose meaning is open to misinterpretation."]

No. 7