Kristol in the Clear

UPDATE: Milbank, Weigel issue corrections on Hagel quote
William Kristol / Wikimedia Commons

William Kristol / Wikimedia Commons


UPDATE 10:24 A.M.: Milbank has posted a correction to his column. Weigel has written a post apologizing to Kristol.

UPDATE 9:38 A.M.: Slate’s Dave Weigel wrote on Twitter Wednesday morning he also would “correct and mea culpa.”

UPDATE 9:29 A.M.: The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank told the Free Beacon Wednesday morning he “absolutely will correct it.” At this time, the column has not been updated. We will continue to update as events warrant.

A pair of reporters inaccurately attacked Weekly Standard editor and Center for American Freedom board member William Kristol this week for using what they claim is a false quote attributed to Chuck Hagel, President Barack Obama’s likely nominee for Secretary of Defense.

Slate’s Dave Weigel titled his post, “Chuck Hagel and the Mysterious Phony ‘Anti-Semitic’ Quote,” arguing that a quote cited by Kristol in the Weekly Standard “isn’t merely redacted. It’s partly fabricated … half of this ‘Hagel’ quote is fake.”

The quote in question is from an interview of Hagel conducted by author Aaron David Miller in 2008. As cited by Kristol, it reads: “The political reality is that … the Jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people up here.”

Taking a cue from Weigel, the Washington Post‘s Dana Milbank also attacked Kristol for citing the quote, saying that he “went further” than legitimate criticism of Hagel because “the actual quote in the book includes nothing about ‘the political reality.’”

Weigel and Milbank appear to be unaware that the quote cited by Kristol can be found in an audio clip of an interview Miller conducted with Hagel for his book, The Much Too Promised Land. The clip is on the publisher’s website for the book, the relevant part of which can heard here.

The complete quote reads:

“The political reality is that you—uh, not you [Aaron David Miller], but the Jewish lobby—intimidates a lot of people up here.”