Jill Lawrence Pulls A “Roger Simon”


Erick at Redstate caught another reporter pulling a Roger Simon:

Jill Lawrence, no doubt feeling slighted by the campaign for not getting a one on one with FDT, had her revenge in USA Today. She writes:

Bill Theobald of Gannett News Service … quotes [Fred Thompson] saying he doesn’t like modern campaigning, isn’t that interested in running for president and “will not be devastated” if he doesn’t win.

[Emphasis mine]

After putting that up, she had to correct herself when Bill Theobald told her she got it wrong.

Bill calls to clarify that Thompson said he doesn’t like the process of running for president but he does want to BE president.

And check out the transcript of what Fred actually said in answer to the questions “do you want to be President”:

The first place, I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t. I
wouldn’t be doing this. I grew up in very modest circumstances. I left
government and I and my family have made sacrifices to be sitting here
today. I haven’t had any income for a long time because I figured to be
clean, you’ve got to cut everything off. I was doing speaking
engagements and I had a contract to do a tv show. I had a contract with
ABC radio…and so forth. A man would have to be a total fool to do all
those things and to be leaving his family which is not a joyful thing
if he didn”t want to do it.

I am not consumed by personal ambition. I will not be devastated if
I don’t do it. I want the people to have the best president they can

Now you tell me how in the world Jill Lawrence could get so much wrong in one paragraph of writing based off of that transcript?


Fred weighs in:

Today I had this story
written about me regarding what I said at a Town Hall event in
Burlington, Iowa by a reporter who wasn’t even at the event.
Incidentally, I declined to be interviewed by this particular reporter
yesterday for reasons which will soon be apparent

In referring to me, she reported “he doesn’t like modern
campaigning, isn’t interested in running for President, and will not be
devastated” if he doesn’t win.

The following is a transcript of what I actually said in response to
a question by a local Burlington resident which was the basis of the
reporter’s story:


It is clear that there are those in the media who will exact a high
price for candor and from those whom they consider to be insufficiently
ambitious. But it is with increasing amazement that we see that those
who are willing to slant or leave out important parts of a story to
make their point.

If a candidate succumbs to this he will be reduced to nothing more than a sound bite machine.

As for me I am going to continue to say exactly what is in my heart
and is on my mind and give straight and honest answers to those who ask
straight and honest questions.

Incidentally, the audience in Burlington broke into applause in the
middle of my answer. The reporter wouldn’t know that because she wasn’t
even there.

I guess she got her widdle feelings hurt.

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

I have yet to see anyone attack Fred Thompson on his policy positions. The best they can do is this petty nonsense. Of course, it also does not help when the pettiness is also coming from our own side from the likes of the HotAir staff and Michelle Malkin.

I have lost a LOT of respect for political bloggers within the past few months over their political coverage and choosing to vote based on “the ends justify the means” instead of on principle. And certain people trying to redefine Conservatism in order to make their candidate appear “conservative”.

The sad thing is I am already utterly sick of this campaign and it has not even started yet. Come my primary here in Michigan, I am going to cast my vote for Thompson and, if he is the nominee, happily campaign for him, as he represents my principles and values… and if he is not the nominee, whoever it is I will be ignoring until November and will have to think about whether or not I will trash my principles and vote for someone in whom I don’t have any faith or belief or respect.

I have been involved in politics for a whole 6+ years, and I have been sick of it since after the 2004 election. I now understand why 50% of Americans don’t bother to vote. There is really nothing to vote FOR, but plenty to vote against. And voting against something is not inspiring to most people, including me.

Political writers like Jill Lawrence go further than acting according on their “the ends justify the means” belief: they actually confuse the ends and the means. To Fred, “the ends” are saving the country, “the means” are being the President. To the political writers, “the ends” are the Presidency and “the means” are running for it. That’s where the whole “fire in the belly” confusion comes from. How can someone who is not super-excited about achieving the Presidency be a plausible candidate? Hillary, Obama, Edwards just want power for some not-entirely clear reasons, if any besides power itself. The “journalists” understand that very well. We now depend on the wisdom of the voters in the early states to see what the right “ends” really are.

Exactly, Igor. Why are we – well, political bloggers, anyway – so concerned with how a candidate campaigns. I am more concerned about their values, principles and policies. I can care less how much money they raise (the people who attack Fred as not being able to raise money were the same ones who complain about all the money in politics and how money buys elections, etc) or whether they like campaigning. I want to know what they will do as President and how they will act as President.

I want someone who will not raise his arms like a marianette whenever the mass media, the political bloggers and the political action groups try to pull his strings. I want him to stand up to lies and attacks and defend himself and not put up with BS. And I want him to stay true to his principles and be proud to be an American and to be himself and proud for those principles and values for which he stands.

The only person I see who matches this description is Fred Thompson. And I’m really getting tired of people attacking him, not on policy, not on values and principles, but on “laziness”. If it was the mass media or the Left attacking him in this manner, I would ignore it. But it is coming from our own damn side (*cough* HotAir *cough*).

I just have to hope that there are enough people out there who are going to ignore the primary coverage and are going to go to the polls on their primary day and vote, on principles, values and policy, for whom they want… not for whom is the most “electable”. I’m tired of that.

If Republican voters are going to vote based on “Anyone Who Can Beat Hillary”, then they are no better than the “Anybody But Bush” Democrats whom these same Republican voters derided all during the 2004 campaign. I lost all respect for Democrat voters back then, but I see myself losing respect for so called Conservative Republican voters who are now campaigning for their candidates, not based on policy, values and principle, but on the “he can beat Hillary” mantra. As well as trying to redefine Conservatism to make their candidate seem ‘conservative’.

The ends (the Presidency) does not justify the means (redefining conservatism and voting for someone solely because they are “electable” and “can beat Hillary”).

You’re right Michael. It seems like only a very small percentage of the voters and the media focus on a comprehensive evaluation of the candidates’ appropriateness to be President. The media cover the election as a blood sport, with the most photogenic and energetic gladiator making the fewest mistakes eventually triumphing (or that’s how it should be in their eyes). They also consider the candidate’s availability to their particular news outlet to be a very important characteristic and not being available a major mistake.

Many of the voters are evidently unable to focus on a particular candidate’s entire set of relevant characteristics, they are continuously distracting themselves with “but he has a lot of foreign policy experience” or “but he is not afraid to be a Christian”, which are often true but constitute just a small percentage of what it takes to be President. It’s inconceivable to me that McCain can be surging in Iowa as if his so recent fight to impose Shamnesty never happened. I just saw a supposed episode on CNN where a woman who had pledged to be for Fred was saying after a McCain event that she has to write a letter to Fred that she “can’t be with him”. What the hell can McCain say to erase her memory? Evidently something. And evidently Bhutto’s murder can “remind” people of his “foreign policy credentials”. Well we can complain about this all we want, but imperfect people will make their imperfect choice soon. In the real world it IS unfortunately necessary to be a good campaigner. Hopefully Fred can break through the noise.