NBC News' Gregory Comes This Close To Calling Carney Liar

NBC News' Gregory Comes This Close To Calling Carney Liar

On Sunday’s “Meet the Press,” host David Gregory played White House Spokesman Jay Carney’s now-infamous November declaration that “the White House and State Department have made clear that the single adjustment that was made to those talking points by either of these two institutions were changing the word ‘consulate’ to ‘diplomatic facility’ because ‘consulate’ was inaccurate.”  

He followed up the video clip by declaring “We know that’s not accurate.” 

In Washington DC, using the word “lie” or calling someone a “liar” is almost completely forbidden, unless you’re talking about President Bush and weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. But, let’s parse this passage on “Meet the Press” for a moment and reach our own conclusions, as informed and responsible adults, shall we?  

Carney asserted that the White House and State Department only changed “one word” in the Benghazi talking points.  As Gregory correctly says, “we know that’s not accurate.” But, why didn’t Gregory say,”we know that’s not true?” or, even better, “we know that’s a lie?” 

The only reason Gregory won;t go there is a lie or an untruth is descriptive only in the context of the individual repeating an inaccurate statement also had full knowledge that the statement was inaccurate and said it to serve a deceptive purpose. 

For Gregory to keep his description at “not accurate” rather than “a lie” he is giving Carney the benefit of a pretty big doubt here.  He is granting Carney a cloak of protection that the facts and logic just don’t support. 

  • Does Gregory really believe that the White House press secretary was unaware in November that the State Department and White House had participated in twelve different revisions to these talking points prior to the CIA issuing the draft that was then modified by one word? 
  • Does Gregory really believe that Carney assumed the press was only asking him about the final draft of the talking points, and not the entire creative process involved in the crafting of the talking points?

Logic and common sense suggest otherwise, but for now, Gregory walks a very narrow line and comes oh-so-close to describing Carney’s November assertion of only one word change to the talking points as what it undeniably is: A lie. 

Watch the clip here: