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Wallace Falsely Compares Question He Asked Clinton & The Question He Asked Rumsfeld

Reported by Donna - October 2, 2006 -

Today on Studio B with Shepard Smith they had a short segment on the question that President Bill Clinton asked Chris Wallace. He asked Wallace how many people in the Bush administration he had asked the same question to (regarding why didn't the President do more to catch OBL and prevent 9/11).

Well, in order to counter this Wallace dug up a tape from 2004, shortly after Richard Clarke had apologized to the 9/11 families and posed a question to the Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld. However, the questions were not the same, in context, nor in tone.

Shepard Smith started the segment by correctly using President Clinton's words when Clinton asked how many people in the Bush Administration had Wallace asked a question like that.

But Wallace (on video) said that President Clinton had questioned whether Wallace had ever asked a Bush Administation official what they did before 9/11. (Comment: This is not true, the proper context was made by Smith who said that Clinton had asked how many people in the Bush Administration had Wallace asked a question like that. He even showed a video clip of Clinton asking this very question)

In the context of the apology of Richard Clarke, Wallace posed these questions to Rumsfeld, "Do you think it would be appropriate for someone in the administration from the president on down to consider making a similar statement to the families? What do you make of his basic charge that pre 9/11, that this government, the Bush Administration, largely ignored the threat from Al Qaeda? It sure sounds like fighting terrorisim was not a top priority."

Wallace went on to say that this was point one (we never heard what point two was) that this is what they did on Fox News Sunday each week, get the best guest they couldd and ask tough probing questions of the day.

Comment: However, Wallace's question of Rumsfeld was not the same question that he posed to President Clinton, nor was it even in the same attacking context. Wallace came outright and demanded to know why he (President Clinton) had not done more to get Osama Bin Laden and prevent 9/11. This is not the same question he posed Rumsfeld. He asked Rumsfeld in the context of Richard Clarke if the Bush Administration should also consider making an apology to the 9/11 victims families.

And President Clinton asked Wallace how many people in the Bush Administration had he posed this same question to. Wallace changed it to did he ever ask a question like this to people in the Bush Administration.

This was a very poor example of trying to show that you did the same thing to one side as you had done to the other side. He came at President Clinton in an accusing tone asking why he had never done anything more to catch OBL and stop 9/11. The questions posed to Rumsfeld were in the context of what Richard Clarke had said and weren't accusatory at all.

Leave it to Fox to try and say they are fair and balanced and to completely get it wrong. Not only did Wallace get President Clinton's question wrong, he didn't even make the proper comparison for trying to prove his point.