Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Lying with other people's work

This seems about as close to lying as you can get and still have your pants on. Not the "won't stop Iran" part; that's an opinion and thus not falsifiable -- the part about what the Kenyan did or didn't admit. Here's Fox's version:

The president was attempting to answer the charge that the deal framework agreed upon by the U.S., Iran, and five other nations last week fails to eliminate the risk of Iran getting a nuclear weapon because it allows Tehran to keep enriching uranium.

Obama said that Iran would be capped for a decade at 300 kilograms of uranium -- not enough to convert to a stockpile of weapons-grade material.

"What is a more relevant fear would be that in Year 13, 14, 15, they have advanced centrifuges that enrich uranium fairly rapidly, and at that point, the breakout times would have shrunk almost down to zero," Obama said.

Correctly quoted; Fox doesn't do a lot of original reporting on international issues, but when it transcribes other people's work, it's usually pretty accurate. Of course (you first-language speakers might have noticed this), that means it also transcribed the bit about what a relevant fear "would be." Which kind of sets up the next few sentences, from the NPR transcript:

Keep in mind, though, currently, the breakout times are only about two to three months by our intelligence estimates. So essentially, we're purchasing for 13, 14, 15 years assurances that the breakout is at least a year ... that — that if they decided to break the deal, kick out all the inspectors, break the seals and go for a bomb, we'd have over a year to respond. And we have those assurances for at least well over a decade.
And then in years 13 and 14, it is possible that those breakout times would have been much shorter, but at that point we have much better ideas about what it is that their program involves. We have much more insight into their capabilities. And the option of a future president to take action if in fact they try to obtain a nuclear weapon is undiminished.

You can make your own decisions about the Kenyan's gullibility, but I find it hard to see it as an admission that anyone's going to have anything. If Chelsea Clinton manages to hold off Amy Carter in the Democratic primaries and thwart President Cruz's third-term ambitions, she's  going to have about the same decision-making window for launching a preemptive war as the current president. Unless there's something in the transcript I'm missing?

Foxwise, the only thing I find surprising is the play. The story spent most of Tuesday morning at the top of the homepage (that's the lower inserts, with the hed above the art). Why move it downpage when you've finally tweaked the hed into its own blissful state of deranged paranoia? I mean, at this point, you're not expecting people to actually read the story, are you?

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