Thursday, December 22, 2005

James Carville Suckered by Claim that Homeland Security Agents Visited Student Who Ordered Mao Book

The blogosphere is quite skeptical of the story about a University of Massachusetts student who claims to have ordered Mao’s “Little Red Book” by interlibrary loan and then was visited by agents from the Department of Homeland Security.

But some political figures have been less skeptical. James Carville, former political advisor to President Clinton and now a frequent pundit on TV, recited the story as fact on the “Today Show” on December 20, 2005

According to the transcript, accessed via Lexis-Nexis, Carville said the following:
Mr. CARVILLE: Well, first of all my — the holiday ornaments or Christmas ornaments that I have behind me, you never know those blinking lights could be the National Security Agency listening to what I say. No, in all seriousness, I think people take this serious. You see an incident in — a college kid was interviewed for three hours by Homeland Security because he was writing an assigned paper on the Chinese communist. And I think that people have legitimate concerns here. You know, there was plenty intelligence leading up to 9/11. The president, on August the 6th, chose not to act on that — on that intelligence. So we can gather — we have a lot of ability to gather intelligence.
It’s an old story. A bogus claim slips into common discourse and the truth never catches up with a very “good” story.

And what makes the story good? The desire to see the Bush administration as creating am America full of government agents who are out of control.


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