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Discussion: (4 comments)

  1. Michael Stein

    Does Ms. Pletka know how to read and comprehend simple English at the grade school level? She writes:

    “But much as [Hagel] claimed not to have wanted the SecDef position (despite having lobbied for it using an actual lobbying firm)…”

    The plain meaning of the above text is that Hagel hired a lobbying firm to seek the position of Secretary of Defense. However, the source linked to from the last three words above clearly says, “Foreign Policy reports that the Podesta Group ‘is channeling as much as $35,000 to sponsor Mike Allen’s Playbook as it lobbies for the nomination of Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense.’”

    I was not aware that Chuck Hagel had a nickname of “The Podesta Group”. But maybe Ms. Pletka meant to say that he’s paying The Podesta Group to lobby? The link further says, “The Bipartisan Group, an association advocating Hagel’s nomination, hired the Podesta Group”.

    Got that? The Podesta Group was hired not by Hagel, but The Bipartisan Group. And nowhere in the remainder of that link does it say that Chuck Hagel is a member of said Bipartisan Group. In other words, the article Ms. Pletka claims as her source that Hagel himself used a lobbying firm does not provide any support for her claim.

    1. To Michael Stein,

      The words by Ms. Pletka are “using an actual lobbying firm”. Those words do not include “paying for a lobbying firm”.

      You are saying that Hagel can’t have used a lobbying firm unless he paid for it. Did Hagel refuse the actions of the lobbying firm, and refuse to meet with them? Was he lobbied-for against his will?

      1. Michael P. Stein

        @Andrew_M_Garland: You are correct that “using an actual lobbying firm” does not necessarily mean that he is funding it. However, by the ordinary rules of language it does mean that at the very least he took some active role. Ms. Pletka’s supposed source does not even say that. It does not even say he was aware of the intentions of the Bipartisan Group to hire an actual lobbying firm before the fact. Even if we were to pretend – contrary to honest use of language – that Hagel’s failure to object even _after_ the fact means he was using the lobbying firm, Ms. Pletka’s supposed source does not even say that he was aware _at any time_ of the use of the Podesta Group! Nor does it say that he met with them. Unless you have a different source that does provide credible evidence of such, you are merely engaging in conjecture.

        What you further fail to understand is that in this case, it is irrelevant whether Hagel did or did not meet with someone from the Podesta Group, or whether Hagel was aware at any time that “an actual lobbying firm” was hired. The issue is simply this: Ms. Pletka insinuated that a particular source provided evidence for her claim. When properly read, however, her supposed source did not in fact provide a scintilla of evidence that Hagel himself knew anything at any time about the Podesta Group. Making a claim of fact without proper evidence is a journalistic sin whether or not the claim turns out to be true.

  2. truthteller

    Hagel is unqualified but Bolton is the biggest tool on the planet. There is no comparison, and I say this as gently as I possibly can.

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