Author Bob Kohn falsely claimed former President Bill Clinton "didn't have his facts straight" when he confronted Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday. But Kohn misstated Clinton's assertions to Wallace.
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On the November 27 edition of MSNBC's Scarborough Country, attorney and author Bob Kohn falsely claimed former President Bill Clinton "didn't have his facts straight" when he confronted Chris Wallace during a September 24 interview on Fox News Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday. In fact, it was Kohn who misstated the facts while recounting the exchange.
Asked by host Joe Scarborough whether "Fox News" is "in trouble" because "Democrats that are taking charge of the [Capitol] Hill are saying" that "Fox News is nothing more than [a] mouthpiece of the White House and Republicans" -- an apparent reference to a rebuke of Wallace by Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) -- Kohn replied "I'm not one to criticize another for complaining about media bias. But if you're going to do it, I think you ought to get your facts straight." Kohn then asserted that when Wallace had asked Clinton whether he "had done enough to prevent 9-11," Clinton "blew up" and "complained that Chris Wallace didn't ask that question to anyone in the Bush administration" even though, according to Kohn, "six months earlier, on March 22, 2006, Chris Wallace asked that exact question to [Secretary of Defense] Donald Rumsfeld."
But Clinton did not claim during the interview that Wallace "didn't ask that question to anyone in the Bush administration," as Kohn alleged. In fact, as Media Matters for America documented, Clinton stated: "I want to know how many people in the Bush administration you've asked this question of. ... Tell the truth." Wallace replied, "Have you ever watched Fox News Sunday, sir? ... We ask plenty of questions." Later in the interview Clinton stated, "[Y]ou people ask me questions you don't ask the other side," to which Wallace responded, "That is not true."
As Media Matters has documented, contrary to Wallace's assertion that "[w]e ask plenty of questions," the interview with Rumsfeld to which Kohn apparently referred was the only instance out of dozens of interviews over the five years prior to Clinton's interview in which Wallace and former Fox News Sunday host Tony Snow asked pressing questions of senior Bush aides regarding the Bush administration's efforts to pursue Al Qaeda in the eight months prior to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks -- and in the years since. Moreover, while Kohn claimed Wallace's interview with Rumsfeld occurred on March 22, 2006, "six months" prior to his interview with Clinton, the Rumsfeld interview actually took place two years earlier, on March 28, 2004.
Kohn is the author of Journalistic Fraud: How The New York Times Distorts the News and Why It Can No Longer Be Trusted (WND Books/Nelson Current, 2003) and is a former columnist for the right-wing news website WorldNetDaily. In May 2004, as Media Matters noted, Kohn claimed in a WorldNetDaily article that "evidence suggests" Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) was having an affair with a New York Times reporter; that article has since been removed from the WorldNetDaily website.
From the November 27 edition of MSNBC's Scarborough Country:
SCARBOROUGH: Bob Kohn, that's been, really, the left's talking points for some time, that Bill O'Reilly, Fox News is nothing more than [a] mouthpiece of the White House and Republicans. Now it looks like Democrats that are taking charge of the Hill are saying it too. Is Fox News in trouble?
KOHN: Well, I'm not one to criticize another for complaining about media bias. But if you're going to do it, I think you ought to get your facts straight. You know, when Clinton was on Chris Wallace, Chris Wallace asked him whether you had done enough to prevent 9-11, and that's when Clinton blew up. And he complained that Chris Wallace didn't ask that question to anyone in the Bush administration.
Well, six months earlier, on March 22, 2006, Chris Wallace asked that exact question to Donald Rumsfeld, OK? So Clinton didn't have his facts straight.