Bin Laden's 'Don't Bother Assassinating Joe Biden' Quote Was Invented By UK Press

Bin Laden's 'Don't Bother Assassinating Joe Biden' Quote Was Invented By UK Press

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

Right-wing bloggers are having a laugh at the expense of Vice President Joe Biden this week because it was reported in the U.K. press that documents retrieved during the Osama bin Laden raid showed Al Qaeda's leader didn't consider Biden to be a worthy assassination target. Bloggers are chuckling because of course the topic of Al Qaeda terrorist attacks are funny.

But what really seems to be driving the story is the money quote from the UK's notoriously unreliable Telegraph newspaper. Note the headline:

Osama bin Laden to al-Qaeda: 'Don't bother assassinating Joe Biden'

Typically in journalism, when words appear in quotes that means somebody actually said those words. But not at the Telegraph and not for the Telegraph's Toby Harnden who, in this, case simply invented the bin Laden quote.

You can go read the Telegraph article, but you won't find the quote from the headline anywhere in the piece (or anything remotely like it) because there's zero indication that bin Laden ever said that or wrote that. Again, Harnden simply made the quote up and then put quotations around it for the headline.

Then, naturally, right-wing bloggers picked up the quote and repeated it, even though it was fabricated in an apparent attempt to make Biden look bad.

Network/Outlet
Daily Telegraph
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