Is '50s pop idol Pat Boone a NewsBuster now? It appears so -- he's got his own blog there and everything. Unfortunately, his first post doesn't reflect well on NewsBusters -- or perhaps it reflects all too well.
The Sept. 3 post is actually a column Boone wrote in June and was published on various conservative websites at that time. It's one of those Obama-is-a-suspicious-foreigner screeds portraying President Obama as a “man without a country” ; Boone writes to Obama, “It seems increasingly and painfully obvious that you are more influenced by your upbringing and questionable education than most suspected.” But in making his point, Boone takes Obama's words out of context and treats paraphrases of Obama as direct quotes (which are also taken out of context).
Boone quotes Obama as saying, “We're no longer a Christian nation,” which he later responds to by writing, “America is emphatically a Christian nation, and has been from its inception!” But, Boone hides the full context of Obama's statement, which highlights the diversity of America:
Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation -- at least, not just. We are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, and a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers.
Boone also quotes Obama as saying, “America has been arrogant,” suggesting he got the idea “during the 20 years you were a member of the Trinity United Church of Christ under your pastor, Jeremiah Wright.” But there's no evidence Obama said that exact quote. Boone appears to be referring to Obama's speech in Strasbourg, France, in which he said that “here have been times where America has shown arrogance and been dismissive, even derisive.” But Boone ignores what Obama said immediately after that:
But in Europe, there is an anti-Americanism that is at once casual but can also be insidious. Instead of recognizing the good that America so often does in the world, there have been times where Europeans choose to blame America for much of what's bad.
On both sides of the Atlantic, these attitudes have become all too common. They are not wise. They do not represent the truth. They threaten to widen the divide across the Atlantic and leave us both more isolated. They fail to acknowledge the fundamental truth that America cannot confront the challenges of this century alone, but that Europe cannot confront them without America.
Boone served up another purported Obama quote: “After 9/11, America didn't always live up to her ideals.” But like the previous statement, that's a paraphrase. It appears to be taken from Obama's speech in Cairo, and again, it's taken out of context:
And finally, just as America can never tolerate violence by extremists, we must never alter our principles. 9/11 was an enormous trauma to our country. The fear and anger that it provoked was understandable, but in some cases, it led us to act contrary to our ideals. We are taking concrete actions to change course. I have unequivocally prohibited the use of torture by the United States, and I have ordered the prison at Guantanamo Bay closed by early next year.
So America will defend itself respectful of the sovereignty of nations and the rule of law. And we will do so in partnership with Muslim communities which are also threatened. The sooner the extremists are isolated and unwelcome in Muslim communities, the sooner we will all be safer.
Perhaps the NewsBusters folks are so intimidated by Boone's awesome star power that they feel no need to fact-check his work.