White House: Fake But Accurate Churchill Bust Story
UDATE: NYT Doesn't Fact Check White House
Obi Wan Kenobe Visits the White House: This is not the Churchill bust you're looking for.
Now, normally we wouldn’t address a rumor that’s so patently false, but just this morning the Washington Post’s Charles Krauthammer repeated this ridiculous claim in his column. He said President Obama “started his Presidency by returning to the British Embassy the< bust of Winston Churchill that had graced the Oval Office.” This is 100% false. The bust still in the White House. In the Residence. Outside the Treaty Room.See how this works? He responds to Krauthammer's criticism by giving unrelated information, but information so obscure that he believed no one would be able to call him on it. A lie of omission. The worst part here is that after being caught in the lie, instead of apologizing for it, the White House doubles down with Dan Rather "fake but accurate" defense in an update:
The original Churchill bust remained on display in the residence. The idea put forward by Charles Krauthammer and others that President Obama returned the Churchill bust or refused to display the bust because of antipathy towards the British is completely false and an urban legend that continues to circulate to this day.Uhhhhhh, what? So, yes the story we circulated that the Oval Office Churchill bust was never removed was a fabrication .... but since the greater narrative -- that Obama didn't remove the bust out of malice for the Brits or for the Conservative Prime Minister -- is true, then the carefully crafted intentional lie is okay? That's how I read it. And I don't think I'm being unfair here. The White House lied intentionally to make Krauthammer -- and, by extension Mitt Romney -- look like a liar. And their defense is that the greater narrative defines TRUTH, not the fabricated facts. Sound familiar? Remember: Lies in defense of TRUTH are no lies.
UPDATE: It's telling, isn't it? That the NY Times doesn't seem to think fact checking the White House is worth any time or effort. Because, you know, they can be trusted.