Marc Ambinder points out an error in William Kristol’s column this morning:
Bill Kristol’s New York Times column about Barack Obama this morning contains a major, prejudicial error.
But Ronald Kessler, a journalist who has written about Wright’s ministry, claims that Obama was in fact in the pews at Trinity last July 22. That’s when Wright blamed the “arrogance” of the “United States of White America” for much of the world’s suffering, especially the oppression of blacks. In any case, given the apparent frequency of such statements in Wright’s preaching and their centrality to his worldview, the pretense that over all these years Obama had no idea that Wright was saying such things is hard to sustain.
The error is in trusting the source without checking.
The truth is that Obama did not attend church on July 22.
He was on his way to campaign in Miami.
(Here is some video evidence.) This was before he signed an agreement forbidding himself from campaigning in Florida.
The original source was a Newsmax article linked to by Ambinder. The NYT seems to have fallen on hard times when it comes to fact checking but it is odd that Kristol would have two blatant errors (that were easily checked) during his short term in his new job.
UPDATE: A comment by Anna on Ambinder’s post makes an excellent point:
I think the worst part isn’t even that he USED Newsmax. But rather, that he didn’t even CITE that it was his source. Saying that his source is “a journalist who has written about Wright’s ministry” is very different from saying “Ronald Kessler from Newsmax”. He’s making it sound like a legitimate story when it might as well have come from the National Enquirer. What a tool.