Kristol Admits Another Error — This One on Obama Smear

By: E&P Staff

Bill Kristol, columnist for The New York Times, had to offer another correction today.

Kristol wrote in today’s column, in attempting to debunk Sen Barack Obama’s denial that he was ever present when his Chicago pastor made some of his most “offensive” remarks: “But Ronald Kessler, a journalist who has written about [Rev. Jeremiah] 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.”

He did not identify Kessler as writing for a conservative Web site NewsMax, and that Kessler had a single source.

Marc Ambinder at theatlantic.com, and others, quickly charged “error,” pointing out that Obama was in Miami campaigning on the day in question. The Obama campaign verified this.

Now Kristol has admitted his error, posting at the end of his column on the Times’ site: “In this column, I cite a report that Sen. Obama had attended services at Trinity Church on July 22, 2007. The Obama campaign has provided information showing that Sen. Obama did not attend Trinity that day. I regret the error.”

Kristol’s column has been plagued by errors in its short run so far.

For his part, Kessler at Newsmax admits today that his source now has fallen away from his specific July 22 claim, saying, “he attended several services at Senator Obama’s church during the month of July, including July 22,” and can no longer be certain of which date he has written about.

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