Congressional reporter Carl Hulse ignored his own reporting yesterday when condemning Republican Rep. Joe Wilson's "You lie!" outburst during President Obama's speech to Congress, with Hulse insisting it was a wholly unprecedented outburst. Yet in a 2005 story Hulse admitted Democrats had "hollered" at Bush during the State of the Union when Bush brought up Social Security reform.
Hulse took another bite out of Wilson today, in a story co-written with regional reporter Robbie Brown, datelined Swansea, S.C., "Heckler's District Mostly Supports the Outburst." At least today's story provided a single sentence pointing out that President George W. Bush "drew derisive hoots from Democrats" in his 2005 State of the Union address, while insisting that Wilson's outburst was worse.
In Washington, Representative Joe Wilson of South Carolina was sharply criticized by both Democrats and his fellow Republicans for shouting "You lie!" during President Obama's health care address on Wednesday. But here in his strongly Republican Congressional district on Thursday, he was celebrated by many of his constituents for his outburst.
Some figures on the right, including the broadcaster Rush Limbaugh and Michelle Malkin, a blogger, said Mr. Wilson, who was previously known mainly for backing the Iraq war, had nothing to apologize for and should instead be hailed for his willingness to challenge Mr. Obama on the particulars of his plan.
Some Republicans noted that President George W. Bush drew derisive hoots from Democrats when he made his case for Social Security changes during his 2005 State of the Union address. But Mr. Wilson's Republican colleagues overwhelmingly took the position that he had exceeded the bounds of Congressional decorum and that he took the right step by quickly admitting it.
One lonely paragraph is devoted to the "derisive hoots" Bush got in 2005, which Times Watch first noted yesterday. That specific description of "derisive hoots" was evidently lifted from a contemporaneous report on February 3, 2005 by Times colleagues Richard Stevenson and David Sanger:
He was relaxed and smooth in his delivery, even when some Democrats hooted in derision at his assertions that Social Security is in dire financial straits.
Why didn't Hulse simply quote his own reporting? From a February 3, 2005 story by Hulse and Adam Nagourney, as cited by Times Watch yesterday:
Democrats hollered "no, no!" as Mr. Bush asserted that the Social Security system "would be exhausted and bankrupt" in 40 years, making it appear for a moment that Mr. Bush was standing in the well at the British House of Commons.