Not a whole lot of nuance

NOT A WHOLE LOT OF NUANCE…. Reader J.W. emails to let me know about this item from MSNBC’s First Read:

Yesterday, we really saw the Obama administration push back against the GOP critiques about 1) trying 9/11 suspected terrorists in civilian courts, and 2) that the alleged Christmas Day bomber stopped talking after he was read his Miranda rights. In fact, it was Maine Sen. Susan Collins — of all people — who delivered last weekend’s blistering GOP radio address: “Abdulmutallab was questioned for less than one hour before the Justice Department advised him that he could remain silent and offered him an attorney at our expense. Once afforded the protection our Constitution guarantees American citizens, this foreign terrorist ‘lawyered up’ and stopped talking.”

But as NBC reported yesterday, citing officials close to the case, Abdulmutallab has begun talking again. And the methods used to get him to talk, according to the administration, was longstanding FBI practices — in this case using Abdulmutallab’s family. The administration argues that Abdulmutallab would have been less cooperative had he faced an interrogator in a military uniform.

Of course, this won’t end the debate; it just adds more nuance to something that it appears is never as black and white as some would like to believe. [emphasis added]

Well, actually, the facts aren’t especially nuanced. Susan Collins made a fairly specific claim in a prepared, broadcasted text — that Obama administration officials questioned an attempted terrorist for less than an hour, and then Abdulmutallab “stopped talking” after being made aware of his rights.

We now know that Collins was simply wrong. Her claims were proven false. She was, by any reasonable definition, either lying or grossly uninformed about her chosen subject. The Obama administration used a specific approach, and it worked just as it was intended to work.

Learning about reality doesn’t “add nuance” to a debate, it ends the debate. Two sides made opposite claims, one of them was made to appear foolish by the introduction of additional evidence.

Is it really that hard for a major news outlet to note when a Republican is wrong, even when confronted with obvious evidence that the Republican made demonstrably false claims to the nation?