Josh Marshall

Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.

Articles by Josh

Wayne Barrett is an elder statesmen and giant of the New York City press world. And he's got a file on Rudy Giuliani. In fact, it's probably not a file it's the file on Rudy. It's probably even fair to say he's not a fan of the former Mayor. He used the file to compile "Rudy: An Investigative Biography." And after Rudy again castigated the President as a half-breed outsider who wasn't raised "like us" and isn't "like us" at all, Barrett, apparently had to pull out the file.

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It looks like The Daily Caller is manufacturing phony quotes that are being attributed to State Department official Marie Harf.

It appears the Caller has now deep-sixed the fake quotes without noting any correction or anything else.

Did The Daily Caller make up this a phony quote?

I've generally ignored this Marie Harf sub-drama. How much of a glutton for punishment do I need to be? From a distance it sounded like a clumsy expression of a fairly straightforward point, which is that endemic poverty, social stagnation and repression are often breeding grounds of extremism and terrorist violence. To hear versions of this argument you need look no further than the well-known liberals in the Bush administration who frequently made the argument that poverty, corruption and lack of democracy were the breeding ground of terrorist recruitment in the Muslim world - those dreaded 'root causes.'

So tonight I found my way to an article in the Daily Caller with a follow up outrage by Harf (now it's her undergraduate thesis) reported by Patrick Howley. And in that piece he quotes the part of her exchange with Chris Matthews in which she said, "We need to get to the root cause of terrorism, and that is poverty and lack of opportunity in the terrorist community."

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We spend every day listening to cable news all day long. Literally. So our prism is something of a distorted one. But through every channel and medium through which I absorb the national political debate, it was impossible to miss the tsunami of silly that overcame the nation yesterday as we focused on what is apparently the most critical aspect of evaluating the danger of and fighting ISIL: namely, the vocabulary we use. Who cannot take note of the fact that armchair warriors and toughs who generally have no patience with words and think only force counts seem to believe that the great national question before us comes down to what words we use? Let's call this faction the verbalists.

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