But we digress. Back to what really matters: body language. The New York Times’ Stanley, too, took in Sen. Clinton’s facial expressions during the defending-the-“terrorist-surveillance-program” portion of Bush’s speech. “The cameras panned to Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, who smiled sourly and shook her head,” Stanley reports, allowing readers to draw their own conclusions about what Clinton’s sourpuss signified. Readers are then told that “TV cameras often seek out Mrs. Clinton because she doesn’t always control her features when Mr. Bush has the floor.” That’s a tortured way of saying “Clinton lacks a poker face” — so tortured that, when we read it, we lost control of our own features.


Once we composed ourselves, we were left to ponder the only thing we learned from any of this: the Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post each took a stab at “fact-checking” Bush’s speech. Why didn’t the New York Times?

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.