On the last episode of Q&A, Greg Sheridan called bullshit on a claim made by yappy philosopher Slavoj Zizek and Mona Eltahawy, an Arab-American journalist who really likes to swear a lot on television. (Update: Full transcript now available here. The Q and A Transcript is inacurate. Below version is corrected. It was Eltahawy who made the claim about Bush, not Zizek. Watch the video from about 35 mins. ).
Within seconds, the #qanda twitterstream was full of Sheridan-haters pointing to various questionable references as definitive "proof" that he was wrong and piling on Sheridan.
SLAVOJ ZIZEKMONA ELTAHAWY: You talk about the Muslim Brotherhood, let's talk about the Christian Brotherhood of the United States because I always tell my American friends we might have the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt but there is a Christian Brotherhood in the United States and . . . unlike [the] Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, it actually had an impact on foreign policy because George Bush apparently heard God tell him to invade Iraq and in the name of this . . .
GREG SHERIDAN: Where did George Bush ever say that? That's ridiculous.
MONA ELTAHAWY: You want me to get that for you from the news conference?
GREG SHERIDAN: Yeah, you show me the quote.
MONA ELTAHAWY: I will. I will. I will email it to you.
GREG SHERIDAN: That is complete rubbish.
MONA ELTAHAWY: I will send it to you by Twitter. No, it’s actually true.
GREG SHERIDAN: George W Bush never said that.
MONA ELTAHAWY: He did. He did.
GREG SHERIDAN: You made it up.
MONA ELTAHAWY: No, I did not make it up.
GREG SHERIDAN: There’s something in your coffee.
MONA ELTAHAWY: No, actually, no. I wish.
TONY JONES: Hang on. Hang on. Jon wants to get in here.
MONA ELTAHAWY: Wait. Wait. Wait. Let me finish. Let me finish.
TONY JONES: On his behalf, I’m going to say, please let Jon come in.
JON RONSON: No, can I just say that, just to support what Mona said, George Bush not only said that, but he had his...
MONA ELTAHAWY: Thank you.
TONY JONES: He had a presidential prayer team who would meet every week and pray for...
MONA ELTAHAWY: Exactly. Thank you. Thank you. And the Christian Brotherhood of the United States...
GREG SHERIDAN: You can mock George W Bush for saying prayers ...
JON RONSON: I’m not. But - no, no. This isn’t mocking.
GREG SHERIDAN: ...but that’s not same as saying...
MONA ELTAHAWY: It’s not about prayers he said - didn't he say, “God told me to liberate Iraq"?
GREG SHERIDAN: ...that God told him to invade Iraq?
JON RONSON: Yeah, this is...
MONA ELTAHAWY: He did. He did. And not just that...
TONY JONES: And this is the...
GREG SHERIDAN: No, he didn't. No. No. No. That's completely crazy. That’s...
@katrin_jane Katrin LongExcept Sheridan was right. (Update: Link corrected.)
@monaeltahawy The extent to which Greg Sheridan argued with you about the validity of the Bush/God/Iraq comment was so embarrassing for him.
The quote was at worst a total fabrication, at best the result of poor translation and second-hand retellings of events by untrustworthy Arab liars. You know, the Palestinian leadership.
Eltahawy's response to The Australian is simply sneering that it's a whiny article. No wonder she follows Antony Loewenstein and vice versa. They both make stupid mistakes and then refuse to correct them, albeit one of them has a job.
I previously reported on a blatant falsehood getting the audience into a frenzy. Q and A's Twitter pile-ons demonstrate Churchill's observation that "a lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on".
Update: Here is a conversation (term used lightly) I had with Mona Eltahawy on Twitter. She flat out avoids to answer a very simple challenge but does manage to defame Sheridan and I as drug-takers. She's a classy broad.
(Try this link if it's not displaying properly)