To characterize President Bush's factually inaccurate assertions as simple misstatements, or even as dubious or embroidered, is to mischaracterize them ["For Bush, Facts Are Malleable," front page, Oct. 22]. While some of the examples cited may be honest misstatements that suggest a man who does not know what he is talking about, the majority are politically motivated lies, pure and simple. Bush's campaign promise to bring honor back to the White House sounds suspiciously like another one of his "malleable facts."

-- Paul R. Gordon

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Not only is Dana Milbank's article "For Bush, Facts Are Malleable" incredibly biased. But is the fact that an administration uses statistics and hyperbole to its advantage a big news story? I suppose only when the administration is Republican.

Former president Bill Clinton is famous for his mistruths -- and not only concerning his "personal indiscretions." Did your paper ever run a front-page article about how folks in his administration lied to the American people, i.e., their assertion that the economy was in good shape when Clinton left office?

-- Stephen Daugherty

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Let me see if I've got this straight: Here's Dana Milbank describing President Bush's pathological tendency to lie: "embroidering," "dubious, if not wrong," "overstatements," "off-the-cuff mistakes," "imprecise," "taken some liberties," "omitted qualifiers," "matters of perspective," "president's assertions simply outpace the facts."

Now here's what any common-sense person might label Milbank and his reporting on Bush: "one-sided," "enabler," "spin doctor," "propaganda."

Milbank may tiptoe around the truth in order to curry favor with the White House, but don't think for a minute that anyone is fooled. This kind of oblique journalism comes across as pathetically tepid, especially when viewed in light of your paper's history of guarding the nation from the kind political corruption that Bush embodies.

-- Skip Van Hook

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In his article about President Bush's tendency to be less than accurate in asserting various facts, Dana Milbank writes: "Statements on subjects ranging from the economy to Iraq suggest that a president who won election underscoring Al Gore's knack for distortions and exaggerations has been guilty of a few himself."

When was it established as fact that Al Gore has such a knack? Milbank is guilty of a cognitive short-circuit by making such a claim without the substantiation he lends to his treatment of Bush.

-- Doug Bostrom