This is a kind of odd:
Bush Downplays Thompson's Terror Worries
By JENNIFER LOVEN, AP White House Correspondent
WASHINGTON - President Bush played down on Saturday a stark warning from his resigning health chief that the nation's food supply is largely unprotected from terror attack.
When I see the word "downplays" in this context, I expect to see some explanation of why Thompson is exaggerating or wrong. But there's nothing like that in the article. Quite the opposite. Behold:
Bush said that the government is doing what it can to safeguard the public from threats, but much work remains.
"We're a large country, with all kinds of avenues where somebody could inflict harm," said Bush....
That's an odd way of downplaying a threat. It gets even better, though:
Asked to respond to Thompson's comments, Bush neither criticized them nor implied that the food supply is safer than Thompson asserted.
Perhaps the logic here is that when Bush believes something, it immediately becomes less plausible; his agreement with a given proposition weakens it.
I suspect this article will read very differently in a few hours.