Christopher Sheil has an excellent parsing and analysis of John Howard’s “denial” statement in relation to the Scrafton allegations. As I mentioned in Chris’s comment box, the critical weasel aspect is that Howard’s statement in his initial paragraph “I had spoken to Mr Scrafton entirely about the video” (as well as “my sole purpose …” in paragraph 2) focuses entirely on what Howard said and intended, and is conspicuously silent on what Scrafton said to him. That is, at no point of Howard’s statement does he actually deny Scrafton’s claim!!!! In fact he’s very careful not to do so while making it appear that that’s what he’s saying (mostly by focusing on what Scrafton didn’t say in the Bryant interview, and hoping casual readers will get the impression Howard is denying that Scrafton said these things to him!). As others have commented, it’s a masterpiece of the weaseling craft.
Chris is promising further parts to his analysis, and I’ll link to them here as he posts them. I think this issue has further to run, but I have to confess that my own attention span is almost exhausted for the moment.
Update – Here’s part 2 of Chris’s analysis.