March 24, 2005


Dirty Democrat Pool (The Prowler, 3/24/2005, American Spectator)

It's Rathergate all over again, and the same vigilant entities that brought about to the collapse of CBS News could now also cause heads to roll among Democratic Senate leadership staffers and further shame multiple news organizations that would appear to have fallen for another document hoax.

Very quietly, Senate Republican leadership aides to both Sen. Rick Santorum and Sen. Mitch McConnell, as well as the Senate Republican Policy Committee, have been using the Senate recess break to reconstruct the purported distribution of a document that media outlets, including ABC News, the New York Times and a number of regional newspapers, identified as Senate "GOP talking points" on the Terri Schiavo fight that unfolded over the weekend.

"There is a process here for documents like this that are passed around down on the Senate floor, which is where the media claimed that the 'talking points' were being distributed last Thursday," says a Republican policy committee staffer. "There was a lot of stuff going on Thursday, but a document like this one was not being distributed. As far as we know, the only documents being handed out related to votes on a series of amendments being pushed through before the recess. Schiavo wasn't part of that package."

The document, which was posted online by ABC News, as well as several Democratic-leaning websites, was unsigned, bore no Senate office letterhead, and was rife with errors, including the incorrect Senate bill number and the misspelling of Schiavo's name. [...]

[R]epublican leadership staffers now believe the document was generated out of the Democratic opposition research office set up recently by Sen. Harry Reid, and distributed to some Democratic Senate staffers claiming it was a GOP document, in the hope -- or more likely expectation -- that it would then be leaked by those Democrats to reporters. In fact, the New York Times stated that it was Democratic staffers who were distributing the "talking points" document.

Why would the talking points have been a story anyway? If they were real all you'd have to do is interview a Republican senator and he'd give them to you.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 24, 2005 1:36 PM

Ah, but the release of such seeming secrets can be so, well, titillating!

At least to ABC. Everyone else seems underwhelmed. But I suppose the trolls at DU and the other hard left blogs have to feed on something.

Posted by: jim hamlen at March 24, 2005 1:48 PM

"...The document, which was posted online by ABC News, as well as several Democratic-leaning websites..."

But I repeat myself.

Posted by: Earl Sutherland at March 24, 2005 2:08 PM

Amazing that Karl Rove continues to do his thing even though GWB can't stand for reelection....

Posted by: curt at March 24, 2005 2:13 PM

Just the latest example of why "journalism" isn't a profession, but an occupation for the otherwise unemployable.

Posted by: Luciferous at March 24, 2005 2:25 PM

Since there are no high-profile names involved on the media's side in this leak investigation -- ABC's Linda Douglass and the Wasington Post's Mike Allen just aren't household names like Dan Rather -- the memo may be retracted as a hoax, and some minor Democratic staffers may face punlishment. But the story won't get the public rebuff the CBS memo scandal did, and will become part of the left's folklore of "fake-but-true" stories, right up their with George W. Bush's plastic turkey in Baghdad.

Posted by: John at March 24, 2005 2:37 PM

"Ah, but the release of such seeming secrets can be so, well, titillating!"

It's wonk-pr0n for Beltway perverts.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at March 24, 2005 2:57 PM

raoul: i think there is a lot of truth in what you said. i listen to this hard-left radio station sometimes (for kicks and giggles) and my god the way they get worked up about their various bete noirs, its like being at a strip club or something.

socialism as a circle-jerk, not a bad metaphor.

Posted by: cjm at March 24, 2005 4:59 PM

John - - you are right.

Posted by: Rod Stanton at March 24, 2005 8:55 PM

Curt: Cheney/Rice in 2008!

Rove did it.

Posted by: Genecis at March 25, 2005 10:04 AM