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April 07, 2005



Great rundown, Michael. This could easily be turned into a wikipedia page on the events surrounding the Schiavo memo.

I do have a prediction, though, which isn't really saying much. One would think that this would either be the end of Power Line, or they'd straighten up a bit to avoid this kind of attention. I don't either of these will come to pass.

They've received a harsh blow today, but I predict that they'll get even more radical with their positions as a means of rectifying the situation, i.e. regaining the trust of the more moderate portion of their audience. That said, get ready for a fun few months. If they thought they were targets of ridicule before, they're in for a rude awakening.


You know Ryan, in a reasonable world, you'd be right that this would either be the end of Powerline or cause them to straighten up, but in a case of cognitive dissonance like this, I imagine that this little episode won't have any effect at all on their base of followers. Why should it? Their followers will simply assume that Assrocket et al were victims of the same liberal media establishment they've been trained to believe exists and will go on believing anything those clowns post--it's a textbook case. When the available facts challenge their belief system, they don't change their beliefs--they ignore the facts. That's the reason creationism is still so widely accepted, and why so large a percentage of Americans believe Saddam hussein had WMD, that we found them, and that Hussein was linked to the 9/11 attacks despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.


Sad but true.



Is the mainstream media trying to bludgeon republicans with this fake memo? No, it wasn't actually that widely written on at the time, and the only reason the story is still going is that Powerline is pushing it.

Powerline, instead of admitting these obvious facts, is now saying that the Post is still guilty of "only a slightly less egregious offense than if the memo had actually been written by the Democrats." For example,

The whole point of the story, as initially reported, was that the document was an official "GOP memo[.]"

They're still lying. Incredible. Actually, no one ever said it was an "official 'GOP memo,'" in the sense that it came from the RNC. They said it was a "GOP talking points memo," and that is an accurate description (it is a memo by a republican containing talking points). Nothing about any official capacity. The phrase "Republican officials" was used, and surely not even Powerline puts much stake in the word officials. The word "officials" is always ambiguous in the news, and often means staffers (see this article for a parsing of the phrase "Senior Administration Official").

The original wire story put out by the Post said it came from, or was distributed by "republican party leaders".

Don't believe me, believe the St. Louis Dispatch who printed this retraction


"A Washington Post article about congressional intervention in the Terri Schiavo case published March 19 in the Post-Dispatch included a description of a memo asserting that the action could benefit Republicans politically. The article said the memo was "distributed to Republican senators by party leaders." A later version of the story did not specify the authorship. The authorship remains unknown."

The original WaPost news service article said it was distributed by party leaders. CLEARLY FALSE


How about the end of ABC and WashPost for running with a story that turned out to be so different than their initial report.

From what has come out the story's knowns are:

1. Memo written by legal counsel for Sen. Martinez
2. Martinez claims he never read it (as I previously posted, either way he is stupid. He either didn't read it and gave it to Harkin or he did read it and gave it to Harkin. Both possibilities shows he is stupid on this issue)
3. Martinez gave it to Harkin
4. Harkin tipped the media on it...actually we don't know this for sure but how was it that ABC knew of this memo?

Seems like these 4 items were no where in the original reporting by ABC and WashPost. Where is their accountability?

here's what's left


if you're going to comment on my site, READ THE POST.

you say:

The original wire story put out by the Post said it came from, or was distributed by "republican party leaders".


As Kevin Drum points out, all they've got on the Post now is that their reporter, Mike Allen, wasn't clear in his choice of words. And Mike Allen corrected himself in a second draft of the story. He changed

"A one-page memo, distributed to Republican senators by party leaders, said the debate over Schiavo would appeal to the party's base, or core, supporters."


"An unsigned one-page memo, distributed to Republican senators, said the debate over Schiavo would appeal to the party's base, or core, supporters."

Mike Allen at the WaPo corrected himself[.]

dmeyers, i know you're a partisanship blinds you and all, and that's fine. but don't let it blind you so much that it prevents you from reading what i've written.

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