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DID THE MSM LEARN NOTHING FROM RATHERGATE?

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By thisistwitchy  •  March 24, 2005 05:39 AM

John Hinderaker of Power Line got this quote from an ABC News source (via Josh Claybourn) on the fishy Schiavo memo first disclosed by ABC News reporter Linda Douglass:

the memo discussed a republican bill and was distributed to repulbican senators. That’s what we reported. we are obviously not going to divulge our multiple sources. I appeciate your questions, but believe you are approaching this from the wrong end. We asked numerous sources – all confirmed that senators had received the memo in conjunction with one of the bills on the floor. For three days none of those sources has given us any reason to think there is more to the memo than a particularly naked expression of the politics of Shivo case.

Reading between the lines, Hinderaker says ABC News “admits that it knows nothing about who authored and distributed the memo.”

ABC News appears to be defending itself on the ground that Douglass never claimed the memo was written or distributed by Republicans. This is true, as I noted yesterday, but Douglass’s reporting isn’t the issue.

The issue is the ABCNews.com headline characterizing the memo as “GOP talking points“–a description that strongly implies the memo was drafted and circulated by GOP higher-ups.

The issue is also Kate Snow’s statement on Good Morning America that “ABC News has obtained some talking points that Senate Republicans were circulating….”

Will ABC News officials continue to stonewall, as Dan Rather et al. so famously did just a few months ago? Or will they come clean and promptly issue a correction? What about the Washington Post, which strongly implied in this article that Republicans were responsible for the memo? And what about all the other pundits, from Chris Matthews to Cynthia Tucker, who stated explicitly that Republicans distributed the memo–a statement that an anonymous ABC News official now says ABC News never reported?

You would think the MSM learned something from RatherGate. Apparently not.

Update: Scrappleface is on the case with another anonymous GOP memo. Hah.

Clarification: The blockquote above came from reporting by blogger Josh Claybourn. See his excellent post and updates at In the Agora.

Update II: Others blogging the story…

Lorie Byrd and Ankle Biting Pundits: Name that scandal!

Ed Driscoll’s offering: The return of the son of fake but accurate?

You’re in the Right Place and Fishkite follow the trail.

Will Franklin weighs in.

The American Prowler’s article is here.

John Hinderaker is scheduled to appear on Larry Kudlow’s show later today.

Update III: Josh Claybourn has another update and writes: “Those who broke the story and uncovered it – ABC News – suggested GOP authorship but now refuse to say that. I think this story is falling apart, and someone needs to shoulder the blame.”

Update IV: The winner of Ankle Biting Pundits’ Name That Scandal contest is here.

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