In an online Q&A, Terry Neal, washingtonpost.com’s Chief Political Correspondent, answers a reader’s question regarding the Schiavo “GOP Talking Points” memo:
Arlington, Va.: Both the Post and ABC incorrectly reported that the memo was distributed by Republican leaders, and described it as a GOP memo. When will we see a correction?…
Terry Neal: This is what Mike Allen, who wrote the story, told Howie Kurtz about the memo earlier this week:
“The Post’s Allen said “the blog interest has been stoked by secondhand accounts” that the paper’s story referred to Republican talking points. “We simply reported that the sheet of paper was distributed to Republican senators and told our readers explicitly that the document was unsigned, making clear it was unofficial,” he said. “We stuck to what we knew to be true and did not call them talking points or a Republican memo. The document was provided by an official who has a long record of trustworthiness, and this official gave a precise account of the document’s provenance, satisfying us that it was authentic and that it had been used in an attempt to influence Republican senators.” Allen said that under the journalistic ground rules, he could not say whether the source was a Democrat or a Republican.”
So I can’t speak for ABC, but at this point, there’s no reason for a correction, based on what the Post reported.
Neal is apparently unaware that a Post wire story distributed by the Los Angeles Times / Washington Post News Service stated that the memo was distributed by Republican party leaders.
Later on in the same Q&A, another reader asks about the memo:
Springfield, Va: Lets try again. From WashingtonPost.com:
This article, published by the Post with A Reuters byline, clearly states that the memo was distributed by Republican Senators. I think Arlington was right — the Post needs to publish a correction.
Terry Neal: OK…I’ve got to take this one, then I’m out. The Reuters story did not run in the Washington Post. The Washington Post would not run a wire story on something like this. The story was apparently up on the webstite for a minute, but it was written by Reuters. If there is proof that the Republican leadership did NOT distribute this memo, then yes, Reuters should issue a correction. And yes, washingtonpost.com, I would think, would note in the corrections area that Reuters incorrectly reported that fact. But I still don’t think there’s proof that some in the GOP leadership did not pass the memo around.
Washingtonpost.com in fact published not one but two Reuters articles that said the memo was circulated by Republican leaders. They were posted on March 20th, nearly two weeks ago, and are still on the web site today (see here and here).
Whoops. Neal is a nice enough guy. In fact, he came to my house a few weeks ago to interview me for his “Political Players” feature. But he has absolutely no idea what he is talking about.
Even worse, Neal says that washingtonpost.com won’t run a correction for the Reuters story unless someone can show the memo was not distributed by Republican leaders.
OK, now that I see how this game is played, michellemalkin.com can report that Terry Neal (firstname.lastname@example.org) blends puppies and eats them for breakfast every morning. Of course, if someone can prove that he does NOT blend puppies I would be happy to run a correction.
Update: Kevin Craver publishes an open letter to the Post. It’s well worth reading.blog comments powered by Disqus
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