Posted on | May 11, 2012 | 10 Comments
“And there’s no doubt that . . . the timing of this obviously is in line with Barack Obama coming out a couple of days ago, saying — I’m sorry. It’s a fun — I mean, the media response to Barack Obama saying absolutely nothing. In the immortal words of Pat Buchanan, celebrating ‘a big fat nothing burger’ when Barack Obama basically said, ‘I’ve got the same position on gay marriage as Ron Paul or Ronald Reagan. I’m not going to do anything about it. The states can do what they want.’ But it seems to me that a story like this is timed to go along with the media celebrating Barack Obama saying he’s going to let states ban gay marriage.”
— Joe Scarborough, MSNBC, Morning Joe
Remember that last month the Washington Post fired a young blogger, Elizabeth Flock, for errors in her account of a controversy involving the Romney campaign. WaPo ombudsman Patrick Pexton headlined his account of that incident, “The Post fails a young blogger.”
OK, so who failed on the “BullyGate” story? And if Elizabeth Flock got fired for an inaccurate blog post, how can Jason Horowitz survive multiple inaccuracies in a 5,000-word front-page story? How does the WaPo plan to verify a secondhand quote from a dead man?
Washington Post ombudsman Patrick Pexton can be reached by phone at 202-334-7582 or by e-mail at email@example.com. Be polite.
UPDATE: Ace of Spades:
The story is overwritten and hyped up beyond all reason — silly pranks cast as “terrifying,” the word “terror” and “terrified” appearing multiple times — and then, needing some justification for their overwrought hype, they start inventing other witnesses who, in their telling, have “long been bothered” by the horrors they witness, their every night’s sleep haunted by Romney’s psychotic… um, pranks.
And, I remind you, John Lauber could not be reached for comment.
UPDATE II: A memorable headline from Donald Douglas:
UPDATE III: Bryan Preston at PJM continues aggregating the collapse. Meanwhile, the Washington Post, after first claiming that its airbrushing of errors in Horowitz’s article didn’t require a correction notice, has now . . . well, they’ve “evolved,” I guess you’d say.
UPDATE IV: Did you know that the stockholders in the Washington Post have been accused of “disinvesting” in news operations? Did you know that the Washington Post lost $22.6 million in the first three months of 2012? You’re probably not going to read that news in a 5,000-word front-page article in the Washington Post, eh?
- May 11: ‘BullyGate’: What Did Jason Horowitz Know, and When Did He Know It?
- May 11: No ‘BullyGate’ Pulitzer for WaPo? UPDATE: Using a Second-Hand Source for a Dead Man’s Words? WTF?
- May 10: Probably Just a Coincidencev