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Blog of the Year

Radley Balko:

My question is, what will the screeching bomb-throwers at Powerline do about this? They've been pushing the "fame memo" meme for weeks. They repeatedly stated matter-of-factly that the memo was a "fake," and implied over and over again that it was a Democrat dirty trick. If a media figure had made the same mistake, the Powerline mob would be calling for a resignation. It'd be nice if Powerline provided an apology and retraction.

Don't hold your breath.

So far, they've completely ignored the fact that they were dead wrong on the memo, that they wrongly cast aspersions on the opposing party, and that they misled their readers. Instead, they simply continue to blame the media, and Democrats.

Indeed. Just keep in mind: Jimmy Carter is a traitor.

April 7, 2005 | Permalink


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Interestingly, Powerline now appears to be of the opinion that the author of the memo was a Democratic double-agent working in Martinez' office. The mind reels...

Posted by: Jeremy Osner | Apr 7, 2005 1:01:15 PM

Creative epistemology: "You didn't know it wasn't fake, therefore we were right to assert that it was."

Posted by: Grumpy | Apr 7, 2005 1:09:31 PM

Balko's sobriquet Powerlies certainly appears to be appropriate.

Posted by: deckko | Apr 7, 2005 1:09:42 PM

Read Powerline today -- they are entirely justified and correct. You LIEberals are always wrong. All 55 Republican senators say they have never seen the Terri Schiavo political talking-points memo that Democrats say was circulated among Republicans during the floor debate over whether the federal government should intervene to prolong her life.

And DeLay is a TRUE patriot, which is why you commies hate him.

Clinton was a traitor. Anything done to oppose / undermine Clinton is Patriotic. We will Pay Any Price and Bear Any Burdon to Protect and Promote Freedom against you commie fascist murderers.

The time will come when you all will get yours....

Posted by: Al | Apr 7, 2005 1:13:43 PM

I believe that the Bush administration has established that the truth is something you create by repetition. The last election cycle made it obvious that you should never go off-message, regardless of the "facts".

Posted by: Mr.X | Apr 7, 2005 1:14:51 PM

Hey, Stalker Al is following me over here from Drum's place. Awesome!

Posted by: Real Al | Apr 7, 2005 1:15:28 PM

Just keep in mind: Jimmy Carter is a traitor.

And, more importantly, Michael Moore is fat.

Posted by: Thlayli | Apr 7, 2005 1:21:35 PM

but, there was an incorrect adjective and maybe a bad plural in a WaPo story! that means Tom DeLay was right all along - Shiavo really was God's gift to the conservative cause! and even the fact that the GOP followed the points outlined in the memo is irrelevant ! all hail Republicanism. go RedRocket!

Posted by: cleek | Apr 7, 2005 1:35:44 PM

It baffles me (many things do) that nobody has tracked down the author of the Rather memo forgery. It was a ham-handed attempt that added very little to the known facts of the case: Bush's father helped get him into the ANG to evade Vietnam service (OK the motivation is up for interpretation, but since he checked on a form that he signed that he did NOT want to go to Vietnam, it is as much a recorded fact as that Clinton inhaled marijuana), that he failed to maintain his flight readiness by illegal failure to take the required flight physical and that the mandated investigation of this was never done.

The Rathergate memo would have done little to help the Democrats, and it enormously helped the Republicans. Who was responsible for it? Powerline?

Posted by: epistemology | Apr 7, 2005 1:45:30 PM

As punishment, I suggest John "Fraudrocket" Hinderaker serve as co-host on CNBC's "Kudlow & Company."

Posted by: Gary Johnston | Apr 7, 2005 2:02:24 PM

Dumbocrats is some bitches!!!1

Posted by: Pho Realz Al | Apr 7, 2005 2:14:35 PM

"Earnest advice to one's opponent", or "If I were a conservative, I'd...", is the cheesiest, wimpiest passive-aggressive gambit in the entire playbook of political debate. So I won't say that it would really be in the interests of Powerline for Hindrocket to climb down as graciously as he can.

But I can't imagine that watching them eat crow, whether abashedly or defiantly, would be any funnier than watching them flailing about, denying the obvious.

Posted by: ktheintz | Apr 7, 2005 2:33:20 PM

Pho Realz Al got it right.

Democrats play slow pitch soft ball, while Republicans are big leaguers on steroids. May change 2008 when Dems get a candidate with Ballz: Hillary.

Till then pwn3d11!!!!11 by pussies like Hindrocket.

Posted by: epistemology | Apr 7, 2005 2:35:12 PM

As to the Powerline boys, their clownish, asslike adherence to their convenient theories simply means that they are not to be taken seriously, or, except in derision, taken note of at all.

Posted by: fear is the mind killer | Apr 7, 2005 2:38:02 PM

I realize that it's a little different (being about sex rather than policy), but the more extreme partisans on the liberal side, as far as I know, never apologized for their disparaging comments about Monica Lewinsky-- saying that she was a delusional stalker, etc.-- after Clinton fessed up.

There are a lot of people, on both sides of the political aisle, who will take the denial of wrongdoing by someone on their side as sufficient justification to go out and attack the characters of whoever it is who is giving them heat, with no basis whatsoever. Attacking people's characters without having any factual basis for the attack is unfortunately part of modern politics. And the fact that Clinton's policies were better than the Republicans' is no justification for the things that some people said about Monica.

Posted by: Dilan Esper | Apr 7, 2005 2:38:58 PM

I think I figured out the right spin. Simply use the fact that ABC News was accused of reporting a fake memo as proof that the "American people" (i.e. rightwing bloggers) have lost all confidence in the "liberal" mainstream media.

The fact that Americans did not even believe a solidly researched story on a real memo only goes to show the severity of their loss of confidence, and can be cited as further proof of the leftwing bias of the media.

This sounds a little nutty, but the more I read it over, the more I can imagine someone taking it seriously. In any case, there's nothing nutty about the basic strategy: play down rightwing bloggers being wrong (or as good as a stopped clock on detecting forgeries) and play up the supposed liberal bias of the media.

Posted by: Paul Callahan | Apr 7, 2005 2:53:33 PM

Among the certainties of today's American conservative movement is the hostility towards objective truth and the scientific method. As I wrote in "The Potemkin President", the Lysenkoism of the Right requires an attack on any finding that runs counter to its policies or ideology.

The Right's same fierce denial, it appears, also applies to journalistic and artistic merit. Throughout the conservative blogosphere, foaming-at-the-mouth contrarians like Michelle Malkin and Powerline are up in arms over the Pulitzer prize selections for photography. The photos, they claim, at best only show the violence and chaos of Iraq and at worst, reveal photojournalists in cahoots with the insurgents. Instead, these bloggers want to see awards going only to those images reflecting American heroism, courage, and beneficence. The same Michelle Malkin who offered three cheers for World War II internment of Japanese Americans even provides a scorecard of virtue for the photographs.

Their Pulitzer rage still on the boil, we can expect more overheated conservative bloviating with today's announcement of the Peabody Awards. Why? Because CBS News with Dan Rather won a Peabody for its coverage of the Abu Ghraib scandal in a segment produced by conservative Memogate villain Mary Mapes. And Jon Stewart and the Daily Show were honored for their 2004 election coverage. Don't be at all surprised to hear Bill O'Reilly weigh in on the matter. Among his staggering record of lies is his fraudulent claim, as Al Franken pointed out, to have won two Peabody awards of his own.

With each day, the eery parallels between the conservative ascendancy and Stalin's USSR grow more disturbing. Their shared disdain for science enshrines mythology over truth in the realm of public policy. And apparently, they each share guidelines for what constitutes acceptable art. Socialist Realism, meet Conservative Surrealism. Or maybe it should just be called Peabody Envy.

For more, see:

"Peabody Envy"

Posted by: Jon | Apr 7, 2005 2:55:35 PM

The guys at Powerlies are attorneys; their client is malicious bufoonery; and they represent it well.

Posted by: creepy dude's evil friend | Apr 7, 2005 3:28:11 PM


Creative epistemology

Thank you.

Seriously, these guys are just on board with the Bush/Rove epistemology according to Rummy:
But the truth is, there are things we know, and we know we know them -- the known knowns. There are things we know that we don't know -- the known unknowns. And there are unknown unknowns; the things we do not yet know that we do not know.

Hindrocket has such a vast reservoir of unknown unknowns in his head that he sometimes thinks he knows even known unknowns.

I hope that clears it up.

Posted by: epistemology | Apr 7, 2005 3:36:01 PM

There are a lot of people, on both sides of the political aisle, who will take the denial of wrongdoing

God this sophistry gets old. Not to overly malign you, Dilan (it happens in every single thread of this sort), but this line of "reasoning" or whatever it is is silly. The fact that Joe murdered Fred is in no way relevant to the case of John murdering Sally. The fact that Democrats may have not owned up to some past error is in no way relevant to the fact that Powerline et al. won't own up for this serious lack of judgment on their part.

At best, this is a misguided and naive attempt at balance. At worst, it is nothing more than a diversion away from the real warts of the current issue.

Posted by: tango | Apr 7, 2005 4:02:04 PM

Jimmy Carter, Peacemonger

If you never saw it, try to dig up The Onion's story about Jimmy Carter (it now lives behind their subscription wall). You can get a flavor for it by googling:

Jimmy Carter "crimes against inhumanity"

Posted by: &y | Apr 7, 2005 4:13:57 PM

here's that Onion article, thanks to the kindly folks at the internet archive...

Posted by: tom | Apr 7, 2005 5:34:59 PM

Once again, the conservative punditocracy and blogosphere is learning the painful lesson that the truth does not necessarily set you free.

From Fox News and Rush Limbaugh to virtually the entire right-wing blogosphere, the regiments of right-wing venom were all wrong about the much-hyped "GOP Schiavo talking points memo." Over the past 10 days, they called it a fraud, or in Limbaugh's case, a Democratic forgery, all in the hope of a redux of the CBS Memogate affair...

For more, see:

"Being Conservative Means Never Having to Say You're Sorry"

Posted by: Jon | Apr 7, 2005 6:21:25 PM

Well, yes, but is this really news? I mean, you read the National Review once because it looks like it might be a serious magazine, and maybe a second time for "the horror, the horror". But who in their right mind reads it a third time?

Maybe I am just enjoying too much a life so far from the corridors of power that I sincerely don't care what the suits think of me. It can't be easy networking among today's ruling classes.

Posted by: serial catowner | Apr 7, 2005 6:40:53 PM

Being a blogger means never being fired if you refuse to say you're sorry. Which is one of the reasons why I take a very dim overall view of blogdom.

Posted by: Bruce Moomaw | Apr 7, 2005 8:26:20 PM

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