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The Politico VS the Left
Posted by: Jon Henke on Thursday, June 14, 2007

This is just fascinating. (via Instapundit)

  • The Politico claims that Harry Reid called Gen. Pace "incompetent".

  • Three liberal bloggers claimed they heard/recalled no such thing.

  • But the Politico interviewed "several sources familiar with the interview" — which, since it was a conference call with liberal bloggers, would suggest that several liberal bloggers confirmed the quote to the Politico.

  • So we have three liberal bloggers who "can't recall" comments made by the Senate Majority Leader on a phone call two days prior (insert snarky remark about the lefty reaction to Alberto Gonzalez failure to recall events from last year) VS, presumably, "several" liberal bloggers who did remember it.

  • Then — evidence! — another lefty blogger says the Politico took the "incompetent" remark out of context.

  • ...except, he then proceeded to note that Harry Reid did, in fact, say "what an incompetent man I thought [Gen. Pace] was".

  • it appears the Politico got the context exactly right. They just failed to offer the applause he expected.

I'm not sure what to make of the story, except that perhaps you shouldn't trust either the memory of Lefty bloggers or their grasp of context.

I do not, however, envy them the impending inquisition, as they try to ferret out the treacherous malcontent who would dare talk to the media and jeopardize the entire mission.


This post is simply remarkable. BarbinMD accuses the Politico of making up news "out of thin air", noting that 7 bloggers on the call "have no recollection of it." Therefore, the Politico was "just making it up".

And then this:
Update: Well, it seems that Reid did say Pace was incompetent.
At which point, BarbinMD apologized to the Politico for questioning their integrity.

I kid!

Naturally, the Daily Kos'r continued to attack the Politico, on the grounds that calling General Pace was "unremarkable" to a bunch of Lefty bloggers, so what's the big deal? At any rate, an apology — like a lot of things in this story — seems to have been forgotten.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

Geiger jumped on that bandwagon as well..

When I was studying journalism way back in the early 1980s, they hammered on us pretty hard about fact checking, verifying sources and not accepting things as fact based on hearsay. I don’t think we covered conference calls specifically, but I believe it was implied that you might not want to go with something in your story’s lead based on unsubstantiated, third-party recollection.

But that’s exactly what The Politico did today when they went to press with the banner headline that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) had "…called Marine Gen. Peter Pace, the outgoing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, ’incompetent’ during an interview Tuesday with a group of liberal bloggers, a comment that was never reported."

I was on that call. And let me explain to The Politico why I did not report on it.

It’s because those of us who actually participated in the conference call heard the context in which Senator Reid made his comments.
Apparently, they did not, his claim not withstanding.

Funny; No retractions from them , as yet. Not that I expect there will be any, despite Reid contradicting their defense of him.

Written By: Bithead
Well this certainly creates a noce contrast between the left and right internet-tuby thing. Seems to me that when one of the right says something stupid the right reaction is, "if s/he did say that, well then a pox on her/his house, but..." whereas the left proudly proclaims, "that’s not what they said."

To me this is a good example of the left bias in the MSM. Lefties dont feel the need to subject themselves to the uncomfortable linguistic contortions of supporting one of their own while denouncing what they say/represent because when the story hits the MSM, the MSM does not hold lefties feet to the fire.

And the left is outraged, calling talk-radio tools of the right...

Written By: bains
URL: http://
Reid admits it himself:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid confirmed Thursday that he told liberal bloggers last week that he thinks outgoing Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Peter Pace is "incompetent."

Reid acknowledged similarly disparaging Army Gen. David Petraeus, head of Multinational Forces in Iraq.

But Reid, whose comments to bloggers first appeared in The Politico, also told reporters: "I think we should just drop it."
Written By: ChrisB
URL: http://
I’m not sure what to make of the story, except that perhaps you shouldn’t trust either the memory of Lefty bloggers or their grasp of context.
Faulty memories? Out of context statements? Scooter Libby got convicted on flimsier evidence than that!
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Let’s remember Gates fired Pace, not Reid. We now have a War Czar, SecDef and an incoming Chair of the Joint Chiefs who are all skeptical of the surge.

What does that tell ya?
Written By: markg8
URL: http://
It seems markgS is making the rounds as he left the same (beside the point) remark on my blog. To which I responded:
I’m not taking a position on the substance of the military/political issue. That wasn’t what the DK post was about anyway. I’m just saying the complaint about Politico was completely unwarranted. And even when the facts prove the DK to be in the wrong they refuse to apologize. Isn’t that exactly what they say they hate about Bush?
Written By: Rich Horton
It tells me that we have a number of political generals who are trimming because their budgets and promotions are approved by Congress.
Written By: SDN
URL: http://
Rick, he is probably another new and improved townhouse bot getting out the new "narrative" for the leftosphere before this damages Reid.
Written By: cap joe
URL: http://
"Context" — the sum of cognitive elements conditioning the acquisition, validity, or application of any item of human knowledge.

You’re not talking about people adept at thinking. They merely know how to work keyboards.
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—

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