Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Poisoning the political discourse

A postponed meeting, even a very important bi-partisan meeting between President Obama and the GOP leadership wouldn't normally be worth mentioning. However, Politico's pathetic ploy to win the morning news cycle with a Drudge-baiting post, apparently "supported" by entirely made up sources, is worth some notice.

Thankfully, Josh Marshall captures Politico's opening grafs so we don't have to link to the purple prose factory.
The roots of the partisan standoff that led to the postponement of the bipartisan White House summit scheduled for Thursday date back to January, when President Barack Obama crashed a GOP meeting in Baltimore to deliver a humiliating rebuke of House Republicans.

Obama's last-minute decision to address the House GOP retreat - and the one-sided televised presidential lecture many Republicans decried as a political ambush - has left a lingering distrust of Obama invitations and a wariness about accommodating every scheduling request emanating from the West Wing, aides tell POLITICO.

"He has a ways to go to rebuild the trust," said a top Republican Hill staffer. "The Baltimore thing was unbelievable. There were [House Republicans] who only knew Obama was coming when they saw Secret Service guys scouting out the place."
Of course, we all know this is pure bullshit. There was no ambush, and in case you somehow forgot the specifics, TPM has all the appropriate links proving Obama was invited to the GOP confab and as the youngsters say -- he drank the Republicans' milkshake. They thought they were going to shoot him down. Instead, he left them looking like utter fools.

Contrast Politico's fabulism with the fully sourced report at The Caucus:
“At the request of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Minority Leader John Boehner due to scheduling conflicts in organizing their caucuses, the President’s meeting with bipartisan leaders will now take place at the White House on Tuesday, November 30th,” read a statement released by the White House.

Don Stewart, a spokesman for the Mr. McConnell, the Kentucky lawmaker, said in an email that there had never really been a firm date. ...
It couldn't be clearer that Politico's shoddy "reporting" is a fatal toxin polluting our public discourse and an affront to responsible, fact-based journalism. Which makes me wonder anew why the Pulitizer Prize committee ever sat Politico's Jim VandeHei on their board and how on earth they can justify keeping him on it in light of Politico's ongoing journalistic malfeasance.

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Anonymous Ruth said...

Rachel did a wonderful job on this last night. I fear that facts are so entirely shunned by the right that their news outlets no longer feel any need to stick with them any longer.

9:10:00 AM  
Blogger Libby Spencer said...

It seems to me they've been fact free for a very long time Ruth. But it's true they don't even try to subtle about it anymore.

11:09:00 AM  
Anonymous Ruth said...

Yeh, I should have said no longer try to rationalize them. There was a time long ago when I did watch Faux occasionally because it would give me the argument against facts. Now I just tune in to CSpan.

12:09:00 PM  

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