Who passed the memo on the Senate Floor?

Powerline is a must read this morning.

Answer: Yes– This is Powerline’s definitive reply to and accurate summing up of the Washington Times article “Was the Schiavo Memo a Fake?”

Points:
1. All 55 Republicans state they have never seen that Memo (Until the Post published it)

2. Each of them states plainly that he or she had nothing to do with composing or distributing the memo.

3. Of the 44 Democrats asked, only one claimed to have seen Republicans with it. That lone Democrat was Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa, and he communicated this claim to the WT reporter via a spokesperson. All but two of the remaining 43 Democrats had to admit they’d never seen Republicans with it. Those two…. well, read on.

4. Those two refused to respond! How suspicious is that? They are Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat. Harry Reid refused to respond, yet continued to accuse the Republicans. In fact, Reid claimed, through his spokeswoman, that “News outlets have investigated and authenticated the memo was real and came from Republican sources.”

5. The next question, logically, is to ask Reid for the names of those alleged news outlets, which the Times did. There was no reponse from Reid’s office.

6. Even the Reporters who originally ‘broke’ the story (i.e. performed their usual tricks on behalf of the Democrats) admit that they received the memo from the Democrats.

7. One of Senate Minority Whip Richard J. Durbin’s spokesmen repeatedly told the press that Durbin had seen it- the WT reports this happened in several conversations over the course of three days.

“Asked independently, however, Mr. Durbin said he never saw it.”

The Deputy Headmistress is strongly reminded of the children’s game, “Who Stole the Cookies from the Cookie Jar?” (Incidentally, if you click on that link, it just takes you to a site with a few children’s games, including the Cookie Jar game. You don’t need to download the Japanese characters to get to the site, so just click no and continue- if interested).

The Blogosphere asks: Who passed the memo on the Senate Floor?
The MSM insists: Republicans passed the memo on the Senate Floor.
Republicans: Who, we?
Democrats: Yes, you.
Republicans: Couldn’t be.
Blogosphere: Then who?
Republicans: Democrats passed the memo on the Senate Floor.
Democrats: Who, We?
Republicans and an increasingly suspicious blogosphere: Yes, you.

Greyhawk of the Mudville Gazette has more, and he points out that the only Democrat who claims to have seen Republicans with the memo has told some self serving lies before (language warning), and the media reported them without fact checking.
It is in fact, the media’s part in all this that bothers me most.

How long do you suppose this sort of thing has been going on? I am amazed at how blatant the media is. Just as with the forged documents used in the CBS case earlier this year, when first confronted with challenging questions about the claims the media was making here, the media’s response was basically, “Trust us. This is what we’ve told you, so this is what you ought to believe. What? Would we lie to you?”

The answer, of course, is yes.

It seems to me that this sort of blatant, sloppy, careless, bold carelessness with the truth has all the hallmarks of habitual behavior.

Years ago when I was a young mother, my next-door neighbor told me that children just naturally start telling fibs at a certain age. She shared this information with me because her own child constantly told us great whoppers of lies, and her mother would just listen to her, and then go on about her business. When her daughter wasn’t around, the mother told me about how dishonesty is just a natural stage children go through, so I shouldn’t worry about it when mine started. Sure enough, just a few months after she told me this, my own child started telling me fibs.

I ignored it at first, on the advice of that friend. I didn’t like it, but I expected my child to outgrow it. It got worse. Then I noticed that my friend’s child, two years older, was *still* telling lies. Because her parents never checked her stories and never corrected her when she lied, she had no reason, really, to stop. Her stories got bigger and bigger, and it was clear that this child now lied habitually, because she could and because she’d never been called on it. I could see that this is where we were headed with our child, who had gone from an occasional fib to telling us silly and obvious lies on a daily basis, and this was simply not an acceptable state of affairs.

We took corrective action, several months later than we should have, but we did take it. We quit taking her word for anything, explaining sadly that trust was built on honesty and a reputation for truth telling, which she no longer had. We checked her stories, all of them, even if we were inclined to believe her. If we didn’t have outside supporting evidence, we placed her stories in the ‘not proven’ category, explaining, again, that her own habits of dishonesty required this of us. When we caught her in a lie we called her on dishonesty every single time. Because we’d been letting her deceive us for many months, it took some time and total consistency to redirect her. She had developed a habit of dishonesty. Gradually, however, she grew to put off the habit of dishonesty and to put on the habit of accurate, careful, truth telling.

It appears to me that the media has been getting away with dishonesty and sloppy reporting for decades. It may take a long time to convince them that they can’t get away with it anymore. We are not taking their word for it anymore, because they have lost all credibility. To get it back, they need to put off the habit of dishonesty, sloppy reporting, careless acceptance of Democratic accusations, and put on the habit of careful, accurate truth telling and investigative reporting.

I am deeply grateful for the role of bloggers like Powerline, Malkin, Greyhawk and others in calling the media on their bad habits. Still, it’s rather dismaying that the blogosphere has to act the role of the parents to a number of reporters acting like recalcitrant and dishonest children. Children are at least cute.

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