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October 13, 2008

Ben Smith's Idea of Sourcing

Ben Smith, predictably spinning the Palin/C*nt t-shirt wearers:

She added that McCain had, reportedly, used the word himself, "so is it really that offensive?" And she said none of the people pictured were Democrats.

What's the sourcing for that, Ben? Ah yes -- there is none. It is a vigorously repeated lefty rumor. If there were a cite, he could have just provided it, rather than resort to the evasive passive voice locution "reportedly."

Reported? By whom?

I didn't say it was reported by anyone. I said reportedly.

Well, reportedly, the sources for the Ayers story are a couple of people who are fearful of reprisals by Obama's thugs. The difficulty with the sourcing is that they'd like to remain anonymous... and safe.

Does this merit a reportedly mention by Ben Smith?

Of course not. It merits a blackout.

Reportedly, the rules are different for stories that might damage The One.

Doesn't matter. Someone with more balls, at a real news organization, has the story now anyway.

Reportedly, Ben Smith will be giving up a Drudge-alanche/everyone-alanche scoop because he's a partisan who claims that McCain reportedly called his wife a cunt (in obvious jest, by the way, if you know the full quote), but who thinks there's something shady about people being kind of afraid of Obama's thugs and wanting their names kept off the record.

Incidentally, there is an obvious journalistic response to this situation. Even if one is uncomfortable with off-the-record allegations, there are ways to do this.

Simple shit. Simple crap reporters have been doing for 100 years. As in: Call the Obama camp, and tell them you are willing to not run the story but only so long as Obama himself agrees to answer questions about it and provide a denial by his own mouth. And not merely through his spokesmen, who are free to lie as flagrantly as they want, and then merely claim later, when their stories are proven false, that they "misspoke."

And if Obama doesn't want to answer the questions, the story is considered substantiated by omission, and runs.

This is the way it's done.

At least Once Upon a Time when reporters actually dared to ask questions of presidential candidates.

At least one more media outlet has this, by the way, but has the same excess of protectiveness of The One as Smith. At this point, I frankly believe it's an open secret in the media, but no one will bother reporting it.

Or, if they're uncomfortable with the sourcing, even getting Obama on-record about it.

The media knows damn well what they'll find if they start asking about the Ayers-Obama relationship. Indeed, they've already found far too much for their liking. So they've decided just not to ask.

No calls for a press conference like we see daily with Sarah Palin. Obama has been ducking this issue for 20 months and only two questions have been asked of him about this, both reluctantly, and only after vigorous prompting by Hillary Clinton.

And then the rest of the press howled with outrage that such impertinent questions were asked about the closet terror-buddy of a... candidate... for... President... of the United States of America.

How dare they! A man's personal affairs with terrorists are his private business!

So here we are. We have two people willing to tell their own part of the story of the Ayers-Dohrn-Obama relationship, and the media is telling them, "Oh, sure, we'll report it... Maybe. So long as you put yourselves in danger by putting your names out to the public. Surely we cannot afford you the 'off the record' courtesy we provide to every fucking Sub-Bureaucrat in the Department of Bullshit in every meaningless story we write. You and you alone --you common citizens without a GS schedule -- must brave political and personal reprisals under your own names."

Thanks to Treacher.

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posted by Ace at 06:07 AM

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