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June 26, 2010

WaPo Can't Even Get the Weigel Story Straight
UPDATED

Above-the-Post Update & Bump:

Dave tweets with respect to this post:

Hey, guys, I was referring to the Caller story. You could have learned this if you did, you know, reporting. http://minx.cc/?post=303031

Wow. And here so many people on the right have been saying what a nice guy he is.

First, everyone run over to the Washington Post right now and decide for yourselves whether it appears from the way Kurtz wrote it up that he thought Weigel was referring to emails to the Caller rather than emails to JournoList. I'll wait.

Now that we've got that settled, Dave, don't get snippy with me. Kurtz apparently misunderstood you and his column is written in such a way as to mislead the folks who read it. And, as I wrote earlier, all of the information was available to Kurtz at the Post's own website if he had any interest in getting the story right.

Now, I don't know if that falls under your definition of, you know, reporting, but I don't see why you should have to worry about the Post's brand. After all, you don't work there anymore.

Original Post:
Alright, I thought I was done with this issue yesterday evening, but a Howie Kurtz article on Dave Weigel's resignation caught my eye.

Weigel declined to comment except to say that none of the e-mails was sent after he joined The Post. Earlier, he told the Caller: "I've always been of the belief that you could have opinions and could report anyway. . . . People aren't usually asked to stand or fall on everything they've said in private."

The highlighted part above is absolutely, one-hundred percent not true. Either Kurtz misunderstood what Weigel told him or, well...you know. And to make matters worse, this Kurtz article is the one story on the Weigel meltdown to make it into the print edition.

Weigel started writing for the Washington Post in April. Just last week Weigel sent a funny, but cruel message to JournoList suggesting that it "would be a vastly better world to live in if Matt Drudge decided to handle his emotional problems more responsibly, and set himself on fire."

This was in response to an unflattering link Drudge sent to Weigel on June 14 after Weigel referred to North Carolina Rep. Bob Etheridge's assault as "a hug." (BTW, protip: do not complain about getting links from Drudge Report. What are you, an idiot? There's the firing offense, right there.)

So Kurtz either didn't get the straight dope from Weigel or he somehow misunderstood. Although, that's not really defensible either since all of this info is public knowledge and it's even available at the Post's own website. So Kurtz has now memorialized something untrue in the print edition.

...I'm sure that's not the first time something untrue made it in there.

How many failures along the way here? Well, definitely Kurtz and Kurtz's editor. Possibly Weigel if he lied to Kurtz. So much for "Multiple layers of painstaking editorial fact-checking", right?


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posted by Gabriel Malor at 05:58 PM

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