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July 25, 2012

Birth of a Meme (As Predicted By Drew)

Yesterday Drew did a post on a BuzzFeed piece by Andrew Kaczynski that alleged Mitt Romney was a hypocrite on the White House's national security leaks because of his prior defense of Scooter Libby. Sure, this seems like a minor point in the grand scheme of things, but Drew made the following observation:

Why is this even remotely important? Buzzfeed's political posts can be launching pads of MSM story-lines. Once a false version of something gets going, it's impossible to unring a bell.

Shocking no one while proving Drew right, both DNC Daily Newsletter Politico and the NYT's execrable Maureen Dowd picked up the story overnight. David Axelrod tweeted a link to Dowd's column this morning.

A question I have is, where did this story originate? As Drew pointed out, Kaczynski was informed of a fundamental error in his piece by several people on Twitter. And he interacted with them, so it's not like he was unaware of the criticism.

One thing I'm reminded of here is the Daily Caller's takedown of Media Matters from a few months back.

“Ben Smith [formerly of Politico, now at BuzzFeed.com] will take stories and write what you want him to write,” explained the former employee, whose account was confirmed by other sources. Staffers at Media Matters “knew they could dump stuff to Ben Smith, they knew they could dump it at Plum Line [Greg Sargent’s Washington Post blog], so that’s where they sent it.”

I wonder if Kaczynski was so insistent on sticking with the original storyline because he didn't have a say in the matter? My interactions with him on Twitter have generally been pretty good, but he blocked Slublog after Slu was so rude as to tweet the following observation/question to him:

@BuzzFeedAndrew Conjecture is not reporting. Do you have proof the Romney camp leaked to Drudge, or are you just pulling it from thin air? (@Slublog)

Yeah, that's some block-worthy stuff right there.

If Kaczynski and the BuzzFeeders can speculate on whether the Romney campaign floated the Condi Rice for VP rumor to Drudge, I think it's more than fair for us to speculate that the Scooter Libby story may have been planted by the Obama campaign or Media Matters (BIRM). I don't have any evidence, but that doesn't appear to be the standard, does it?

This is really a shame, because Kaczynski appeared to be a pretty fair-minded guy for a while, especially compared to his hack of a boss Ben Smith and the rest of the left-leaning media generally.

But like the old adage goes, when you lie down with dogs you get up with fleas. My unsolicited advice to Kaczynski would be to get the hell out of there while he still has a shred of dignity left, but it may be too late.

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posted by Andy at 03:42 PM

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