Wednesday, May 24, 2006

"Close" doesn't count

How hard is it to get some of these things right?

Matt Drudge 'reported' this week that Al Gore and his "entourage" traveled in five cars from their hotel in Cannes 500 yards away to where "An Inconvenient Truth" was being premiered. As Think Progress reports, a Gore spokesman says the former vice president and his associates walked to the screening.

Drudge also posted that the Democratic National Committee "secretly placed political operatives in the city of New Orleans to work against the re-election efforts of incumbent Democrat Mayor Ray Nagin." The DNC says the report is "unequivocally and absolutely false," and under pain of a libel lawsuit too costly for a blog to defend, Drudge now says that he takes DNC chairman Howard Dean and his spokesman "at their word."

In defense of his claim that Karl Rove has already been indicted on charges of perjury and lying to federal investigators, Truthout's Jason Leopold said last week that he had "five sources" to back him up. In its latest defense of the story, Truthout says it "now" has "three independent sources" who confirm what Rove's team denies: that Rove's lawyers were given a copy of his indictment on May 12th (or 13th).

Finally, ABC News' The Note raised a question: just exactly what was Karl Rove doing Friday May 19 at O'Hare, the airport that serves the city where Patrick Fitzgerald usually works. Wonkette has the deflation: he was headed to a fundraiser for Republicans in a northern Chicago suburb.

The Note should know that only us little know-nothing bloggers out here in Jerkwater are allowed to post rumorendo ...

Relative to Rove, Salon's Tim Grieve has more (of course he's a little harsher on us new-media types):

Consider the fact that Rove made a few public appearances last week. Maybe that's a sign that the White House thinks that Patrick Fitzgerald has given up on Rove. Or maybe, as conspiracy-minded blogger Wayne Madsen theorized the other day, it means that the grand jury really has indicted Rove already, but that the Bush administration knows that Rove is in the clear because it has gone to court to have the indictment dismissed.

Consider the fact that the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post's Howard Kurtz have both written pieces dismissive of the claim that Rove has already been indicted. Maybe that's a sign that the story isn't true. Or maybe, as Truthout's Marc Ash argues, there's something "telling" about "rolling out that much conservative journalistic muscle to rebut" it.

Consider the fact that Rove's lawyer and spokesman have both denied the already-been-indicted story in interviews with both Truthout and more mainstream outlets. A TalkLeft comment poster has, and believes that Rove's people "now have a foot in the door of the liberal blogosphere" and may be using it "to manipulate their message among us."

And consider the fact that MSNBC's David Shuster said Monday night that Rove's legal team and former prosecutors watching the case "expect Patrick Fitzgerald to announce a decision at any time." Maybe Shuster's really saying that "Rove's people say an announcement by the special prosecutor is imminent," as one Truthout poster claimed. Maybe "the implication" is that Rove is "being cleared," as another asserted. Or maybe what Shuster said Monday night was simply a no-surprise update on the expected schedule of events he described a couple of weeks ago.

For Christ's sake, how much do those big-city beat reporters and TV talking heads get paid these days?

I can do that job better for cheaper. Just sayin' ...

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