The Wall Street Journal concocts a story, twisting the work of one of its reporters and garbling the statement of a Dean staffer. Then O’Reilly, Novak, Instapundit, and Hugh Hewitt pick up the story, speaking gravely about a crisis in blogging ethics and grossly misrepresenting the facts to millions of people. (The hapless, well-paid Paul Begala goes along for the ride.)
What should Democrats do in a case like this? There are various possible right answers to that question. (It is not an easy one, mostly because of our weak media presence). But the wrong thing to do is to start talking about blogger ethics.
This was a fake story. Rule One should be “Never take fake stories at face value”.
Dean, Kos, Jerome Armstrong, bloggers in general, and the Democrats have all been hurt to some degree. The William Armstrong story about the Republican misappropriation of government funds for bribes has been mostly forgotten. And all because of a fake story.
Hasn’t this happened before? Aren’t people watching for this kind of thing by now? How many more times can Lucy play her trick on the Charlie Brown Democrats?