Sunday, June 03, 2012


Did liberals learn nothing from Rathergate? Look, if you've got what seems to be a massively scandalous story about a Republican in a major race and you bring it up at the eleventh hour without making 100,000% certain that it can stand up to scrutiny, you're just asking to be humiliated. For crissake, if you have a lick of sense, you don't run a story like this one, which claims that Wisconsin governor Scott Walker impregnated a college classmate and then abandoned her and her baby when this is your level of truth-testing:

To the extent possible we have verified its accuracy, including the accuracy of details not printed here in order to protect the identities of the people involved. All of the elements are consistent: the principals were at Marquette University when the incidents recounted here allegedly happened, and "Ruth" did have a baby shortly thereafter. However, attempts to reach "Ruth" and her first husband have been unsuccessful, as phone numbers listed for each have been disconnected, and so far we have not been able to independently verify Bernadette's account.

Here's Kos's follow-up:

The story that Scott Walker abandoned his pregnant girlfriend in college (dKos diary link) apparently failed the first test of verification by a professional reporter. Daniel Bice, the "Watchdog" columnist of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Online interviewed the anonymous woman who had the baby, but she adamantly denied that Scott Walker was the father according to a comment by Daniel Bice to the linked story....

We are not the right. We haven't learned the elaborate dance steps involved in feeding a half-true or untrue story from O'Keeffe to Breitbart to Fox to The Wall Street Journal to the consciousness of the heartland. We have to get our stories straight. They don't stick if they're untrue. If they're untrue, they blow up in our faces. (When the right's stories are untrue, the liars just keep coming back with more.)

I mentioned Rathergate above. I know a lot of you don't believe the debunking of that story. It doesn't matter, though -- the left tried to debunk the debunking, but no one on the left could get the public to accept the legitimacy of the National Guard documents in the Dan Rather story.

If you aim at a big target, you'd better not miss.


The Kenosha Kid said...

If you come at the king, you best not miss

Greg Hao said...

Precisely right and I think that sums it up perfectly.

Liberals and most logically minded people are simply unwilling to traffic in half truths whereas the right seem to lap it up as if it were a bowl of their favourite soup.

Victor said...

I saw that story yesterday, and was skeptical myself.
I wondered, 'Why didn't someone find this out earlier?'
But I SOOOOO wanted it to be true - because, I guess, it WAS TOO good to be true.

And checking around is the least one can do before trying to ruin the reputation of even a person who's as big a sycophantic Kochsucking spooge-bucket as Walker.

Ruining people's reputations with scurrilous allegations is a Conservative thing - not a Liberal thing.
And so, I've had to relearn the lesson that one needs to look carefully before one leaps.

BH said...

No offense to anyone, but I tend to want secondary, external confirmation for any big story that first appears at a place with a name like "Citizens Media Co-op" (as here). Sounds far too much like insufficiently critical amateurs. Hell, the so-called professionals are bad enough.

Anonymous said...

What Victor said.

If you're a republican spreading rumors about a democrat, or another republican, the bottom of the swamp is no limit. It's only if you're a democrat telling a story about a republican that you will be carefully fact-checked.

But I do want to call BS on the fact-checking here -- a denial of something like this by the parties involved doesn't, alas, carry a whole lot of weight.

BH said...

True, flarenut - but neither does such a story without confirmation from one of the parties, or documentation of some kind beyond just an allegation by some other person. I don't think it's by any means impossible it happened like the story said, but something else is needed to nail it down. And we, unlike the right, have to have it nailed down. Unfair, maybe, but that's how it seems to be.