Monday, March 15, 2021


Here's Becket Adams of the Washington Examiner telling us about what the right regards as a major scandal:
It’s one thing if a single news outlet botches an anonymously sourced “scoop.” It’s another thing entirely if multiple newsrooms claim to have independently “confirmed” the botched “scoop” with anonymous sources of their own....

In January, the Washington Post scored a humdinger of a “scoop.” Then-President Donald Trump, still reeling from the results of the 2020 election, “urged Georgia’s lead elections investigator to ‘find the fraud’ in a lengthy December phone call, saying the official would be a ‘national hero,’” the Washington Post reported, citing a single anonymous source who supposedly “confirmed” the details of the private conversation.

But recently released audio of the phone call shows that Trump never said these things. He never urged the investigations chief to “find the fraud” in Georgia’s presidential election results. He never promised the investigator would be a “national hero.”

The Washington Post got it wrong, plain and simple.
So Trump never said anything remotely like this on the call?

Well, no, that's not what Adams is saying:
The newspaper’s supposedly eye-opening “scoop” has since been updated to include a 130-word editor’s note, which reads:
Correction: Two months after publication of this story, the Georgia secretary of state released an audio recording of President Donald Trump’s December phone call with the state’s top elections investigator. The recording revealed that The Post misquoted Trump’s comments on the call, based on information provided by a source. Trump did not tell the investigator to “find the fraud” or say she would be “a national hero” if she did so. Instead, Trump urged the investigator to scrutinize ballots in Fulton County, Ga., asserting she would find “dishonesty” there. He also told her that she had “the most important job in the country right now.” A story about the recording can be found here. The headline and text of this story have been corrected to remove quotes misattributed to Trump.
Yes, that's it -- that's the scandal. Trump didn't ask this election official to "find the fraud" -- he asked her to find the "dishonesty." Not the same at all! (He also said, "if you go back two years or four years, you're gonna see it's a totally different signature," which is completely unlike from saying the ballots are fraudulent.) And Trump never said she'd be "a national hero" if she found the fr-- er, dishonesty. He merely said, according to the tape, "When the right answer comes out, you'll be praised.... People will say, 'Great!'"

Adams whines:
If you can believe it, the Washington Post’s dud of a "bombshell” isn’t even the most scandalous thing about this episode in media malfeasance. No, the most scandalous thing is: Several newsrooms claimed they independently “confirmed” the original "scoop" with anonymous sources of their own.
NBC, USA Today, ABC, PBS, and CNN all confirmed the story when it broke, citing their own sources. Shocking!
But Trump never said those things. The sources either were terribly mistaken or lying.
Or paraphrasing, which is exactly like lying .. or would be if most human beings had phonographic memories and could recall every conversation they'd ever had verbatim -- something hardly any of us can actually do.

The right really wants to turn this into a massive journalism scandal (and I'm sure the rank-and-file right will fall for it).

Did Simonson "actually 'wow'"? I bet an audiotape would show that he didn't actually utter the word "wow" -- or any synonym.

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