High on Facts Low on Speculation

The Washington Post has an article about the Schiavo Talking Points Memo. This time it’s pretty factual, detailed and balanced. One certainly isn’t left with the impression that a bunch of Senators sat in a conference room and decided to come up with a way to exploit Terri Schiavo. On the contrary, it looks like the political portions of it were disavowed when seen. It also seems that it may have been a working draft (which would explain the errors).

Imagine if this level of detail had been reported from the outset. Sure, there would have been some views like this:

Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.) said he believed that the memo originated with the GOP because it is “totally consistent” with how the Republicans have operated for the past four years.

But that’s just a classic attempt to paint the entire group as having the same views as a single errant member, and we all know it when we see it, especially from the likes of Mr. Biden. That’s a far, far, cry from implying in a story that the entire group was in on it.

To those bloggers that feel we need to eat crow on this, I say no way. When the press makes explosive political charges with so little (or conflicting) facts and takes a “trust us we know” approach, you’re going to get speculation running rampant from both sides of the blogosphere. This was a story that was poorly reported from the outset, and one that clearly erred on the side of branding all Republicans political opportunists. They were more like Joe Biden than trusted purveyors of the news. Don’t blame me for thinking the worst of them. The media lost my trust long ago.

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