On Sept. 4, the paper cited the "senior Bush official" as saying that as of the day before, Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco "still had not declared a state of emergency." As The Post noted in a correction, Blanco, a Democrat, had declared a state of emergency on Aug. 26.I don't give a rats ass if they identify the source but Spencer Hsu and the Post are guilty of, (A) really sloppy journalism, (B) being a conduit for Administration lies and propaganda or (C) all of the above. "Michael Abramowitz calls the incident "a bad mistake" that happened right on deadline." Sorry Michael, that's a no sale. A one minute Google search for "Blanco-State of Emergency" is all that would have been required to "fact check" the source. If the Washington Post has not figured out that nothing that comes from the Bush administration is reliable or can be trusted they are part of the problem.
Liberal bloggers have unloaded on The Post. Wrote Arianna Huffington: "Why were the Post reporters so willing to blindly accept the words of an administration official who obviously had a partisan agenda -- and to grant the official anonymity?"
Post National Editor Michael Abramowitz calls the incident "a bad mistake" that happened right on deadline. "We all feel bad about that," he says. "We should not have printed the information as background information, and it should have been checked. We fell down on the desk."
Spencer Hsu, the article's co-author, says he "tried to make clear that the source came from the administration, and that he was blaming the locals, which I believe our story made clear and broke ground in explaining by uncovering the National Guard dispute."
Should the paper identify the source who provided bad information? "We don't blow sources, period, especially if we don't have reason to believe the source in this case actually lied deliberately," Hsu says.
I temporarily reopened Middle Earth Journal when Newshoggers shut it's doors but I was invited to Participate at The Moderate Voice so Middle Earth Journal is once again in hiatus.
Monday, September 12, 2005
WAPO, too little too late
Josh Marshall reports that The Washington Post has responded, sorta, to the criticism it received after publishing a blatant lie by a "senior administration official". That lie was of course that Louisiana Gov. Kathleen Blanco "still had not declared a state of emergency." when in fact she had on August 26th. The Post response is as follows: