After John Hinderaker at Power Line first started asking necessary questions about the reporting on the memo, many on the Right jumped to conclusions that the memo was "fake" or a "dirty trick." I concur that those who made such claims should issue clear retractions and corrections. And I urge those bloggers and pundits to do so.
But contrary to what the left-wing gloaters who have not bothered to follow the story until last night are writing, I have never made such claims...
Correct, so far as I can tell. What she did do was spend a week calling it calling it "fishy" and linking to all those people she now says should retract.
No, Malkin did not, as Hindrocket did, call the memo an outright fake. Self-congratulations are in order, and they weren't long in coming. But then, words are the tools of wordsmiths, and when they use one--especially over and over again--we ought to take them at it. "Fishy" implies a lot more than "some have questioned its authenticity".
We got our last whiff of seafood on March 31. In what some (me) are calling The Miracle of the Fish Smell, the issue changed to a WaPo story which had gone out on the wires March 20, but included a line about the memo being "distributed by party leaders" that didn't run that way in the Post. Various WaPo spokesmen denied they had intended (or had the evidence to) pin the memo on any specific person, or party, for that matter. Now the memo was a mere puzzlement: "We may never know whether the memo was the handywork of a Republican staffer or a Democrat dirty trickster or an outside interloper..." Wish I could find an air freshener that effective.
Now that the "Democrat forgery" story has been thoroughly depantsed, the only issue is that three-week old wire story. Joshua Clayborn of In the Agora, who published insider tips about the memo's "fabrication", which Malkin linked to, now says:
If this story is true, ABC News, the Washington Post, and virtually every news outlet that ran the infamous story should now publish a retraction. Unlike what ABC and the Post reported, the memo did not originate from Senate Republican leadership. At most it came from one Senator, Martinez, and if we are to believe Martinez it was simply a foolish, sloppy aide. Either way the real turn of events appears to be much different than the one portrayed by most media outlets.
Or, say, under your own byline. It's a funny thing about the sense of smell, as we wine lovers will attest. It fatigues easily. Last week's razor-sharp senses, dulled by overuse, have become this week's docile acceptance of the Tale of the Rogue Aid. Time for apologies? Who cares with that crew?
ObBlogWildSpeculation: Were these folks tipped at the end of last month that the "fabrication" story couldn't be sustained, and some little fish would be taking the hook to protect "the leadership"? Why are the folks who used Terri Schiavo as a political football so concerned that the plan found its way into print?