The Post Explains, Sort Of

Howard Kurtz follows up on the bogus “GOP talking points memo” this morning. We’ll quote his update in its entirety:

The flap about a Washington Post report on an unsigned strategy memo in the Terri Schiavo case, which the paper said was “distributed to Republican senators,” isn’t going away.
It turns out that The Post’s news service put out an early version of the March 20 story — published by numerous other papers — that said the talking points, which touted the Schiavo case as a political opportunity, were “distributed to Republican senators by party leaders.” GOP congressional leaders say they never saw the document, whose author remains unknown. Post reporter Mike Allen, who was unaware the news service had distributed the earlier version, said last week that the paper was careful not to say it was “a Republican memo.”
Kate Carlisle, the news service’s managing editor, says Allen’s report was sent out at 9:07 the night before and “we weren’t notified that changes had been made to the story after we got it.” Despite criticism from bloggers, and Allen’s request for a correction, Carlisle said no correction was warranted. Late Friday, the news service sent out an “advisory” saying: “The version of the article published by the paper did not specify the authorship and noted that the memo was unsigned. The authorship remains unknown.” The advisory did not retract the assertion that “party leaders” had given out the memo.

So what we and Michelle Malkin wrote last week has now been confirmed. But Ms. Carlisle’s position makes no sense at all. How can a correction not be in order? The Post sent out a story that said, in part: “Republican officials declared, in a memo that was supposed to be seen only by senators, that they believe the Schiavo case “is a great political issue”… The Post now admits that “the authorship [of the memo] remains unknown.” So the original story was wrong, and a correction is necessary–not only by the Post, but by every newspaper that ran the incorrect story, and by the many columnists that picked up on the fake story and used it to beat up on the Senate Republicans.

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