Michelle Malkin takes issue with a couple of errors in today’s free online Wall Street Journal feature. One of the errors is made by Ana Marie Cox, who is quoted speaking at the “All Things Digital” conference. The other error is made by the Journal in its reference to our site address. Thus spake Ms. Cox:
Ms. Cox…noted how blogs themselves are changing, observing that more-political blogs that have served as watchdogs on the mainstream media now look more like that segment of the media themselves: “They’re cliqueish, they’re arrogant, they get things wrong.” As an example, she cited Powerline.com, whose investigations helped debunk the now-notorious CBS memo about President Bush’s National Guard service, but which then got “memo-happy” in the case of the Republican strategy memo on Terri Schiavo, decrying it as a fake. GOP Sen. Mel Martinez later said an aide had written the Schiavo talking points.
“They wouldn’t back down — just like CBS,” she said.
Michelle’s post is here. Our final words on the GOP Talking Points Memo story discussed both the provenance of the memo as well as our role in instigating its disclosure: “Real memo, fake story” and “Mindless moral equivalence” (the latter of which Michelle links to). It would be nice of the Journal to correct Ms. Cox’s cliqueish, arrogant, erroneous quote. Will it? We shall see.
JOHN adds: It’s sad to see Ana, with whom we’ve had a friendly relationship, make this misrepresentation about us. In a perverse way, though, her misrepresentation does prove her point: there are indeed bloggers who are as careless with the facts and with other people’s reputations as the mainstream media.
DEACON adds: If you read Power Line regularly, you knew that the “Schiavo” memo came from the Martinez shop before you could have learned this from the print edition of your newspaper. On the evening of April 6, I wrote, “The latest twist in this story, as reported by the Washington Post, establishes that the memo was not a Democratic dirty trick. It also establishes Tessa Haffen’s claim that the memo came from a Republican source (a member of Mel Martinez’s staff).” Could I have “backed down” from any suggestion that the memo was fake in clearer English than that? Earlier that evening, John had written that correspondence he received from Post writer Mike Allen seemed to solve the mystery of who had written the memo by identifying a Martinez staffer.
There’s room in the blogosphere for gossip columnists, especially witty ones like Wonkette. But gossip and cattiness shouldn’t be incompatible with honesty, and they aren’t. I suspect it’s Ana’s leftism that’s the problem here.
UPDATE: I have spoken with Journal deputy technology editor Marcelo Prince. He stated that he would review what we have written here, take up the issue with Jason Fry, and let us know what they decide to do.
UPDATE: 2: Marcelo Prince has written to let us know that the story has been revised to reflect the correct name of our site/address and to add the following immediately after the Ana Marie Cox quote: “(In an interview Wednesday morning, Power Line’s Scott Johnson disputed that assertion, saying the blog was quick to link to a Washington Post story that identified the memo’s author, and also published an examination of Power Line’s role in the flap.)”