My Easley problem–and ours

The Hill’s Jonathan Easley contacted me earlier today via Twitter to complain that I had erred in my post asserting his failure to identify any happy campers among the invited guests at the White House reception for conservative media this past Monday afternoon.  He pointed to a quote from John Fredericks praising the event in the first of his two Hill stories airing the guests’ complaints. Easley therefore stated that my description of his pieces was “false.”  Easley sought a correction.

Easley’s tweet was accurate but misleading.  The Fredericks quote was absent from the original version of his first story, the one I described in my posts touching on it.  Easley added the Fredericks quote in a later version of his original story, although it was impossible to tell from the text of the piece that he had done so.  My “mistake” had been to rely on the original version of Easley’s story.

Easley stated I should have contacted him before writing about his pieces: “you dont reach out to the person you are writing about. I did. You didnt.”

However, to the extent I was commenting on his articles, they spoke for themselves.  They had been published online.  I was “reaching out” to Easley by reading his published articles.  Power Line readers could look over my shoulder and see for themselves whether I treated them fairly or not.

I asked Easley to send me a copy of his first article as originally published.  I had closely read it several times before writing about it.  He declined to do so.

Moreover, I was in part recounting my own experience at the event.  Unlike Easley, I had first-hand knowledge of what had occurred at the event and had talked to other guests at and after the event.

I had a mostly positive view of the event, as did others with whom I had spoken.  I invited Easley to quote my view of the event without knowing he had somebody else expressing it in a later version of his story.  If he had contacted me, I would also have suggested that Easley contact Charles Kesler, Chris Buskirk and Roger Kimball for their views.  I believe they felt much as I did.

My “problem,” according to Easley, “is that a few people viewed it differently than [I] did.  They told me about it and I wrote it.”  However, Easley’s articles convey the impression that a negative view of the event predominated.  I doubt that anyone reading his articles who wasn’t there would think that he was conveying the view of “a few people.”  Easley also states that “[p]eople from both sides of the argument told [him] it was fair.”

I don’t have a “problem” or an “argument.”  I  have my own impressions of the event and some knowledge of the views of a few others.  I asked Easley how many people he had talked to.  He declined to respond.

Easley’s tweets are posted below in reverse chronological order. In his penultimate tweet to me Easley advised that his second story had secured a Drudge link.  That’s obviously the important point to him. In his ultimate tweet to me he concluded: “I can’t get into this anymore.”  He added: “I hope you’ll update your story” (which I had long since done).

Jonathan Easley seems to me to represent the mainstream media in the age of Trump.  He is belligerent, misleading, obnoxious and out to prove a point.  Although he is far from a prominent member of the mainstream media, he is a representative case.


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