Thursday, March 09, 2006

Media Matters, what about Bob?

I can't resist.

Media Matters has an article entitled "Reuters ignored Abramoff's claim of ties to Bush, Rove, McCain," credited to S.S.M.

By contrast, a March 8 Associated Press article reported that Abramoff "says President Bush knew him well enough to joke with him about weightlifting." The AP article also noted that, according to Vanity Fair, "Rove's relationship with Abramoff was deeper" than the White House has previously acknowledged, and that "Rove dined several times at Abramoff's former restaurant in Washington, Signatures, and was Abramoff's guest in the owner's box of the NCAA basketball playoffs a few years ago, sitting for much of the game at Abramoff's side." A separate March 8 AP article was devoted entirely to Abramoff's claim that McCain "deliberately humiliated him."

Perhaps Media Matters should write a follow-up article and call it "Associated Press ignored Abramoff's claim of ties to DeLay, Mehlman, and Burns."

Perhaps it can include the following paragraph:

By contrast, a March 8 Reuters article reported that Abramoff "said he did not spend much time lobbying DeLay because he knew that the Texas Republican would support his issues, but they talked about other subjects." The Reuters article also noted that, according to Vanity Fair, "Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman ate dinner at Abramoff's house and forced a Democratic appointee out of the State Department for him." Finally, Reuters included Abramoff's quote about his relationship with Montana Republican Sen. Conrad Burns, who was "especially cooperative. Every appropriation we wanted we got."

What's my point?

My point is what is Media Matters' point?

There wasn't any "conservative misinformation" in the Reuters article.

S.S.M. wrote that Reuters "ignored" and "made no mention of Abramoff's claims of ties to Bush, Rove, and McCain."

But, arguably (of course), the parts about Bush, Rove and McCain are not especially important, and don't even allude to anything remotely illegal or even unethical (again, arguably, of course).

However, unarguably (if there ever really is such a word), the parts about DeLay and Burns are damning, and maybe a little bit of both: illegal and unethical. And the Mehlman bit is kind of new.

That doesn't mean that I think the Associated Press "ignored" and "made no mention" of Abramoff's claims of ties to DeLay, Burns and Mehlman.

And it doesn't mean that I think Media Matters "ignored" and "made no mention" of the fact that Reuters didn't ignore and made sure to mention Abramoff's claims of ties to DeLay, Burns and Mehlman even though Associated Press did.

What I mean is that you can't always tell why a news article leaves something out, and you can sometimes look pretty damn stupid when you jump the gun.

Perhaps Reuters meant to do something else when they wrote that article. Something else than what the Associated Press had already widely reported from the Vanity Fair piece.

But I guess that's not as sexy an assumption.


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