Right Wing Media Should Eat Crow Over Schiavo Memo Assertions
You may remember back in the GOP's recent "letís manipulate Terri Schiavoís death" era, a memo was produced which outlined how the GOP could benefit from Schiavoís death. Center-left blogs and Democratic officeholders quickly condemned the memo and the possibility that the GOP would be so craven and crass to have such a strategy ready to go to take advantage of something like this. Curiously, within days of this outrage from our side of the aisle, right-wing bloggers, right-wing media types, and GOP politicians started a pushback wherein they claimed that the Schiavo memo was in fact a Democratic dirty trick, authored by Democrats to set up the poor GOP saps in the majority. The pathetic Washington Times even postulated that the memo may have been a fake, and ran a story that none of the Senate's 55 Republicans ever saw the memo.
This reeked of what the GOP did with the Dan Rather TANG memo debacle, where the GOP suddenly had its talking points ready to go attacking the ď60 Minutes IIĒ story while it was still on the air, claiming among other things that the memos were false and according to some, actually planted by the Kerry camp. The content of the memos has never been refuted by the White House, and the investigation actually done by CBS about the sad episode has been revealed to be a slipshod affair itself.
Well now it turns out that after Howie Kurtz whored himself and accepted the word of the right-wing echo chamber over his own fellow Post staffer Mike Allen about the authenticity and authorship of the Schiavo memo, and after the usual cast of right wing media types like Fred Barnes, Michael Barone, Tucker Carlson, Michelle Malkin, Newsmax, Rush Limbaugh, Powerline, and the laughingly-named Accuracy In Media pushed the GOP line that it was a Democratic dirty trick, it turns out that a senior staffer to GOP Senator Mel Martinez has admitted that he did in fact write the memo. Worse yet, after seeing Martinez deny any involvement with the memo, it turns out that he gave it to Iowa Democratic senator Tom Harkin, possibly by accident.
Moreover, as Jerome Armstrong at MyDD has noted, the memo can now be tied back to a right-wing outfit that has links to Tom DeLay, which explains why DeLay was so ready to go with manipulating this issue.
So how quickly will we see the likes of Howie Kurtz, Michael Barone, Fred Barnes, and others admit their mistakes here? Donít hold your breath. Simply put, the likes of Barnes, Carlson, Malkin, Limbaugh, Barone, and Kurtz are right wing shills with little or no credibility. As for Powerline and the other right-wing bloggers, it appears that they are left with nitpicking Allenís reporting without admitting that the early spin about the memo being a Democratic dirty trick was crap.