April 07, 2005

THE SCHIAVO TALKING-POINTS MEMO turns out to have been written by a Republican staffer after all. But Mickey Kaus notes that this doesn't help Post reporter Mike Allen as much as it might:

Allen doesn't come off looking too good in this latest account. a) The memo was apparently not "distributed to Republican Senators by party leaders," as Allen's initial story, sent out through the Post news service to other papers, reported. It was--at least judging from today's account--handed to one Democratic senator, Tom Harkin, by one freshman Republican senator (who isn't in the party leadership); b) Allen doesn't explain why he told Howie Kurtz he "did not call them talking points or a Republican memo" when he had in fact done just that in the news service draft; c) Even the later, more "carefully worded" account Allen published in the Post itself was apparently wrong.

Oops. John Hinderaker has more.

UPDATE: Evan Coyne Maloney notes that Mel Martinez has some explaining to do.

ANOTHER UPDATE: My sum-up? This tells us two things we already knew: The press will publish stuff without much in the way of authentication, if it thinks it makes Republicans look bad. And Republicans really were interested in politicizing the Terry Schiavo matter. On both points: Duh.