NOTE: As of 3/27, new updates can now be found HERE.
As unbelievable as it may sound, it looks like it is happening AGAIN! A reader at Power Line has pointed out something that makes it plain as day that the "talking points memo" being referred to all over the MSM, especially at WaPo & ABC News, about the GOP using the Schiavo case to score political points is a FAKE!!!
Will they ever learn???
Okay, folks: Who wrote the memo? Who gave it to Mike Allen, the reporter from the Washington Post? Who slipped it to ABC News? Who, from either one of these "respected" news sources, vetted it? Why did no one check something as simple as the bill (S.529) it refers to being relevant to the memo's context? How DOES the MSM keep stepping in dog-doo like this? Will anyone actually admit an error this time, or are we in for more stonewalling and denial ala SEE-BS?
I'd love a few answers here, but I won't hold my breath!
UPDATE: More at GOP Bloggers.
UPDATE: Lorie Byrd weighs in at PoliPundit.
UPDATE: Article available at Mens' News Daily.
UPDATE: Power Line points to this excellent detailed timeline post at Fishkite.
3/23: This story is breaking out!
UPDATE: Power Line has more.
[NOTE: Power Line's Permalinks bring up several days worth of posts, and you will need to scroll down to find the ones related to this story. The relevant posts are, in the order they first appeared: "Is This the Biggest Hoax Since the Sixty Minutes Story?" (3/21); "Show Us the Memo" & "So: Where Did It Come From?" (3/22); and the latest is "Show Us the Source" (3/23).]
UPDATE:Jim Geraghty of TKS at National Review Online is on it.
UPDATE: Michelle Malkin has more!
UPDATE: Power Line now has a fifth post at the link above titled "A Fishy Story Gets Fishier." It includes this rather startling passage:
"That won't stop the Democrats from trying to make political hay out of it, however. The same left-wing site that published the memo now says:
Hoping to determine who distributed talking points to GOP senators on how they could capitalize on the Schiavo tragedy, Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) will send a letter to the Rules Committee today calling for an investigation. Reports suggest the points could have been circulated on the Senate floor, violating Senate Rules....
Are the Democrats moving to capitalize on their own hoax?"
UPDATE: Joshua Claybourn at In the Agora has been doing excellent work on this subject as well!
UPDATE: Power Line is up with a sixth post (see above link): "'Talking Points' Story Imploding?" Which quotes a GOP Senate staffer extensively and casts a great deal more doubt on the authenticity of the memo. Is it time to coin a new name for this scandal yet?
UPDATE: More from Lorie at PoliPundit
3/24: The pot is really starting to boil!
UPDATE: I really should have had this link here a long time ago, sorry... A scan of the document in question is available at The Raw Story.
[3/27 - NOTE: I failed to mention previously that the link posted above is to a left-wing blog site and that the copy of the memo posted there has been "cleaned up" (i.e. corrected for a number of grammar and spelling errors present in the original). Curious, don't you think?]
UPDATE: Seventh post now available at Power Line "ABC Checks Out."
UPDATE: Mick Wright at Fishkite has a new post available, too.
BREAKING NEWS - POTENTIAL BOMBSHELL: Must read article on the Schiavo memo scandal is up at The American Spectator!
Very quietly, Senate Republican leadership aides to both Sen. Rick Santorum and Sen. Mitch McConnell, as well as the Senate Republican Policy Committee, have been using the Senate recess break to reconstruct the purported distribution of a document that media outlets, including ABC News, the New York Times and a number of regional newspapers, identified as Senate "GOP talking points" on the Terri Schiavo fight that unfolded over the weekend...
...However, Republican leadership staffers now believe the document was generated out of the Democratic opposition research office set up recently by Sen. Harry Reid, and distributed to some Democratic Senate staffers claiming it was a GOP document, in the hope -- or more likely expectation -- that it would then be leaked by those Democrats to reporters. In fact, the New York Times stated that it was Democratic staffers who were distributing the "talking points" document.
This could be HUGE if it turns out to be accurate! Stay tuned...
UPDATE: Will Franklin at WILLisms.com checks in with an extensive composite of the story to date.
3/24 - EVENING UPDATE:
Sorry all, I was away most of today.
Let's get you up to speed on the latest memo fiasco...
The story has now officially broken wide open!
I actually heard Rush Limbaugh mention the article in The American Spectator on his show. (I had a feeling he would, Rush loves the American Spectator!) Transcript here! Excerpt:
RUSH: Apparently the explanation is it was forged! The memo was made up by Democrat staffers. Even though it's forged it's probably still true so what difference does it make, just like Dan Rather's excuse for the Bill Burkett documents and so forth. You know, it is (Laughing.) You would think that after the CBS incident and somebody starts handing you documents that purport to be a talking points memo from Senate staffers, you would think to go ask the Republicans about it and check it out instead of just running with it given what all happened.
Pinch me! Michelle Malkin has a link to moi in her latest update! Thanks! I hope I can live up to all this added attention...
Meanwhile, only one new short post added to the pile so far today at Power Line. It is titled "Slow Learners." (Just scroll down to it.)
Ankle Biting Pundits held a Name That Scandal contest earlier today. Their winner? "Schiavo-quiddick!" Be sure to check out some of the other entries. My idea? WaPo/TaPo-gate. I know, not the greatest... that's why it lost!
Polls are still open, seemingly, at PoliPundit, where Lorie Byrd is also hosting a naming contest.
Ace of Spades has his own ideas for some new Republican Talking Points. (Raw language alert!) [Hat-tip to Lorie Byrd on this one.]
Humorist Scott Ott over at Scrappleface chimes in with GOP Memo: Schiavo Was Recruited to Win Pro-Life Vote. [Hat-tip to Razor at Bennelli Brothers.]
Joshua Claybourn of In the Agora was scheduled to be on Hugh Hewitt's radio show tonight. More later, if warranted.
John Hinderaker of Power Line appeared on Kudlow & Company on CNBC earlier today, along with Hugh Hewitt and InstaPundit's Glenn Reynolds, to discuss the Schiavo case. Radioblogger has the transcript. Here is the portion of the discussion relative to the memo matter:
LK: I don't want to lose this. I've got to get John Hinderaker in here, and then I'm going to come back to Hugh Hewitt on this. Obviously, we have time limits. But look, John Hinderaker, there's a political angle that kind of smells here. Was there a Democrat dirty tricks attempt to foray a memo that ABC and the Washington Post picked up? So called talking points that never existed?
JH: I think there may have been, Larry. There's a memo which was being touted as the GOP talking points memo, talking about the Schiavo case that ostensibly was distributed in the Senate last Thursday night. And it says things like the pro-life base will be excited by this, and this is a great political issue for us. And the Democrats have been touting this as showing that the Republicans are trying to politicize the Schiavo case. But we've been looking into this on Powerline, and there is no evidence that this memo came from the Republicans at all. There's no name on it. There's no letterhead. There's nothing to indicate a source. The New York Times has reported that Democratic aides were seen passing it out, claiming that it was a Republican memo, but there's no evidence of that.
LK: Does this have a Rathergate feel to it? Trying to smear George W. Bush with memos that never existed?
JH: I think to some degree, it does. I mean obviously we're not in the middle of a presidential campaign, but the memo on it's face, sort of like those Texas Air National Guard memos, doesn't make any sense. It's supposedly a talking points memo, and most of the body of the memo is literally cut and pasted from the website of the Traditional Values Coalition.
JH: And it makes certain points on the substance on the issue of the Schiavo case. But then it adds, whoever did this memo added these political comments. Those don't make any sense as talking points. No Republicans are going to say those to a ...
LK: And I thought for a minute there we could actually have a clean discussion of religion and morality and life with them, but there we go. Little dirty tricks...
UPDATE: Just checked my e-mail. Steven I. Weiss of the blog Canonist has contacted the offices of all the Republican Senators asking if they had ever received the supposed GOP talking points memo in question and is posting any responses here as he receives them. As you can probably imagine, not one Senator has acknowledged receiving this "GOP memo," at least none of those that have responded thus far (11:33pm CST). Interesting...
UPDATE: Yikes! I've been so busy chasing this trail, I completely missed the fact that CJ, who, like me, frequents PoliPundit and Jayson Javitz's excellent blog Political Vice Squad, was also all over this one from the beginning at his blog VRWC #1 Member, which I have neglected to check for awhile! All apologies, CJ. Everyone else, please check out the relevant posts: here, here, here, here and here. [That last one includes an excerpt from a John Fund article at WSJ's Opinion Journal.]
Will stay on the trail. Next update is likely to be late tomorrow.
3/25 ROUNDUP (I warned you this would be late):
Fred Barnes has the article of the day on the matter at The Weekly Standard.
Michelle Malkin has another must read today as she rips apart WaPo's smarmy Howie Kurtz, who tried to slam Power Line's John Hinderaker over the memo flap. Two more relative posts from Michelle are here and here.
Not surprisingly, the lastest from Power Line is entitled "Kurtz Swings, Misses." (Just press the link and scroll down.)
Accuracy in Media issues a must read press release. An excerpt:
"Shame on the media" for reporting the dubious memo, said Lafferty. "Unless they've got another source they haven't told us about, what they've reported is unquestioning acceptance of a piece of paper. As CBS learned recently, you cannot trust a piece of paper without verifying what's on it."
Amen to that!
H-Bomb at Ankle Biting Pundits finds a columnist from the Baltimore Sun still hammering the GOP for its agenda as exposed in the Schiavo Talking Points Memo. Huh??? The memo's a fake, you idiot! God, these people irk me! What next? Another diatribe on how the TANG Memos unearthed by Dan Rather on 60 Minutes II prove Bush was AWOL??? While you're at it lady, how about an article on the Hitler Diaries? Sheeesh! What a maroon!
Joshua Claybourn's latest updates at In the Agora have moved to a new thread.
So have Mick Wright's at Fishkite.
More from Lorie Byrd with some great comments from PoliPundit readers (as usual).
On the lighter side, Ace of Spades completes his Top Ten Exposed "Republican Talking Points".
More to come...