Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Wictory Wednesday: April 27, 2005

Today, instead of money, the Wictory Wednesday bloggers are asking for your time and effort in lobbying the Senate to help end these ridiculous, unprecedented judicial filibusters holding our Federal Appellate Courts hostage to the whims of the minority party and their absurd far-left financiers!

You can find the necessary contact information for your Senators as well as any other Senators you feel it may be worthwhile to contact here.

Just remember, please, to be polite and courteous. It makes all of us, especially you, look a whole lot better and tends to elicit a more desirable response.

You may want to concentrate your effort on those GOP Senators who may be on the fence on this issue and need to be reminded by their constituents, election volunteers and donors what it is we expect in return for our money, our efforts on their behalf and our votes! (And that is, of course, representation for our views and loyalty to our party and our President on key issues such as this.)

Among the GOP Senators who could use your encouragement the most (BE NICE):

Sen. Lincoln Chafee, RI
Sen. Susan Collins, ME
Sen. Mike DeWine, OH
Sen. Chuck Hagel, NE
Sen. Gordon Smith, OR
Sen Olympia Snowe, ME
Sen. Arlen Specter, PA
Sen. John Sununu, NH
Sen. George Voinovich, OH
Sen. John Warner, VA

Please note that AZ Sen. John McCain is likely a lost cause on this issue, but you may still want to contact him with your opinion, particularly if you reside in Arizona!

It may also be worth your while to signal your support for John Bolton to be confirmed as U.N. Ambassador to Sen. Voinovich, Sen. Hagel & Sen. Chafee at the same time.

Contacting a reasonable Democrat or two or those Democrats representing red states may not hurt either:

Sen. Max Baucus, MT
Sen. Evan Bayh, IN
Sen. Jeff Bingaman, NM
Sen. Thomas Carper, DE
Sen. Kent Conrad, ND
Sen. Byron Dorgan, ND
Sen. Tim Johnson, SD
Sen. Mary Landrieu, LA
Sen. Joseph Lieberman, CT
Sen. Blanche Lincoln, AR
Sen. Ben Nelson, NE
Sen. Bill Nelson, FL
Sen. Mark Pryor, AR
Sen. Ken Salazar, CO

You can find all the latest on the confirmation battlefront at


Today is Wictory Wednesday. Every Wednesday, hundreds of bloggers ask their readers to donate to an important Republican campaign.

If you're a blogger, you can join Wictory Wednesdays by e-mailing PoliPundit at He'll add you to the Wictory Wednesday blogroll. He'll also send you a reminder e-mail every Wednesday, explaining which candidate to support that day.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Wictory Wednesday: April 13, 2005

Today we are proudly blogging in support of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, or NRSC!

The 2006 mid-term elections present the GOP with a unique opportunity to gain an even stronger majority in the U.S. Senate, closing in on a filibuster-proof majority that will remove the last vestiges of power from a thoroughly unworthy version of the Democratic Party that has become a sad and sorry lapdog for the angry and coarse factions of the far-left, devoid of meaningful ideas and dedicated to nothing more than reflexive negativism and obstructionist tactics.

The seats that are up in this next election cycle are as follows:

Republicans (15):

AZ - Jon Kyl
IN - Richard Lugar
ME - Olympia Snowe
MS - Trent Lott
MO - James Talent
MT - Conrad Burns
NV - John Ensign
OH - Mike DeWine [May be vulnerable]
PA - Rick Santorum [Targeted by Democrats]
RI - Lincoln Chafee
TN - Bill Frist [*OPEN SEAT - Retiring]
TX - Kay Bailey Hutchinson [May run for Governor]
UT - Orrin Hatch
VA - George Allen
WY - Craig Thomas

Democrats (17):

CA - Dianne Feinstein
CT - Joseph Lieberman
DE - Thomas Carper
FL - Bill Nelson [May be vulnerable]
HI - Daniel Akaka [Turns 82 in 2006]
MD - Paul Sarbanes [*OPEN SEAT - Retiring]
MA - Ted Kennedy
MI - Debbie Stabenow [May be vulnerable]
MN - Mark Dayton [*OPEN SEAT - Retiring]
NE - Ben Nelson [May be vulnerable]
NJ - Jon Corzine [Running for Governor]
NM - Jeff Bingaman
NY - Hillary Clinton
ND - Kent Conrad [May be vulnerable]
WA - Maria Cantwell [May be vulnerable]
WV - Robert Byrd [Turns 89 in 2006]
WI - Herb Kohl

"Independent" [Caucuses with the Democrats] (1):

VT - Jim Jeffords

As you can see, Republicans have fewer seats to defend again this time around and tend to do better in mid-term elections than Democrats. The Democrats also have more Senators who would tend to be looked upon as vulnerable this cycle. We MUST take advantage of this unique opportunity to put an end to their stonewalling once and for all!

You can help by donating to the NRSC. Your contribution will benefit the GOP's efforts to take stronger control of the U.S. Senate and help put it to work for the American people, rather than leave it vulnerable to continued partisan bickering and unconstitutional filibustering of highly qualified judges who fail to pass the far-left's litmus tests!

And, as always, remember to vote - you CAN make a difference! In light of what we have seen in recent years, we must remember that the only good Senate Democrat is a FORMER Senate Democrat!


Today is Wictory Wednesday. Every Wednesday, hundreds of bloggers ask their readers to donate to an important Republican campaign.

If you're a blogger, you can join Wictory Wednesdays by e-mailing PoliPundit at He'll add you to the Wictory Wednesday blogroll. He'll also send you a reminder e-mail every Wednesday, explaining which candidate to support that day.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

The Schiavo Memo Scandal: Source Identified, GOP Senator Embarrassed, Implicated Staffer Resigns!

In case you have been living under a rock somewhere, let me begin with the main development of the past 24 hours: The "memo," it seems, was written by Brian Darling, a now former (thank God!) legal counsel to freshman Florida Republican Senator Mel Martinez.

Before I go any further, I wish to take this opportunity to say several things on this matter:

First of all, I did not update this blog earlier because I simply have not had any time! I was not "hiding" from anyone or anything! Some of us have to work for a living, and not all of us have cushy jobs with free access to our blogs from work! I did not get home last night until around 10pm (CDT) after working a 9+ hour day. I usually hit the internet at night, but could not follow my routine because I had to be back at work by 9am, so I took a shower and went to bed early. I did not even find out about the update on the memo's true source until this morning as I hurried out the door to work after oversleeping and caught a discussion about it taking place on Laura Ingraham's radio show while commuting. I was due to get off at 5pm, but did not get out until after 7:30, nor home til sometime after 8pm and had not eaten since breakfast, so guess where my priorities were? Please forgive me for not blogging on this sooner, but my schedule simply did not permit otherwise! I have a life outside of the internet! You will notice, please, that I did not get to discuss the developments that occurred regarding this article in the Washington Times or any blogger comments about it in the interim, either. This post could probably say much more, but I keep getting interrupted and have to get to bed before too much longer as I work again at 9am. Real life, go figure!

Before I go any further, I would like to state, for the record, that the use of the word "fake" to describe the "memo" was incorrect. I wish to note, however, that this document was, as it is being described, in no way shape or form an official "GOP talking points memo" or any other sort of official communique! Still, any statements or implications previously printed by me alluding to the memo as a "fake" or a possible Democrat dirty trick, I now hereby retract in light of the recent facts in evidence. I apologize for any errors in judgment on my part and any distress that may have resulted from such errors. (There, was that so hard my little MSM friends?)

Next, Sen. Martinez ought to embarrassed and ashamed! Even if his claim that he did not read the memo is true, and, absent any evidence to the contrary, I will take his word for it that he did not, it remains that he should NEVER have handed any papers to anyone from the opposition party without full knowledge of the contents! To do so was foolish, reckless and borderline incompetent!

And furthermore, while some apologies are due, the revelations that have come to light STILL DO NOT EXONERATE THE WASHINGTON POST OR ABC NEWS ON A NUMBER OF ISSUES RELATED TO THIS MATTER!

But first, let's get up to date on the latest, shall we...

From the Mike Allen article in Thursday's Washington Post:

The legal counsel to Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) admitted yesterday that he was the author of a memo citing the political advantage to Republicans of intervening in the case of Terri Schiavo, the senator said in an interview last night.

Brian H. Darling, 39, a former lobbyist for the Alexander Strategy Group on gun rights and other issues, offered his resignation and it was immediately accepted, Martinez said.

Martinez, the GOP's Senate point man on the issue, said he earlier had been assured by aides that his office had nothing to do with producing the memo. "I never did an investigation, as such," he said. "I just took it for granted that we wouldn't be that stupid. It was never my intention to in any way politicize this issue.

Martinez... said he had not read the one-page memo. He said he inadvertently passed it to Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), who had worked with him on the issue. After that, officials gave the memo to reporters for ABC News and The Washington Post.

...In a statement issued last night, Martinez said that Harkin asked him for background information on the bill and that he gave him what he thought was a routine one-page staff memo on the legislation. "Unbeknownst to me, instead of my one page on the bill, I had given him a copy of the now infamous memo that at some point along the way came into my possession," the statement said.

...Martinez said Harkin called him about 5 p.m. yesterday and told him that the memo had come from his office. Martinez said he then called in his senior staff and said, "Something is wrong here." He said that Darling later confessed to John Little, Martinez's chief of staff, and that he said he did not think he had ever printed the memo.

"It was intended to be a working draft," Martinez said. "He doesn't really know how I got it."

Reached by telephone last night, Darling said it would not be appropriate for him to discuss the matter at this time.

Okay, that answers some of the questions raised, but not all!

Next stop Powerline, where both John "Hindrocket" Hinderaker and Scott "The Big Trunk" Johnson have plenty to say on the matter. Scroll down to "Mystery Solved" where Hindrocket nails it:

Mike Allen, the Post's reporter, has previously said that the memo came from a Democratic Senator who said he got it from a Republican Senator. That is consistent with the current AP account. But the story that Allen wrote with a Post colleague on March 19 is not consistent with the current version of the facts. On March 19, Allen wrote:

Republican officials declared, in a memo that was supposed to be seen only by senators, that they believe the Schiavo case "is a great political issue" that could pay dividends with Christian conservatives, whose support is essential in midterm elections such as those coming up in 2006.

A one-page memo, distributed to Republican senators by party leaders, said the debate over Schiavo would appeal to the party's base, or core, supporters. The memo singled out Sen. Bill Nelson (news, bio, voting record) (D-Fla.), who is up for reelection next year and is potentially vulnerable in a state President Bush won last year.

In fact, if the current AP account is correct, the amazingly inept "talking points memo," which got the number of the Senate bill wrong, misspelled Terri Schiavo's name, and contained a number of other typographical errors, did not come from "Republican officials" or "party leaders," but rather from an anonymous, unknown staffer. Senator Martinez himself--forget about members of his staff--is a freshman senator, in office for three months, not a "party leader" or "Republican officials." (The plural in the Post's original article is interesting.) Also, the reporting by ABC and the Post suggested that the memo was widely or universally distributed among Republican senators, while a survey reported by the Washington Tmes indicated that none of the 55 Republican senators had seen it. So, if the current AP story is correct, it confirms that ABC and the Post misreported the story--in the Post's case, in an article that was picked up by dozens of other newspapers off the paper's wire service.

The latest story also confirms how absurd it was for ABC, the Post, and other news outlets to label the anonymous memo a "GOP talking points memo." We have no idea who the unidentified Martinez staffer is, but he apparently was not authorized to speak for his boss, and most certainly was not empowered to speak for the leadership of the Republican party. We'll try to track him down and get his story, but in the meantime, this story serves as an object lesson in how the mainstream media can take a dopey, one-page memo by an unknown staffer and use it to discredit the entire Republican party.

(Emphasis added.)

In "Speaking For Me" Big Trunk points to a fine article by Mickey Kaus in Slate, entitled Non-fake but Inaccurate!:

WaPo's Mike Allen reports that the now-famous Schiavo "talking points" memo came from freshman GOP senator Mel Martinez's office. So that mystery is cleared up. The memo wasn't a fake... But 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. Allen wrote

In a memo distributed only to Republican senators, the Schiavo case was characterized as "a great political issue" ...

This is almost the reverse of what Allen now reports. We know the memo was distributed to at least one Democratic senator. We don't know whether it was distributed to any Republican senator other then the senator whose staffer wrote it (although it's hard to believe it wasn't given to at least some other GOP lawmakers). Allen's story left the now-unsupported impression that Republican senators were conspiratorially reading the memo amongst themselves; d) The whole "memo" fuss, as played up by WaPo and ABC's Linda Douglass, was wildly overdone even if the memo was a GOP leadership document... But certainly whatever legitimate valence Allen's 'memo' story had depended almost entirely on the impression that the memo revealed and represented the strategy of the GOP leaders who pushed the Schiavo bill. If all that was involved was a staff memo Martinez gave to Harkin, Allen's story was way out of whack. The memo wasn't close to being worth the play it got in WaPo or in Douglass' report. (It's not worth the current Senate investigation either. What's the crime--politicians considering politics?)

(Emphasis by author.)

Lorie Byrd from PoliPundit has posted updates here and here.

Notice, please the infantile nature of many of the trolls on the second thread in particular. But they are mild compared to the foul garbage that beset Michelle Malkin! (Foul language alert!) As usual, she responds with class and dignity. More proof that many of the goons and loons on the left have absolutely ZERO CLASS! Are they entitled to a little gloating here? Why, yes, quite frankly, they are! Are they entitled to act like potty-mouthed pre-teens? Absolutely not! Keep it clean and civil, folks, otherwise you risk looking like the soreheads, cranks and nutjobs too many of you apparently are!

From Michelle Malkin's first Thursday post on the relevant subject, The Schiavo Memo and the Search for Answers, there is this:

For me, the salient questions always centered on what exactly ABC News and the Washington Post knew or didn't know before they hyped the GOP politicization angle in the midst of the wrenching Schiavo debate.

A related issue was ABC News' and the Post's mischaracterizations of their own reporting. ABC News insisted it never said the memo was distributed by Senate Republicans even though Kate Snow said just that. Allen repeatedly denied that he reported the memo was distributed by GOP "party leaders" even though a widely-published article carrying his byline said just that . After this blog and others pointed out the discrepancy, Allen himself requested that his initial claim be retracted .Post editors, however, concluded that a retraction was not warranted.

Well, now we know the truth. Thanks to the Associated Press, with the Washington Post bringing up the rear. And, gee, it only took 18 days to nail down a story that differs in key respects from what Snow and Allen reported on March 19 without adequate substantiation.

(Emphasis added.)

Ah, the pesky truth! The left just wants to gloat that many of us were convinced the memo was some sort of Democrat dirty trick, and got it wrong, while ignoring the fact that what we were really chasing all along was, in fact, accountability on the part of the mainstream press! Don't believe me? Go back and read, and don't just see what it is you want to see, read it all!

Michelle Malkin also has a second related Thursday post, The Schiavo Memo: GOP Cover-Ups? in which she asks tough questions about the false leads given to In the Agora's Joshua Claybourn about 2 weeks ago. But, I guess the left still thinks we're being unfair and are all strictly on a VRWC witch hunt here!

From Jim Geraghty at NRO/TKS:

To the credit of the Washington Post’s Mike Allen and the mainstream media reporters who insisted it was a GOP memo, the author was a Republican, Brian Darling, legal counsel to Sen. Mel Martinez of Florida. Darling has since resigned, according to the Washington Post. It does not appear to have been a Democratic dirty trick, as many bloggers speculated.

To the credit of the skeptical bloggers, to say that this memo was authored by ‘party leaders’ is stretching the term beyond recognition. And stating that it was distributed to all GOP senators sounds just wrong, it appears it was just given by Darling to Martinez.

In this blogging world, sometimes you’re going to find a superscript ‘th’. And sometimes you’re going to find a muddier situation, in which a foolish GOP staffer tried to play Karl Rove to the whole party without using spellcheck or checking bill numbers. But I think the bloggers did their job well in this one.


Mick Wright at Fishkite: See here, here, here and here.

Joshua Claybourn at In the Agora: See here and here. (That last one is an apology to ABC News!)

RightPundit: See here, here and here.

Will Franklin at See here.

LaShawn Barber: See here.

Ankle Biting Pundits: See here.


The Washington Times: Martinez says his staffer produced Schiavo memo

There also appears to be a TON of great material at, but I have already stayed up most of the night to write this update, so I bid you adieu! I must get at least SOME sleep and get back to the pain in the butt reality that is my life!

I may update this further later on if I can find the time...

Monday, April 04, 2005

The Schiavo Memo Scandal: WaPo Admits Errors, Refuses to Print Correction!

Howard Kurtz's column in today's edition of the Washington Post, after fawning on and on over the retiring Ted Koppel, features this three paragraph update on the Schiavo Memo Scandal:

The flap about a Washington Post report on an unsigned strategy memo in the Terri Schiavo case, which the paper said was "distributed to Republican senators," isn't going away.

It turns out that The Post's news service put out an early version of the March 20 story -- published by numerous other papers -- that said the talking points, which touted the Schiavo case as a political opportunity, were "distributed to Republican senators by party leaders." GOP congressional leaders say they never saw the document, whose author remains unknown. Post reporter Mike Allen, who was unaware the news service had distributed the earlier version, said last week that the paper was careful not to say it was "a Republican memo."

Kate Carlisle, the news service's managing editor, says Allen's report was sent out at 9:07 the night before and "we weren't notified that changes had been made to the story after we got it." Despite criticism from bloggers, and Allen's request for a correction, Carlisle said no correction was warranted. Late Friday, the news service sent out an "advisory" saying: "The version of the article published by the paper did not specify the authorship and noted that the memo was unsigned. The authorship remains unknown." The advisory did not retract the assertion that "party leaders" had given out the memo.

(Emphasis added.)

Yes, you read that correctly! The Washington Post is now admitting that it put out a poorly worded and misleading story that was picked up all over the country by countless publications, broadcasters and other news services and was used repeatedly by Democrats and their allies to bash Republicans... but its own news service's Managing Editor is refusing to print a correction, despite the fact that a reporter whose name is attached to it as a co-author has requested that they do so! Un-be-liev-a-ble!!!

Kurtz also appeared on his weekly online Q&A session earlier today, and, unlike last week (when he dodged the issue entirely), actually took one whole question regarding the matter. He did not, however, say very much:

Ft. Belvior, Va.: Please address the discrepancy between the memo story that appeared in the print edition of the Post, and the version distributed through various wire services with the byline "The Washington Post" instead of a specific reporter. The wire service reports specifically claim the memo was distributed by Republican leaders, which differs significantly from what the Post printed. Thank you.

Howard Kurtz: I address this in my column today. The Washington Post's news service, which sent out an early version of the story, has now moved an advisory correcting some, but not all, of the Post reporters' story that appeared in a number of other newspapers but not in The Washington Post.

Later in the session, there is this interesting little exchange:

Washington, D.C.: I've heard the suggestion from some people that we ought to watch the newspapers very closely this week, as elected officials may try to release stories that they'd like to have buried by coverage of the Pope's death and the appoitment (sic) of a new pope.

How cynical is this? How likely?

Howard Kurtz: Hey, if I were about to plead guilty to something, I'd do it now.


Let us take you around the blogosphere for reaction.

First stop, Michelle Malkin, who has two posts on the subject so far today. In the first, she notes that at least one of the papers that ran with the WaPo's discredited version of the story, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, had already printed a correction this morning:

A Washington Post article about congressional intervention in the Terri Schiavo case published March 19 in the Post-Dispatch included a description of a memo asserting that the action could benefit Republicans politically. The article said the memo was "distributed to Republican senators by party leaders." A later version of the story did not specify the authorship. The authorship remains unknown.

In the second post, Malkin shares the Kurtz Post column and then opens up her blog for a short time to comments, a rare event (and one can certainly see why with plenty of off-topic meanderings by trolls quite evident throughout the thread).

Next, we check in at Power Line, where John "Hindrocket" Hinderaker writes in a post headlined The Post Explains, Sort of:

So what we and Michelle Malkin wrote last week has now been confirmed. But Ms. Carlisle's position makes no sense at all. How can a correction not be in order? The Post sent out a story that said, in part: "Republican officials declared, in a memo that was supposed to be seen only by senators, that they believe the Schiavo case "is a great political issue"... The Post now admits that "the authorship [of the memo] remains unknown." So the original story was wrong, and a correction is necessary--not only by the Post, but by every newspaper that ran the incorrect story, and by the many columnists that picked up on the fake story and used it to beat up on the Senate Republicans.

One of Hinderaker's Power Line cohorts, Scott "The Big Trunk" Johnson, has a column out today in The Weekly Standard regarding both The Post's and ABC's handling of the memo flap (prior to today's events) that is well-worth reading.

Kevin P. Craver at has two posts of his own today. The first, published before he had seen the latest Kurtz column, has this juicy little tidbit:

People are not making as big a deal over media errors post-Memogate because mistakes, bias and arrogance are exactly what they expect from the mainstream press. Getting it wrong and insisting repeatedly that it’s true fits the average American’s perception of the press like a glove.

(Emphasis by author.)

The second, which came after Kurtz's update, features this morsel of wisdom:

So it appears that pride trumps accuracy at the Post. We’re not asking for a full-page, front-page retraction. Is it really too much to ask for a tiny correction totaling two paragraphs to be nestled in small type in the paper’s corrections section?

Newspapers to this day wonder why people don’t call in anymore to point out errors. The staff of The New York Times wonders who no one bothered to call the newspaper regarding Jayson Blair’s many fabrications. The answer is simple, and now even louder and clearer thanks to Kurtz: What good does it do?

(Emphasis by author.)

Right Pundit checks in pre-Kurtz and post-Kurtz.

Fishkite's latest post is here.

My earlier posts on this subject are located here:

I Suppose Karl Rove Wrote THIS, Too!

The Schiavo Memo Scandal Continues...

The Schiavo Memo Scandal: The Dam Bursts!

The Schiavo Memo Scandal: The Washington Post Gets Snared in a (World-Wide) Web of Lies!

Friday, April 01, 2005

The Schiavo Memo Scandal: The Washington Post Gets Snared in a (World-Wide) Web of Lies!

NOTE: As of 4/4, new updates can now be found HERE.


Michelle Malkin and John Hinderaker are on top of it again, as they and some other blogging sharpshooters catch the Washington Post red-handed in an apparent lie!

On Thursday, in a post labeled "Is the Post Ducking Responsibility?" (scroll down), Power Line's Hinderaker (aka Hindrocket) points out:

... Allen, like ABC News, took the position that it was all a misunderstanding: the Post had never meant to suggest that Republicans authored or distributed the memo, but only that some Republicans had received it. Allen told Kurtz:

"We simply reported that the sheet of paper was distributed to Republican senators and told our readers explicitly that the document was unsigned, making clear it was unofficial. We stuck to what we knew to be true and did not call them talking points or a Republican memo."

A-ha! Not so fast there, my slippery little MSM eel:

Earlier today, we noted that Michelle Malkin has identified a number of newspapers that ran the Washington Post's story on the memo, but in a version that (unlike the one that appeared in the Post itself) explicitly attributed the document to the party's leadership. The key line from these stories was, "The one-page memo, distributed to Republican senators by party leaders, called the debate over Schiavo legislation 'a great political issue' that would appeal to the party's base..."

Hmmm... Where could all those other newspapers have gotten that impression, pray-tell?

Michelle concluded that in all likelihood, the Post had published this version of the story on its wire service, but then revised the story to eliminate the claim that the memo was distributed by Republican leaders before the story ran in the Post the next morning (March 20).

Oh, and where is your proof, Ms. Malkin and Mr. Hinderaker?

This hypothesis seems pretty obviously correct. And it was apparently comfirmed when blogger Jack Risko found this archived version of the Post's article by Mike Allen and Manuel Roig-Franzia, dated 10 p.m. on Saturday, March 19. It includes the discredited language: "A one-page memo, distributed to Republican senators by party leaders, said the debate over Schiavo would appeal to the party's base, or core, supporters."

And, in an update later on in the post:

A reader points out that the Post's original story on the fake memo, which went out, apparently, on March 19, also included this paragraph:

Republican officials declared, in a memo that was supposed to be seen only by senators, that they believe the Schiavo case "is a great political issue" that could pay dividends with Christian conservatives, whose support is essential in midterm elections such as those coming up in 2006.

OUCH! Does the defense have anything to say before the blogosphere pronounces judgment? Maybe, maybe not, just don't expect an apology:

Both the Post and ABC now claim that they never meant to accuse the Republicans of authoring or distributing the notorious memo. But neither has printed a retraction, clarification or correction. The Post has done nothing to correct or retract the version of its story that apparently went out on the evening of March 19. And to our knowledge, not a single one of the dozens of newspapers and other news outlets that printed the false claim that the memo was circulated by the Republican leadership has retracted or corrected that defamatory claim.

[NOTE: Hinderaker also announced he was scheduled to appear Sunday on CNN's "Reliable Sources" with WaPo's Howard Kurtz to discuss the memo flap. Unfortunately, he later posted that he had been cancelled due to the network's anticipated wall-to-wall coverage of the impending death of Pope John Paul II]

Michelle Malkin has already posted two follow-ups to the article linked to above. In the first, entitled Will The Washington Post Please Respond? there is this:

I spoke with the Seattle Times' chief copy editor, Jim Mallery, yesterday. He confirmed that this article was excerpted directly from a Washington Post article distributed by the Los Angeles Times/Washington Post News Service. The statement that the memo was "distributed to Republican senators by party leaders" was in the Post's story. It was not added by a Seattle Times copy editor...

...It's possible that a Post editor or someone at the Los Angeles Times/Washington Post News Service added the phrase "by party leaders" after reporters Mike Allen and Manuel Roig-Franzia handed in their story. It's also possible that the phrase was included in the original copy submitted by Allen and Roig-Franzia. So far, Allen has not responded to an e-mail asking him to explain the discrepancy.

Michelle continues:

I suspect that no one at the Post or ABC News still believes the amateurish, unsigned, misspelled memo was circulated by Republican Party leaders. We may never know whether the memo was the handywork of a Republican staffer or a Democrat dirty trickster or an outside interloper, but clearly there is absolutely no evidence that this was a Karl Rove plot.

Nonetheless, the damage has been done. The memo has been cited hundreds of times to support the argument that Republicans' decision to intervene in the Schiavo case was politically motivated. And neither ABC News nor the Post has admitted any wrongdoing.

The Post can continue to mischaracterize its coverage. It can stonewall, perhaps hoping that its critics will get bored and give up. Or it can own up to its errors.

In her second follow-up, The Washington Post Screws Up Again, Michelle catches another Post big-shot, Chief Political Correspondent Terry Neal, fudging the facts in an online Q&A session!

Meanwhile, Mickey Kaus, a rare voice of sanity at the decidedly left-tilted Slate, comments on the matter (scroll down to "Who Is 'Mike Allen'?") [via Michelle Malkin]

So does TKS/NRO's Jim Geraghty.'s Kevin P. Craver publishes an open letter to the Washington Post that begins:

Dear Mr. Allen, Mr. Getler and Mr. Kurtz:

For the record, I do not think that The Washington Post had the intentional goal of bamboozling the public with its coverage of the "talking points memo" that appears to be a fraud. Regardless, the Post is guilty of two cardinal journalistic sins, namely printing wrong information and not promptly correcting it. Both need to be addressed immediately.

It also includes this passage:

As a journalist and a blogger, I know that the media's job is to present the facts without fear or favor. The GOP has wrongly taken a public relations black eye for something that was not their doing, and the fault lies squarely with the Post and ABC News, which also has done nothing to retract GOP authorship of the memo.

And concludes with this warning:

If no correction is to be run, the blogosphere will do it for you, and the fragile credibility of the mainstream media will show yet another crack.

4/2 UPDATE: checks in regarding the Terry Neal Q&A. An excerpt:

"If there is proof that the Republican leadership did NOT distribute this memo, then yes, Reuters should issue a correction. And yes,, I would think, would note in the corrections area that Reuters incorrectly reported that fact. But I still don’t think there’s proof that some in the GOP leadership did not pass the memo around." [Terry Neal]

Didn’t we hear this crap during Memogate? This kind of attitude makes good journalists throw up. So it’s up to the GOP to prove that they DIDN’T write and distribute this memo? So it’s up to anyone wronged by an MSM error to prove themselves innocent? In short, it’s up to the public to do for free what Washington Post journalists are paid to do?

Boy, I’d like to punch my old editors in the teeth right now. All these years, they had me do all this extra work to be able to back up my stories, when checking my facts was in reality the responsibility of the people and government officials I was writing about.

Meanwhile, both Michelle Malkin and suggest we send along some more questions about the memo scandal for Howard Kurtz, for his next online Q&A, seeing as how he ducked them last week. Any bets as to whether or not he will take a few of them this time around?

My earlier posts on this subject are located here:

I Suppose Karl Rove Wrote THIS, Too!

The Schiavo Memo Scandal Continues...

The Schiavo Memo Scandal: The Dam Bursts!

In Memorium...

Let us pause for a moment to remember a great man, Pope John Paul II, who is, by all accounts, at death's door, and, of course, Terri Schiavo, who passed away on Thursday.

May God grant you peace in the next life and comfort all who mourn your loss in this world. Amen.

What a sad week this has been.