Yesterday Glenn Greenwald wrote:
The most minimal standards of integrity compel retractions along with apologies to the NYT and the reporter and photographer of this article from the following accusers.
He proceeds to list a long list of people who linked to a story by David Horowitz about the New York Times travel section piece on the Eastern Shore homes of Vice President Dick Cheney and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Lorie Byrd linked to the piece, expressing confusion as to whether there intent was malicious or just cluelessness. She came down firmly on the side of cluelessness.
It turns out, due in no small measure to the work of Greenwald and Greg Sargent it turns out that the story was every bit the puff piece it was intended to be, and the pictures of the exterior of Rumsfeld’s residence were taken in coordination with his staff. For what it’s worth several comments to Lorie’s post questioned the interpretation of the story, and I’ve since added a link to Glenn’s main post.
Taken on it’s own perhaps the reaction to New York Times piece might seem bizarre – though it’s worth noting that as of this writing Technorati shows only 131 links to the article – but Greenwald fails to mention the context of the story; coming so shortly after the exposure of the SWIFT banking records story, whose context was so succinctly summarized here at Wizbang:
1) We have no reason to believe the program was illegal in any way.
2) We have every reason to believe it was effective at catching terrorists.
3) We ran the story anyway, screw you.
With that context in mind, when someone points out a NYT piece that appears to give a roadmap to senior government officials residences and notes that maybe terrorists would be interested in that information, it’s no surprise that some bloggers linked to it and wondered if there was an ulterior motive. Horowitz is sticking by his interpretation of the story, but one suspects he won’t be getting another round of coverage.
While the newfound obsession among liberal bloggers with issuing retractions is noteworthy, it’s also worth noting that there weren’t any notable retractions in the liberal blogosphere for incessant reporting that Karl Rove was (or would be) indicted and in numerous other instances.
Since this retraction meme has now spread to the front page at Daily Kos one may assume that the liberal side of the blogosphere has now embraced the concept that they will be required to issue retractions for stories they link to which are later corrected by mainstream media outlets.
Guess what? I’ve got one for them…
Perhaps the liberal blogosphere would like to begin by going back and retracting their reporting on the USAToday story that said that AT&T, Verizon and BellSouth provided “phone call records of tens of millions of Americans” to the National Security Agency. USAToday has had to retract a major portion of its story. The folks at Think Progress, Daily Kos, and Glenn Greenwald (multiple occurrences).
Remind them that it’s hypocritical to run around demanding corrections if you’re not willing to play by the same rules.
Interestingly Greenwald demands that the long list of bloggers who linked to the FrontPage story and New York Time piece apologize to the photographer whose personal details were evidently published on some blog no one has ever head of. The apology demand don’t appear to apply to the 16 liberal bloggers who linked to the The Flying Monkey-Right Blog, only to the laundry list of conservative bloggers who are guilty, presumably by partisan affiliation, since none of them actually link to, nor likely had ever heard of the site.
A quick gander at the very prominent Site Meter at The Flying Monkey-Right Blog should disabuse Greenwald of the notion that anyone aside from Google wielding Kos kiddies were actually visiting that site… but I digress.
This notion that, in addition to retracting a story, that bloggers must apologize for the actions of other bloggers that they have neither endorsed or commented on, is ridiculous. By that logic every liberal blogger active in 2004 owes readers an apology for Markos’ “Screw Them” comment; even the prominent ones that condemned him for making it…