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Is it possible to defend the indefensible? Erik Wemple in The Washington Post reports that Politico reporter Dave Catanese has attempted to do just that, in several tweets:

Ok, I'm gonna (ask for it) & defend @toddakin for argument's sake.We all know what he was trying to say . . .

— davecatanese (@davecatanese) August 20, 2012
Then this:

Poor phrasing, but if you watch the intv @toddakin meant to convey that there's less chance of getting pregnant if raped.

— davecatanese (@davecatanese) August 20, 2012

Why would a reporter do this? Why would a reporter attempt to aid Akin and defend the indefensible and bring on a flood of angry tweets in response?

Erik Wemple of the Washington Post speculates:  "Catanese’s open-air riffing appears to stem from a sense that everything in the political realm welcomes a point-counterpoint exchange. That perhaps some more expertly chosen words would resolve this mess."

But not in this case, Wemple rightly concludes.

That a reporter would even attempt to, in effect, perform PR work for Akin is a new low for Politico.

They should be ashamed.


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