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U.S. Capitol dome in storm
The truth ain't in there
Darrell Issa's grand Benghazi conspiracy panel turned out to be, even by Congressional hearing standards, a colossal borefest. That much is clear; in spite of heavy, heavy setup and promotion worthy of a big-budget summer flick, the end result turned out to be such a dull box of nothings that even Fox News couldn't pretend it was interesting stuff.

On Tuesday CNN's Jake Tapper reported that one of the few supposed smoking guns, vis-a-vis the grand Issa-backed conspiracy theory of the administration plotting to bend the Sunday morning show talking points, turned out to be a bust. (Why Darrell Issa considers the possible politicization of Sunday show talking points to be bigger crime than anything that happened during the whole of the Bush presidency is left as an exercise for the reader.) ABC's Jonathan Karl had a source assert to him that the contents of the email showed the White House was intervening in the process in order to somehow protect the State Department from talking points that would make the State Department sad, or something—again, what the f--k-all these people are going on about still somewhat eludes me, so down the rabbit hole they've gone—but the actual leaked email doesn't seem to show that. It instead shows a Deputy National Security Adviser worried primarily about getting the story right in the face of "a ton of wrong information," which seems to be a pretty good thing to be concerned about, all things considered.

Karl has responded with a rebuttal to Tapper. The short version: This email that is different from what my source purported it to be still shows I was mostly right all along, so there. Woo, reporter slapfight!

This helps fill out the portrait of the inter-agency deliberations that went into shaping the now-discredited talking points. Assuming, as appears to be the case based on time stamps, that this is a version of the same e-mail ABC News reported on last week, there are some differences. […]

The source was not permitted to make copies of the original e-mails. The White House has refused multiple requests – from journalists, including myself, and from Republican leaders in Congress – to release the full e-mail exchanges.

If by "fill out the portrait" you mean "notice that there is nothing in the damn portrait," I suppose you might have a point. Karl then goes on to cite other things his original source said, ignoring the minor point of his source now demonstrably not getting the first thing right, but did ask his source for a reaction to being wrong the first time and can report that his source said that the email "chain" kinda says what he implied it says, even if the precise email he was referring to the first time turns out not to, and oh Lord I can't even pretend to be interested in this. At least Whitewater taught a whole generation that something called "cattle futures" existed, even if not one person in ten could tell you why the hell they suddenly cared.

Steve Benen rightly wonders who Karl's source is, given that their info seems a misleading and more than a bit politically motivated. I don't think we'll ever find out, though. Not because of the famous reporter loyalty to even sources that (apparently) burn them, but because Washington reporters know that anonymous sources spouting politically motivated bullshit is really the only way to keep a faux-controversy going, and faux-controversies are the bread and butter of political fame for ambitious congresscritters, reporters and pundits alike. As long as you don't give a damn about putting out "a ton of wrong information," it's win-win-win, baby.

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Comment Preferences

    •  Never trust a reporter with two first names (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Here's an excellent rule of thumb:  "Reporters "with two first names are usually just actors with headshots.

      The two first name thing is an attempt at ethnic anonymity.  No Italians, Jews, Irish, or other form of controversial naming.  

      Just Anglo fraud full of shit actors pretending to be reporters:

      Add Jonathan Karl to the list:

      George Will, Cokie Roberts, Brian Williams, Chuck Todd,  David Gregory, Chris Wallace, David Brooks, Megan Kelly, Cal Thomas, etc. etc.

      •  "Cokie" doesn't count as a first name unless (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        beltane, Palafox, cocinero

        you count nicknames of street level drug dealers.

        Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

        by bigtimecynic on Wed May 15, 2013 at 08:18:04 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Actually, never trust a reporter (0+ / 0-)

        (like Karl) who is the product of a conservative media training program, the "Collegiate Network".

        A Right-Wing Mole at ABC News

        Other graduates of the program include:
        Matthew Continetti
        Ann Coulter
        Dinesh D'Souza
        Ross Douthat
        Maggie Gallagher
        Laura Ingraham
        Rich Lowry
        Richard Miniter
        John Podhoretz

        I'm a dyslexic agnostic insomniac. I lie awake at night wondering if there's a dog.

        by rennert on Wed May 15, 2013 at 10:37:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Google Jonathan Karl and Vassar Spectator (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          You'll find that he was editor in chief of the conservative Vassar Spectator in 1990.  I know because I was there.  He and Marc Thiessen (W's speechwriter) co-founded the paper.  Among their accomplishments was hosting a reception for William F. Buckley, Jr. at the campus drawing protest from a sizable portion of the student body.  In a notable preview of the current conservative victimization meme, Jonathan claimed the protest was an attempt to silence conservatives with an article "Stifled Speech on Campus" (paywall, sorry) published in the Christian Science Monitor.

  •  Heh...'Reporter slap fight' (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ZedMont, VTelder, Palafox, Patate

    ABC sucks!

  •  Who in the hell to trust? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blue aardvark

    Damned if I know.
    Perhaps the IRS?
    The FBI?

    LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

    by dinotrac on Wed May 15, 2013 at 07:43:26 AM PDT

  •  When there's no there there, then you know (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, Not A Bot

    they're just going to revive their "there you go again," which is their time-tested Reagan-from-the-grave response to their (the other "their") no there there, and so there.

    Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed. --Herman Melville

    by ZedMont on Wed May 15, 2013 at 07:43:47 AM PDT

    •  They're is a lot of confusion out their (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      among some people when there trying to figure out witch won is write.  The long-retired inner editor in me cringes when reading online sometimes, but then I remember OCDness is bad for BP at my age.  

      A wise man hears one word and understands two.

      by Not A Bot on Wed May 15, 2013 at 08:39:18 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Me, too, but I have had to grudgingly admit that (0+ / 0-)

        some who use words incorrectly are actually brilliant people who are not quite as OCD as I am.  There would probably be even more than we know about, except that they employ editors.

        What really irritates me though, is when I use a word correctly, and people argue with me vehemently.  This usually happens in connection with the past subjunctive mood, as in "I wish I was/were an Oscar Meyer wiener." Frankly, unless you ARE an Oscar Mayer wiener, the correct word is* were.  Unlike some of their tube steak consumers, Oscar Mayer knew this and used it correctly in their '60s era jingle.

        *I'm almost hesitant to say something is incorrect anymore, because as soon as enough people say something incorrectly to the point of virtual ubiquity, the incorrect is suddenly deemed by the correctness police to be correct.  (I realize I probably hung/hanged a participle there somewhere.  I never could quite get the handle on that, but that too has been forgiven in the age of text-speak.

        Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed. --Herman Melville

        by ZedMont on Wed May 15, 2013 at 09:26:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  We're not watching ABC any more (11+ / 0-)

    Sex, sleaze, and scandal--the network (networst?) should change its name to the SSS broadcasting network.  Ridiculous.

    We switched to a different channel for local news this morning and will switch to PBS or BBC for evening news.  I'm still not certain as to whether our local cable carries Al Jazeera.

    How to Bore Yourself to Death with One Word--Benghazi.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Wed May 15, 2013 at 07:44:34 AM PDT

    •  Alcohol Broadcasting System. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
    •  Sometimes ABC's (0+ / 0-)

      This Week has Krugman on a panel to knock down GOP nonsense on economics. I like Cokie Roberts; she knows Washington politics. And Mathew Dowd sometimes makes good sense for a Republican. From Sunday's show on the IRS:

      DOWD: ...This is so, everything about this is so typical Washington and so typical partisan on each side of this. There's a great quote by Napoleon who says "Never ascribe to malice that which can be easily attributed to incompetence."

      And every time something like this happens, and I'm not saying there's not stuff involved in here that has to be explained and all that. And Benghazi to me is another example. We jump to scandal long before we settle on stupidity....

  •  So basically they are sticking with their fantasy (9+ / 0-)

    It seems to me than rather own up, come clean, and say they got it wrong, ABC would rather keep trying to make their made up story real. Even after getting caught, they are still throwing up bullshit to justify their incompetence.

    The so called reporter claimed he "reviewed" the emails but when there was a discrepancy, he now claims he didn't see anything and relied on his source.

    Can someone tell me how that wouldn't get you kicked out of even j school? How is that not automatically disqualifying on forward? ABC - like CNN in the past year - has embarrassed themselves to the point of showing flat out laziness, an agenda, and a serious problem of ethics.

    •  If ABC had done this to Bush (or any Repub) (0+ / 0-)

      right wingers, at the behest of Hannity and Rush and their ilk, would be all up in arms, posting  ABC email addresses and ABC phone numbers to motivate the villagers to harass ABC endlessly until Jonathan Karl resigned.  Lefties have less capacity for outrage, I think.

  •  If you have been scooped by Jake Tapper... (16+ / 0-)

    It really is time to pack it in.

    'Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost' - Ronald Reagan, Communist

    by RichM on Wed May 15, 2013 at 07:45:57 AM PDT

  •  Certain....someone (besides Issa) is going to end (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    blue aardvark, VTelder, Palafox

    up with egg on his face.....Gotta check my popcorn supplies.

  •  Karl Should Be Fired Just Like Dan Rather Was (7+ / 0-)

    Karl put out doctored emails and to me just as bad or worse that what happened with Dan Rather.

    "Don't Let Them Catch You With Your Eyes Closed"

    by rssrai on Wed May 15, 2013 at 07:48:18 AM PDT

  •  ABC's (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, Palafox, Patate

    Terry Moran sent that ridiculous tweet (140 character proclamations are what MSM reporting has devolved into) about the "Nixonian abuse of power" when the IRS kerfuffle broke.  I don't see Terry apologizing either.

  •  Since actual quotation marks (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cherish0708, TomP, Palafox, S F Hippie, Patate

    don't mean a thing anymore (according to ABC and Jonathan Karl), I can report that Jonathan Karl said:

    "I really am a stupid goat-f**ker.  It's a lot of fun."

  •  And next we find out that the AP wiretap (6+ / 0-)

    info reveals that the leaker was a Bush appointee who was also responsible for the Cincinnati IRS office going after the Tea Brained groups.

    Conspiracy Theory TRIFECTA! How much mojo do I win?

    Economics is a social *science*. Can we base future economic decisions on math?

    by blue aardvark on Wed May 15, 2013 at 07:53:01 AM PDT

  •  Hunter, it's all about leading up to impeachment (4+ / 0-)

    prior to the 2016 elections, so as to taint any candidate the Dems put up for election.  It's what they did in the late 90s with the lynching of Bill Clinton, and they're doing it again now nearly 20 years later.

    It's so transparent that it would be laughable if it weren't set on autopilot by cultural institutions and industries who have everything to gain from doing this when it suits them.  And apparently it suits them to have Dems put out of the running for the 2014 to whenever cycle.  Not that Dems have been able to accomplish much during the past 4 years as it is.

    That's one more thing to add to my long list of small problems. --my son, age 10

    by concernedamerican on Wed May 15, 2013 at 07:54:35 AM PDT

  •  Summer Silly Season - Rise Of The Press Interns (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    xxdr zombiexx, TomP, Palafox, rlharry

    wake me when Bigfoot turns up.

    There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

    by bernardpliers on Wed May 15, 2013 at 07:59:53 AM PDT

  •  I still can't figure out why it matters (7+ / 0-)

    that Susan Rice said one thing or another on a Sunday talking heads show.  No one watches least the "American people" don't watch them.  And those who do know that they're watching the place where politicians spin and lie about policy questions.  Every word out of McCain and Graham's mouths EVERY FREAKING SUNDAY is a politically slanted talking point.

    Are they delusional enough to believe that people take them at their word?  That they are doing something important rather than just wanking to their friends?

  •  Screw them all (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    merrywidow, Palafox, rlharry

    and really get the press in a frenzy - prosecute the Bush administration for war crimes before the impeachment process starts - might as well leave a legacy worth legacy-ing about.

    Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up. A. A. Milne

    by hulibow on Wed May 15, 2013 at 08:06:33 AM PDT

  •  Wasn't Jake Tapper (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    TomP, Palafox, Patate

    on ABC before he recently went over to CNN?

  •  The best thing that could come out of this debacle (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    beltane, TomP, Palafox

    is that more americans distrust the 'news' and the republicans.

    Because both are as crooked as a dog's hind leg.

  •  This is why the pricks think they can impeach (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    beltane, TomP, Palafox, msdrown

    Obama over whatever shit they fling should they re-take the Senate.

    Because if how the faux scandal onslaught that is the news these days is any indication, they can probably take a really seriously dire run at it. If they win both Houses of Congress. Who is going to debunk even the worst nonsense if this is how things are going to go down?

    Benghazi is stupid incoherent nonsense, and ABC News is swapping emails with Stephen Hayes and the Weekly Standard. Because, hell, Matt Drudge is too busy to work with them on the story.


    Stephen Hayes sent ABC News some bad faith epic failsauce. Who couldn't see that shit coming? A bad faith hack acting as a bad faith hack? What is the world comin' to?

    It's like it's the late 1990's again. Like 1994-2013 didn't happen.

    I wouldn't be shocked at all if Kenneth Starr was on my TV as often as Nancy Grace is during a big trial.

    I am a Loco-Foco. I am from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party.

    by LeftHandedMan on Wed May 15, 2013 at 08:14:53 AM PDT

  •  For Dan Rather; A Career Ending Move. (7+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    beltane, TomP, AllanTBG, Palafox, Tchrldy, skod, rlharry

    But when reporters break later-debunked sources against Democrats?  Crickets.

    Someone really needs to ask the question of the media as to why they continue to give a big fat BJ to Republicans and only "find their spine" when Democrats are involved. This reminds me of the "bravery" shown by the New York Times as they were breathlessly covering the Whitewater witch hunt and then years later publishing demonstrably false information straight from Ahmed Chalabi's fax machine regarding Iraq.

    Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!

    by bigtimecynic on Wed May 15, 2013 at 08:16:54 AM PDT

  •  Karl is lying (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Liberal Capitalist, Palafox, rlharry

    Jon Karl said in his report that he had received the ACTUAL emails.

    No he did not. Whatever the "narrative" may or may not be, he has lied.

    He received a "summary" of the emails which were missing details.

  •  When you fill out a portrait, Jon, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    You're supposed to use paint, not bullshit.

  •  Disney/ABC dead last in the ratings. (0+ / 0-)

    How is this even possible?

    "Life is short, but long enough to get what's coming to you." --John Alton

    by Palafox on Wed May 15, 2013 at 08:29:13 AM PDT

  •  Old habits die hard, eh, ABC? (0+ / 0-)

  •  So (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Overseas, Patate

    If an original police statement was that "Johnathan Karl is not a child molester", but Jake Tapper reported the police statement as saying that "Johnathan Karl is a child molester", then Karl wouldn't have a problem with that because Tapper's quote of the police statement was mostly correct.  Only one word -- out of seven -- was wrong.

    This aggression will not stand, man.

    by kaleidescope on Wed May 15, 2013 at 09:06:35 AM PDT

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