TIME called. They want their award back…
First off, le rocket du butt was…wrong:
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 Darling, 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 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.”
So it wasn’t a “Democratic aide” that the Rocket kept alluding to.
There is a story here, if our media wanted to pursue it. The memo in question is a pathetic piece of work. Any competent person could look at it and see that it is not a product of the Republican leadership. It is on a blank piece of paper; no letterhead, no signature, no identification. Anyone in the world could have typed it. It is incompetently produced: it gets the Senate bill number wrong, misspells Terri Schiavo’s name, and is full of typographical errors. The only people reported to have distributed it (by the New York Times) were Democratic staffers. And–most fundamentally–it is absurd to think that the Republican leadership would produce a “talking points” memo discussing what great politics the Schiavo case was for Republicans. Those aren’t talking points; not for Republicans, anyway. The memo benefited the only party that it could possibly have benefited: the Democrats.
…and so this is his response:
Assuming this is for real, it solves the mystery of where the “talking points memo” came from. It leaves open the question of why ABC and the Washington Post reported the memo the way they did. 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.
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 mis-reported 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.
…and later adds:
Mike Allen has an article in tomorrow’s Washington Post, which says that Mel Martinez’s “legal counsel,” Brian Darling, was the author of the memo. Otherwise, his story doesn’t add much that is new, and doesn’t attempt to explain the discrepancies between his original reporting and the most recent version. In particular, Allen offers no explanation as to why the anonymous memo was attributed to “Republican officials” or “Republican party leaders,” or why it was said to have been distributed “to Republican senators,” when the current story provides no support for those statements.
Fact: it came from Martinez’s office. He is a former Cabinet member not some first term yokel from Fargo. It wasn’t some flunky intern, but Martinez’s “legal counsel” (Rocketman air quotes). Other Republican Senators denied seeing it. Duh. And they didn’t know she was only sixteen either.
Face it…It came from a Senators office. He owned up to it. Story over.
Meanwhile the Rocket is being carried out kicking and screaming about commas and dangling participles.
Be a man, Rocket. Admit you were wrong and then shut the fuck up for awhile.
(Added): Let’s be clear here. Hindrocket and the other two stooges at Power Line made their reputation, such as it is, on the Rather memo, a supposedly fake memo refering to an actual event: Bush went AWOL. But in their eyes the fact that the memo was fishy meant that the process was more important then that inconvenient historical fact. Today we see that the notion that Mike Allen didn’t have all of his facts complete and carved in stone regarding a evolving story means that the reality that it was a Republican memo is irrelevant.
Maybe these three knuckleheads should use the same line of reasoning when it comes to adding up 9/11 + weapons of Mass destruction that don’t exist = invade Iraq.