One of the most comical parts of the Dan Rather/Bush National Guard records fiasco came when Rather tried to shift gears after it was finally definitively clear that the records were bogus. Rather did one segment after this became clear where he basically said, ‘Yep, the fact that these were forgeries is a dramatic new turn in the story. And we’re on it!’ Note the single quotes; I’m paraphrasing.
When your story ends up being based on bogus information, that’s not a new development in the story. It means your story was wrong. And you need to say you made a mistake.
CNN’s Howard Kurtz, who knows a little bit about being in the line of media fire for his own work, offered ABC News’s embattled Jon Karl the chance to defend himself on Reliable Sources Sunday. Karl, of course, is in hot water because his “scoop” revealing that the White House tampered with Benghazi talking points relied on doctored email leaked by House Republican sources. That’s not my charge, by the way: CBS’s Major Garrett reported Friday that House GOP staffers peddled the doctored email to him and other reporters.
Karl didn’t appear on CNN, but he gave Kurtz a statement which is brazen and baffling.
Clearly, I regret the email was quoted incorrectly and I regret that it’s become a distraction from the story, which still entirely stands. I should have been clearer about the attribution. We updated our story immediately.
-Jonathan Karl, ABC News Chief White House Correspondent
A Washington ‘Whodunit’: Who Fed Bogus Benghazi ‘Emails’ to the Media? **UPDATE: A ‘Glaring Omission…’**
Here’s the Republican membership of the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee (the Committee is chaired by Democrat Thom Carper of Delaware):
Tom Coburn, (OK) Ranking Member
John McCain (AZ)
Ron Johnson (WI)
Rob Portman (OH)
Rand Paul (KY)
Mike Enzi (WY)
Kelly Ayotte (NH)
Pretty juicy list! Note how stacked the minority side of the committee is with presidential aspirants, potential aspirants, a former aspirant, and some of the most hardcore tea party Senators, including some, like Rand Paul, John McCain and Kelly Ayotte, who have gone after, first Susan Rice, and then Hillary Clinton guns blazing on Benghazi. But only one of those Senators ALSO sits on the Select Committee on Intelligence — which is the one that my administration source says got the February briefing”
And that person is Tom Coburn.
Now, what makes Coburn interesting?
After taking her viewers through the whole, long, ugly mess with ABC’s big “scoop” on the Benghazi emails and the how the story pretty much fizzled out by the end of the week with the discovery that Republicans were responsible for doctoring the supposed quotes from the emails that they published, Rachel Maddow gave her two cents on ABC still protecting the sources who lied to them.
Jon Karl Got Played by a Confidential Source and Now ABC News Has a Big Benghazi Problem » Pressthink
Jon Karl has dragged the entire news division at ABC (and now George Stephanopoulos) into his self-dug pit. He got played. His colleagues at other news organizations know it. His friends at the network, were they real friends, would try to talk him out of this disastrous state of denial.
In a letter to Rep. Darrell Issa exclusively obtained by CNN, the co-chairmen behind an independent review of September’s deadly attack in Benghazi, Libya, expressed irritation over the House Oversight Committee chairman’s portrayal of their work and requested he call a public hearing at which they can testify.
“The public deserves to hear your questions and our answers,” wrote former Ambassador Thomas Pickering and former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen, co-chairmen of the Accountability Review Board that was convened to investigate the September 11th attack.
Eight months after their report cited “systemic failures and leadership and management deficiencies” at the State Department,” Issa continues to be a leading critic of the accountability board, calling its review “a failure” and asking for further investigations into the Obama administration’s response during the attack and its aftermath.
The dispute between Issa and the co-chairmen came to a head after neither Pickering nor Mullen attended a May 8 House Oversight Committee hearing on the attacks, sparking a heated back and forth about who was invited and when. The rhetoric intensified Sunday during a highly contentious joint appearance with Issa and Pickering on NBC’s “Meet the Press” in which Issa maintained the two “refused to come before our committee.” Pickering insisted that he was not invited despite expressing a willingness to testify.
“Chairman Issa sent word back that he might want to take me up some time in the future” Pickering said.
Issa also suggested on the program that Pickering and Mullen meet with the committee behind closed doors so as not to create “some sort of stage show.” But the two assert in their letter that a public hearing is a “more appropriate forum” and accuse Issa of changing his “position on the terms of our appearance.”
“Having taken liberal license to call into question the Board’s work, it is surprising that you now maintain that members of the committee need a closed-door proceeding before being able to ask “informed questions” at a public hearing,” they write in the letter.
Pickering and Mullen assert that since they are not witnesses, but rather officials asked to serve on a review board, they should be permitted to testify in public.
“While we understand and respect that your committee has the authority and responsibility to review the Benghazi attacks, we ask that you similarly understand and respect that the Accountability Review Board bore its own authority and responsibility to review Benghazi,” they write.
“What the Committee is now proposing is highly unusual in the context of senior officials who are not fact witnesses but instead are reporting their own independent review.”
Last year’s attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.
Pickering and Mullen have proposed May 28 or June 3 for a public hearing.
… sponsors”. not really but sounds credible doesn’t it?
The White House is “not surprised” by a CNN report indicating that quotes on the Benghazi attack attributed to a White House official were actually made up by media sources, press secretray Jay Carney said Tuesday.
“Republicans who were leaking these emails that have been shared with Congress didn’t just do that, they decided to fabricate portions of an email and make up portions of an email in order to fit a political narrative,” he told reporters at his daily briefing.
“I’m not surprised by it because we’ve seen it again and again,” he said. It “reinforces what we’ve seen, which is an ongoing effort to politicize this, to cherry pick information, or in this case make it up to fit a political narrative.”
I guarantee you Karl had a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach when he saw that explanation. Because that explanation by reference to earlier comments in the thread is pretty weak. Karl’s follow on piece is entitled “More Details on Benghazi Talking Points Emerge” but the substance is, ‘How the Story Changes When I Realize the Notes I Was Using Weren’t Reliable.’ The answer here is that Karl pretty clearly got burned by his source. But he at least seriously singed himself by making it really, really look like he was looking at the emails themselves when he wasn’t.
More: Better Answer, Please
See also LGF