(If you can’t see the MP4 video above, click below.)
Posted a little while ago on Twitter by ABC News’s Jonathan Karl:
In case you missed it, I sincerely regret the error I made describing an email from Ben Rhodes. 1/2
I should have stated, as I did elsewhere, the reporting was based on a summary provided by a source. I apologize for the mistake. 2/2
The facts are:
- Karl stated in no uncertain terms that he had “obtained” the emails. This was FALSE.
- Karl’s story also claimed that ABC News had “reviewed” the emails. This was FALSE.
- Karl’s story put the made-up email in quotation marks, when it was NOT A QUOTE.
Jonathan Karl clearly does not intend to retract his story, even though he lied outright about the circumstances and passed on false information from a Republican source. And just as clearly, he does not intend to reveal who gave him this false information.
It’s impossible to see this as anything other than a complete lack of journalistic ethics. Not to mention simple decency. What a disgrace.
If you’ve been following the story of the Benghazi “talking points” emails, you know that it’s now been confirmed beyond any doubt that Republican sources fed false information to the media, especially to ABC News’s Jonathan Karl. Karl claimed that he had “obtained” these emails, and we now know that this was completely untrue — he was quoting the words of his anonymous source, who lied to him. He did not “obtain” or even see the actual email in question.
The ethical thing to do at this point would be to correct and retract the story, and reveal the name of his dishonest source. But that’s not the path Karl is choosing:
On the Sunday, May 19 edition of CNN’s Reliable Sources, host Howard Kurtz read a statement from Jonathan Karl, chief White House Correspondent for ABC News in response to his reporting on altered emails related to the Sunday talk show talking points following the attacks on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya in September 2012. Karl now expresses regret about his original reporting on May 10th on the Benghazi emails. The statement reads:
“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
Amazing. ABC News should be ashamed of this kind of egotistical ass-covering. Their credibility is at stake, and they’re letting their anonymous right wing sources get away with lying to them.
Those “leaked” emails about Benghazi talking points first reported by the Weekly Standard’s Stephen Hayes, then picked up and trumpeted to the world by ABC News, were apparently distorted and mischaracterized to smear the State Department and the White House.
Imagine my surprise.
ABC News reported that Rhodes wrote: “We must make sure that the talking points reflect all agency equities, including those of the State Department, and we don’t want to undermine the FBI investigation. We thus will work through the talking points tomorrow morning at the Deputies Committee meeting.” The Weekly Standard reported that Rhodes “responded to the group, explaining that Nuland had raised valid concerns and advising that the issues would be resolved at a meeting of the National Security Council’s Deputies Committee the following morning.”
Whoever provided those quotes seemingly invented the notion that Rhodes wanted the concerns of the State Department specifically addressed. While Nuland, particularly, had expressed a desire to remove mentions of specific terrorist groups and CIA warnings about the increasingly dangerous assignment, Rhodes put no emphasis at all in his email on the State Department’s concerns.
Previous reporting also misquoted Rhodes as saying the group would work through the talking points at the deputies meeting on Saturday, September 15, when the talking points to Congress were finalized. While the previously written subject line of the email mentions talking points, Rhodes only addresses misinformation in a general sense.
So whoever leaked the inaccurate information earlier this month did so in a way that made it appear that the White House - specifically Rhodes - was more interested in the State Department’s concerns, and more focused on the talking points, that the email actually stated.
At her Facebook page, Sarah Palin stringently fact-checks the health care summit.
Oh, wait. Actually, she just reposted the GOP’s official talking points. The short version: 1) we are so interested in reconciliation, how dare you say we’re not? 2) really, honest, we mean it, we’re totally into reconciliation, 3) the CBO predicted health care premiums would rise [That’s not a fact, it’s spin. – ed.], 4) we want incremental plans, the Dems don’t, and 5) abortion, abortion, abortion!
It’s a real stretch to call any of this “fact checking.”
Meanwhile, here’s a revealing talking point montage from last night’s Chris Matthews show: