Semi-Daily Journal Archive

The Blogspot archive of the weblog of J. Bradford DeLong, Professor of Economics and Chair of the PEIS major at U.C. Berkeley, a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research, and former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury.

Sunday, January 15, 2006

Two Lies from Washington Post Ombudsman Deborah Howell (Why Oh Why Can't We Have a Better Press Corps

Skimming this morning, I spotted two lies from Washington Post ombudsman Deborah Howell. No doubt there are others as well.

She writes:

Getting the Story on Jack Abramoff: [A] Dec. 29 story said the two were not personally close. DeLay had once called Abramoff "one of my closest and dearest friends" and said on Fox News recently that they were friends. Schmidt and Grimaldi said that their reporting showed that the two were politically, not personally, close....

On October 18, Sue Schmidt and Jim Grimaldi wrote: "Abramoff, whom DeLay once described as 'one of my closest and dearest friends'..."--with no caveats about how the closeness was not personal but political. On December 29, Sue Schmidt and Jim Grimaldi wrote: "DeLay, a Christian conservative, did not quite know what to make of Abramoff, who wore a beard and a yarmulke. They forged political ties, but the two men never became personally close, according to associates of both men..."--with no caveats about how DeLay nonetheless called Abramoff "one of my closest and dearest friends." At least one of these stories is false. Certainly both are, at best, "incomplete."

And another:

Several stories, including one on June 3 by Jeffrey H. Birnbaum, a Post business reporter, have mentioned that a number of Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) and Sen. Byron Dorgan (N.D.), have gotten Abramoff campaign money.

Abramoff gave money to Republicans only. Some Indian tribes that hired Abramoff as a lobbyist also gave some money to Reid and Dorgan. But is that "Abramoff money"? Only for a certain definition of "Abramoff money"--and not an innocent one.

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