Courtesy of Little Green Footballs:
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.
FAIR provides some background on Karl.
Karl came to mainstream journalism via the Collegiate Network, an organization primarily devoted to promoting and supporting right-leaning newspapers on college campuses (Extra!, 9-10/91)—such as the Rutgers paper launched by the infamous James O’Keefe (Political Correction, 1/27/10). The network, founded in 1979, is one of several projects of the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, which seeks to strengthen conservative ideology on college campuses. William F. Buckley was the ISI’s first president, and the current board chair is American Spectator publisher Alfred Regnery. Several leading right-wing pundits came out of Collegiate-affiliated papers, including Ann Coulter, Dinesh D’Souza, Michelle Malkin, Rich Lowry and Laura Ingraham (Washington Times, 11/28/04).
Andrew Sullivan takes exception to the sliming of Jon Karl…
The ABC News reporter is a “right-wing mole“? Please. Yes, Jon Karl came into journalism via the Collegiate program to bring more conservatives into the MSM. Personally, I think that’s a good thing. When he and I were at TNR together, I saw nothing in him but good sense, good humor, and ambition. And the alleged sins of Karl are extremely petty – and designed to pile on after his regurgitation of Republican summaries of emails that were, shall we say, slanted a little. But Jon apologized for being a little suckered and has always, so far as I can see, been a fair-minded reporter.
Charles P. Pierce at Esquire is not so forgiving…
Assuming the FAIR report is accurate, then Jonathan Karl was not trained as a journalist, because the Collegiate Network doesn’t produce journalists. It produces partisan warriors. He was not trained as a reporter, because the Collegiate Network doesn’t produce reporters. It produces propagandists. He was not trained as a newsman, because the Collegiate Network doesn’t produce newsmen. It produces hacks.
This is, of course, indelicate for someone in my business to say but, at every level of his steady rise in the business, some executive should have looked at Karl’s resume, seen The Collegiate Network there, and then shitcanned the thing before the interview process even began. Are there conservatives who are good reporters? Absolutely. But all the ones that I know came up the same way I did, and none of them came up through the coddled terrariums of the activist Right. They learned their craft. They were not trained to be spies in the camp of the enemy. They were not trained to be moles. And every damn one of them would have checked those phony e-mails before throwing them out to the public, and most of them wouldn’t have fallen for them, because they are journalists, reporters, and newsmen. They are not partisan warriors, propagandists, or hacks. If Jonathan Karl doesn’t like being called a hack, then he should stop being a hack. Here’s one way to do it.
Blow the source who lied to you and, therefore, lied to us.
Do that. Or be a hack.
There’s no third alternative.
Maybe it’s just me. But I think this in itself is a huge scandal. Karl clearly lied. There can be no doubt about that. He lied to the entire world, not just America. He lied in order to slime PO and The White House, and to further the GOP’s desire to see the president impeached. He didn’t see any emails, and he fucking lied! This is no small thing that he decided to tinker with. This is a big fucking deal.