January 15, 2004

Fisking with faint praise: Blogger Roger Simon, in defending a typically-discredited Matt Drudge scoop, states that the "...quotes Drudge uses are not that Dowdified in the end." (emphasis mine)

UPDATE: It appears that what Drudge actually did stretches journalistic ethics beyond what is allowable, even on the internet. The term used above, dowdified, was coined by bloggers after columnist Maureen Dowd was found to have excised, through the use of magic ellipses (...), a segment of a speech by the President that would have made him sound less foolish than usual if it had been quoted. What Drudge did was even worse: he removed a sentence from General Clark's testimony, used ellipses, then inserted a passage from later in the testimony, thereby changing the meaning of what he said. The kindest way to view this is that Drudge failed to perform due diligence before he quoted the above segment, which he probably got from a third party; if Drudge's actions were knowing and deliberate, he should be treated with the utmost contempt by anyone with a sense of ethics. The failure of conservative bloggers to take steps to repudiate this practice gives lie to the pretense that we are "fact-checking our asses".

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