ABC, Washington Post, & NY Times Taken in by Another Phony Memo?--

Last week there was another probably forged memo that was attributed to Republicans, even though the NY Times reported that Democratic staffers were spreading it around.

This one involved the supposed Terri Schiavo talking points. John Hinderaker has the story (tip Instapundit).

UPDATE: A reader points me to this story indicating that the memo did, in fact, come from a Republican Senator's staff. Kudos to the Washington Post for nailing down the story--better late than never.

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. Still More on the Schiavo Memo:
  2. Update on the Schiavo Memo:
  3. ABC, Washington Post, & NY Times Taken in by Another Phony Memo?--
Update on the Schiavo Memo: Despite lots of speculation in the conservative blogosphere that the GOP Schiavo memo was a fake planted by Democrats, it turns out that the memo is real. The Washington Post reports today:
  The legal counsel to Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) admitted yesterday that he was the author of a memo citing the political advantage to Republicans of intervening in the case of Terri Schiavo, the senator said in an interview last night.
  Brian H. Darling, 39, a former lobbyist for the Alexander Strategy Group on gun rights and other issues, offered his resignation and it was immediately accepted, Martinez said.
Still More on the Schiavo Memo:

Mickey Kaus (Slate), no Republican loyalist, writes (go to his post for many links):

Non-fake but inaccurate! WaPo's Mike Allen reports that the now-famous Schiavo "talking points" memo came from freshman GOP senator Mel Martinez's office. So that mystery is cleared up. The memo wasn't a fake. But Allen doesn't come off looking too good in this latest account. a) The memo was apparently not "distributed to Republican Senators by party leaders," as Allen's initial story, sent out through the Post news service to other papers, reported. It was--at least judging from today's account--handed to one Democratic senator, Tom Harkin, by one freshman Republican senator (who isn't in the party leadership); b) Allen doesn't explain why he told Howie Kurtz he "did not call them talking points or a Republican memo" when he had in fact done just that in the news service draft; c) Even the later, more "carefully worded" account Allen published in the Post itself was apparently wrong. Allen wrote

In a memo distributed only to Republican senators, the Schiavo case was characterized as "a great political issue" ...

This is almost the reverse of what Allen now reports. We know the memo was distributed to at least one Democratic senator. We don't know whether it was distributed to any Republican senator other then the senator whose staffer wrote it (although it's hard to believe it wasn't given to at least some other GOP lawmakers). Allen's story left the now-unsupported impression that Republican senators were conspiratorially reading the memo amongst themselves; d) ... [W]hatever legitimate valence Allen's 'memo' story had depended almost entirely on the impression that the memo revealed and represented the strategy of the GOP leaders who pushed the Schiavo bill. If all that was involved was a staff memo Martinez gave to Harkin, Allen's story was way out of whack. The memo wasn't close to being worth the play it got in WaPo or in Douglass' report. (It's not worth the current Senate investigation either. What's the crime--politicians considering politics?) ... Update: Reader V.H. notes that Allen refers to Martinez as "the GOP's Senate point man on the [Schiavo] issue." The Philadelphia Inquirer's Steve Goldstein named him as one of three point men (along with Frist and Santorum). That's a point in Allen's favor, making Martinez more of a Republican "leader" on this particular issue at least. But he's still low on the GOP totem pole. Allen still lacks evidence that Martinez even shared the memo with other Republicans, much less that it reflected the thinking of any other, actual "party leaders." And it still wasn't a scandal if it did. ... P.S.: Did GOP Congressional bigshots really care much about the views of Florida Democrat Bill Nelson, whom the memo mentions prominently? That seems more a Martinez-centric concern. . . .