Any moron might be able to get elected Senator
but it takes a real moron to write a talking points memo, and another one to work for the WaPo. Kaus has details: Non-fake but Inaccurate! Schiavo memo mystery seemingly resolved
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.
Kaus points out
whatever 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.
Maybe Martinez and Allen both should spend some time at a senator/journalist reform camp. After all, it’s not as if either of them was do anything trivial, like trying to sneak top-security documents out of the Archives by hiding them in his undies.