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August 4, 2005

Targeting the Dancing Boy and the Demure Girl

August 4, 2005 | By | 9 Comments

dancing_boy.jpg

Matt Drudge is reporting that the New York Times is “investigating” the adoption records of John and Jane Roberts’ kids.

I said it was hardball.

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Comments

  1. You might want to wait until you hear it from someone besides Drudge. He’s been wrong before. Many times. If the Times never ends up running an article about this, you’ll never know if the story was true or if Drudge was lied to by his source, or even if his source was exaggerating.

    Let’s spend a moment talking about ethics. What if the New York Times got a nasty tip from someone that the Roberts’s bought their two children from a child trafficker (like hiring an illegal nanny, but worse)? The responsible thing for the Times to do would be to have someone check up on the records, right? Now, imagine that instead of checking the veracity of the accusation they simply told the world “We’re investigating a rumor that Roberts bought his children from a child trafficker.” Imagine if the Times spread the rumor before knowing if it was true or not.

    Charmaine, look in the mirror because that’s what you just did.

    Basically you’ve just propagated an ugly rumor (about the Times) without any evidence. Do you think that maybe that’s not fair play? Do you consider spreading unsubstantiated rumors honest, ethical behavior?

    Do you realize that you’ve just shown less ethics than the Times?

  2. Judge Roberts: May Be One Of “Them”

    Okay, now we go after his kids’ adoption records, and float a rumor that he’s a member of Team Pink.

    Washington’s such a nice place.

  3. Bang. Askrom is right.

    I’m kicking myself for not realizing it sooner. The fact is that the only smear merchant we know for sure here is Matt Drudge.

  4. Dawn Patrol

    Some of these are from yesterday’s lost patrol IRAQ Monday — [Michael Yon – freelance journalist in Iraq] Mosul, Iraq The three most dangerous places in Iraq are Baghdad, Mosul, and Al Anbar province. While most of Iraq is functioning…

  5. Wyck

    Well, THE SLIMES has admitted that it had lauched such an investigation—they have no shame!

    I guess someone here owes Drudge an apology?

  6. Wyck:

    1) What are you talking about? Where has the Times admitted such a thing?

    2) Neither Dean nor I ever said Drudge was being dishonest at all. I didn’t even suggest it (go ahead, re-read my post). I was careful to merely point out that he was printing an incomplete story without bothering to find out the whole truth, and that his source’s facts may have been questionable.

    I said that even if the Times is conducting an investigation into the Roberts adoptions it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re doing anything unethical, or that they’re on a cold-blooded fishing expedition. They’re more likely trying to learn the veracity of a nasty rumor or tip that they (and possibly other journalists) have received. In other words, maybe they’re just doing what journalists are supposed to do: confirm the facts behind a story before printing or saying anything.

    The only one around here so far who has cast any shadows or doubts on the Roberts family adoptions are Drudge, Charmaine, and you. If not for you and Charmaine’s careless complicity and Drudge’s utter cravenness, the Times might have completed their investigation quietly and saved the Roberts family the scandal. But Drudge first put it out there, Charmaine and others spread it around like an STD, and you’re still swallowing it. The Times didn’t do anything wrong.

    No apology is required from me, either.

  7. K-Lo at NRO blogged at the Corner yesterday that she had been made aware of this by a contact at the Times.

    Lets not be so fast to gut Drudge; he’s like many folks…sometimes he gets stuff right and sometimes he doesn’t.

  8. Yes, but is there any reason to beleive that the Times wasn’t simply trying to check the validity of a nasty story about Roberts? No. Did they ever print anything, or did they ever even suggest that they were looking into it? So for all any of us know, Drudge and the right-wing blogosphere in general are basically taking what is likely to be plain old responsible journalism and spinning it into a witch hunt.

    And, ironically but certainly not coincidentally, the right wing blogosphere has done exactly what the Times is accused of: Cast aspersions on Roberts and his family.

    You folks need to go back to ethics class. Cast aspersions when you have some facts. Otherwise, keep quiet, else you end up hurting more people than you had intended. That’s what I’ve always been taught.

  9. he’s like many folks…sometimes he gets stuff right and sometimes he doesn’t

    That’s the right-wing standard of journalism I guess. Throw it out there, and maybe it will turn out to be true. Sure mainstream press is guilty of getting the facts dead wrong, but Drudge and Fox, for example, are notorious not only for getting things factually wrong almost weekly, but for almost never issuing a correction.

    Both Fox and Drudge make reports that are framed as “People are saying XYZ”, which of course absolves them of all requirements of truth, because “people” could mean anybody. This story is most likely yet another example of that kind of story that is factually correct but more powerful for the false impressions it creates through ommission of key facts (in this case, the impression that the Times was simply digging for dirt rather than doing ethical journalism).

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