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September 18, 2004
Real Time Fact Checking
On Thursday, the Washington Post (annoying reg. req.) had a live online chat with washingtonpost.com Chief Political Correspondent Terry Neal (Talking Points Live: Terry Neal). Responding to a question regarding Rathergate, Neal said:
The bottom line is, for however badly CBS and Dan Rather seem to have screwed up, it was the aggressive reporting of the media--and especially the Washington Post (Michael Dobbs, Howie Kurtz, et al)--that revealed the problems with the memos in the first place.
As anyone who reads this blog knows, indeed anyone following the story at virtually any level whatsoever, it was blogs that broke the story.
I don't want to give Neal a hard time, but he's the political correspondent for the washingtonpost.com. Perhaps he should be paying a little more attention to the blogosphere.
In any case, by the end of the 1-hour chat, Neal had been corrected:
New York, N.Y.: I agree with your point about not blaming the entire media for CBS's bad judgement, but in terms of digging into the story of whether they were fakes -- didn't that start in the blogs?
Terry Neal: You know raise a good question. And to be honest, I'm not sure of the answer. I don't know who the first person or people were to raise the issue. Either way, it can't be denied that the mainstream media has been aggressive in its reporting of the memo mess, whether it was broken there or in the blogs first.
Washington, D.C. : The aggressive reporting of Howard Kurtz and Michael Dobbs only came after the work of bloggers who uncovered the whole mess.
Terry Neal: I'm getting a lot of notes like this...See my previous answer. And allow me, as a mainstream media guy, to give credit were credit is due. Kudos to the bloggers!
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