Sunday, September 13, 2015

Powerline: Utterly Shameless

     This is just too rich.

     Powerline was one of several conservative blogs that broke the "Rathergate" story.  Several weeks before the 2004 presidential election, Dan Rather and CBS news reported something negative about George Bush's Texas National Guard duty.  I don't remember what it was, but Rather based the story on a set of documents.  Somehow several conservative blogs including Powerline obtained the documents and determined they were forged.  IIRC correctly, Time magazine named them blog of the year. 

     Here's a link to the Wikipedia entry for more detail.

     The conservative blogs used this story to further the"liberal bias" meme.

     Here's the best part of this.  Earlier this year, John Hinderker of Powerline wrote five stories titled, "What happened to Harry Reid?"  Over the course of the five articles, Hinderker theorizes several possibilities about how Reid got his black eye.  At some point, he ran a story based on a source who, well, lied to Hinderaker.  The "source" revealed his deception to a Nevada newspaper:

In the pages of the Las Vegas Sun, a man named Larry Pfeifer announced that he had successfully duped a conservative blogger into running a story that Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid's recent injuries to his eyes and face were the result of a dustup with his own family.

Hinderaker would have recognized Pfeifer's name; he had published Pfeifer's account on Power Line only a few weeks earlier.

Initially sporting the alias "Easton Elliott," Pfeifer had approached Hinderaker claiming that he witnessed Reid's brother, Larry, talk about pummeling a family member while sharing at an 
Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. (Eventually, Pfeifer told Hinderaker his real name.)

Rather lost his job because of the story.  Hinideraker is still writing for Powerline.  I'm sure the boys at Powerline they have formulated some type of juicy rationalization to describe the difference between Hinderaker and Rather.    But, they're the same fact pattern.

Why is this important now?  Because Powerline is cranking up a series of posts on the movie "Truth" which is based on the Rathergate story.  I'm sure there will be lots of reminiscing about how important their blog was to the story. 

There will probably be no mention of Hinderaker's Dan Rather impersonation earlier this year.