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March 23, 2005
ABC News Channeling Mary Mapes?

The talking-points memo that ABC News reported this weekend that supposedly encouraged Republicans in Congress to support the emergency bill for Terri Schiavo looks fishier all the time. As Power Line noted last night, the memo itself has finally been scanned to PDF and placed on the Internet, although not by ABC. The memo has some odd characteristics, as Rocket Man points out:

The memo is not only "unsigned," as it was described by the Washington Post; it is not on House or Senate letterhead, nor is there any indication of source or authenticity. It is a memo that anyone could have typed and distributed[.]

Not only that, but unlike regular TP memos, the arguments appear amateurish and poorly written. They also do not descend in order of impact, as most do in order to allow quick scanning by Congressmen and Senators. But most damning of all is the header of the memo, which reads, "S. 529, The Incapacitated Persons Legal Protection Act." Senate bill 529 was in fact a proposal to establish a federal anti-doping agency. The bill in question was S. 539, a mistake that a staffer would be highly unlikely to make.

This, combined with the ABC push polling this weekend, calls into question the entire editorial process at ABC. This appears to be a coordinated effort to misrepresent the news by ABC, using misleading poll questions and a memo of highly questionable authenticity to cast Republicans in the worst possible light over the Schiavo issue. It smells of another Exempt Media ideologically-based attack, just as the Killian memos formed one during the final weeks of a presidential campaign. However, in this case, a young woman's life is at stake -- apparently a fact that ABC news missed in its zeal to discredit the GOP.

UPDATE: Michelle Malkin's new column talks more about the bias at ABC News:

ABC News did not see fit to inform either the poll takers or its viewers of the truth. Instead, it misled them -- and the result was a poll response that produced -- voila! -- "broad public disapproval" for any government intervention to spare Terri from slowly starving to death. ...

Imagine how the poll results might have turned out if ABC News had made clear to participants that Terri is not terminally ill. Not in excruciating pain. Capable of saying "Mommy" and "Help me." And of "getting the feeling she's falling" or getting "excited," in her husband's own testimony, when her head is not held properly.

Imagine how the poll results might have turned out if ABC News had informed participants that in a sworn affidavit, registered nurse Carla Sauer Iyer, who worked at the Palm Garden of Largo Convalescent Center in Largo, Fla., while Terri Schiavo was a patient there, testified: "Throughout my time at Palm Gardens, Michael Schiavo was focused on Terri's death. Michael would say 'When is she going to die?' 'Has she died yet?' and 'When is that bitch gonna die?'"

Now, if you were in this situation, would you want to be kept alive, or not?

Imagine a major news agency that actually reports objectively on political issue. Unfortunately contradicting John Lennon, it's not easy even if you try.

UPDATE: This meme has almost completely fallen apart, as Power Line and In the Agora have now found:

ABC News, the original source of the story on the alleged "GOP talking points" memo now appears to be backing off the story. Blogger Josh Clayborn has been talking to ABC representatives, both on and off the record, and they are now telling him that they never meant to imply that the "talking points" memo originated with the Republicans--only that it was given to some Republican Senators. ...

ABC's current position, as reported by Josh, makes little sense, as their coverage certainly did say that this was a Republican memo. (ABC's website described the memo as containing "GOP talking points.") But the fact that they are now backing off suggests that in reality, they have no idea where the memo came from.

Power Line has more; keep scrolling.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at March 23, 2005 6:39 AM

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» Another Docudrama? from Daly Thoughts
Captain Ed and Powerline are on the case. The most compelling piece of evidence to my eyes was from Powerline reader Kyle Kveton: Why the "GOP Schiavo memo" is a fake: The Real S.529 is a bill introduced by Grassley on 3-3-05 to establish a US ... [Read More]

Tracked on March 23, 2005 8:06 AM

» ABCgate? from The Politicker
Another hit from Captain Ed, though Rocket Man has been noticing it too... The memo is not only "unsigned," as it was described by the Washington Post; it is not on House or Senate letterhead, nor is there any indication... [Read More]

Tracked on March 23, 2005 3:41 PM

» Captain Ed, Schiavo, and the Truth. from Kilabe's Hive
Here is very foundation of principles of the liberal and their media outlets as it uses every opportunity to subvert moral reasoning and ethical logic. [Read More]

Tracked on March 23, 2005 4:13 PM

» I've been following a story for the last few days.... from Media Lies
....wondering if it would develop. It appears that it has. There are some details left to fill in, but here's the gist of the story.

The talking-point...
[Read More]

Tracked on March 23, 2005 10:00 PM

» You'd think they'd learn a lesson from The House Of Wheels
Now let's just ignore the fact that it looks like a fake simply because of its similarities to the Rathergate documents, and that it came from "a source on Capitol Hill". Here's what's wrong with it: - The Schiavo case is not S.529, it's S.539. That... [Read More]

Tracked on March 24, 2005 12:44 AM

» Another fake memo, yay! from Carpe Bonum
The Power Line guys have been all over ABC and the Washington Post for "reporting" on a fake memo. If real, the memo would be embarassing to, you guessed it, Republicans. Power Line posts to date are here, here, here,... [Read More]

Tracked on March 24, 2005 11:43 AM

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