Sunday, March 06, 2011

Hacks Who Imagine Crank Calls

Howard Kurtz interupts the incest-is-best blather of PoliticHo non-journalist John Harris for some imperfect self-defense:

HARRIS: I wasn't, Howard, making kind of an abstract argument or a philosophical argument about sort of the role of journalism and what gets in the public view versus what doesn't. I was making a very specific argument in very specific circumstances to Chairman Issa, which is if you expect us to have a professional and good-faith relationship with your office, you can't be doing something that's fundamentally in bad faith.

So I was -- my concern was for the integrity of Politico's relationships and Politico's reporting. I think Jack was making it a more abstract point.


HARRIS: So you can ask him about that. I was responding in my role as editor, responsible for a newsroom of 130 journalists, many of whom do their work up on Capitol Hill, for whom a relationship of trust and good faith with people who are speaking on behalf of members of Congress is very important.

KURTZ: Well, let me mention, I had my own run-in with Kurt Bardella. I had asked for an interview with Darrell Issa, and he called and impersonated the congressman. And I said, "Thanks for calling, Congressman." He didn't correct me. I wrote him a note saying, "Thanks for getting me the congressman." He didn't correct me.

HARRIS: Right.

KURTZ: And then I made a serious mistake for which I've apologized in waiting weeks to correct the record after this sort of bizarre situation. I've never been in a situation like that.

Let's review what really happened: Kurtz "asked" Bardella to set up a call with Issa. He's deliberately vague on how he asked Bardella, presumably for the obvious reason he doesn't want to admit knowing what Bardella sounded like. Bardella then called Kurtz, and Kurtz for some reason thought that Bardella was Issa. Kurtz has never claimed that Bardella said he was Issa, or that he disguised his voice somehow. That's not impersonation; it's a making a telephone call to a dumbfuck and not correcting a dumbfuck.

Why am I so confident that Bardella did not identify him as Issa? Because of Kurtz's admission:

The earlier version also mentioned Darrell Issa's "tendency to refer to himself in the third person." In fact, that usage was appropriate because the interview was with his spokesman.

No, it was not appropriate because the Congressman does not have a tendency to refer to himself in the third person. His spokesman referred to the Congressman in the third person, and Kurtz was too fucking stupid to figure out who he was speaking to.

Let's hope that Bardella saved Kurtz's e-mails. There's got to be something there that fails even to meet the Daily Beast's next-to-nonexistent standards.

P.S. to John Harris: It doesn't take leaked e-mails to tell which politicians PoliticHo is blowing.

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