Friday, December 13, 2002

A Correction

Digby has pointed out significant flaws in the chronology provided by my previous comment. My chronology underemphasizes the leading role of Atrios in uncovering the Lott story, and also misstates the timing of Atrios' reporting. These facts are significant, and there is never a good excuse for inaccuracy. I apologize for these errors, and am rewriting the comment accordingly. (And also to correct the numerous typos.)

Wheels Go 'Round and 'Round In The Circle (Jerk) Game

The second most offensive thing about the Lott story is the rush of right-wing bloggers to orally copulate themselves and their cohorts for "breaking" and "leading" on the Lott story. This is utter shite, and it's all over the web: Some jackoff named Ken Layne claims that "right-wing bloggers were all over this, immediately." Twisted Little Mick claims that Joshua Marshall, Sully and Glenn Reynolds "took the lead," but the story would have been covered in the traditional press anyway. And Sully uses the story to raise some quick cash (or lolly, as they say back home), by publishing some snivelling synchophant's comment that "you and Josh Marshall have been leading the discussion" (See below.)

Of course, with the exception of crediting Joshua Marshall, who did real reporting on the story, these are all lies.

The chronology goes like this: Lott made the speech on Thursday, December 5, which was aired by C-SPAN. ABC (via The Note) published it on Friday, December 6, and Tim Noah in Slate linked to The Note the same day. The Washington Post provided extensive coverage on Saturday. (The Moonie Times, meanwhile, covered the story on Friday by whitewashing the event, omitting any mention of Lott's racist remarks. NPR, on Weekend Edition, also broadcast an excerpt from Lott's speech without mentioning the racist statements.)

Among weblogs, Atrios had the story first, on December 6. Joshua Marshall commented on the story a couple of hours later, without mentioning a source. "Instapundit" then came along and simply agreed with what Marshall and Atrios said. The usual wingnut circle jerk then began, with Instapundit's toadys linking to him, him linking back to them, and none of them adding any substance. (They all admitted legal segregation was bad, though, bless their little hearts.) Sully didn't get around to the story until early Monday morning, long after practically everyone else with a blog, left and right, had said something about it.

So righty bloggers did not break the story. They jumped on a moving train, driven by portions of the major media and many liberal bloggers.

But have righty bloggers led the charge since then? As Al Gore, Sr. said to Strom Thurmond, "Hell No!"

Atrios provided more than a half dozen links to the Dixiecrat platform and Lott's history and ties to the CCC. Marshall found Lott's amicus brief on behalf of Bob Jones "University." Real reporting. Sully's first comment was about how moral he is because he beat the New York Times and Bush in condemning Lott. (He failed to mention that the liberal blogs -- and ABC, CNN and the Washington Post -- were all way ahead of him.) Instapundit did his usual half-assed job of linking to other bloggers who were merely re-posting the story. Neither Sully nor Instapundit did any reporting whatsoever.) The wingnut blogs have since moved on to their true concerns, damage control for the Republican Party and ensuring that the Pubes don't lose their slim Senate majority.

There you have it. Little Mick, Ken Layne and Sully's reader are lying sacks of shit. You heard it here first.

Update: JB Armstrong of the comprehensive MyDD also reported the Lott story very early on the 6th. As JB correctly states here, the most important thing is not which left/liberal blogger noted the story first. But I wanted to make the correction for accuracy's sake, particularly because my original comment was inadequate in detailing Atrios' role apart from the timing issue/non-issue.

Update Update: I had the Update in the wrong place, so I've updated the Update by moving it. Stay tuned for further Update developments.

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