June 20, 2003
Tapped's Distortions

Tapped, the blog from The American Prospect, was once an entertaining, if somewhat misguided, left-of-center blog. Even when I disagreed with them, I enjoyed reading their takes on the issues. Then the magazine was reorganized, and the blog was taken over by a new group of humorless (and dedicated) anti-conservative ideologues. They also stopped all pretenses of objectivity or honesty.

The most recent example is this entry, in which they attack Andrew Sullivan for his posts on George Galloway, the extreme-left Labourite MP that was allegedly paid off by the Hussein regime. They offer a link to an AP story about an article in the Christian Science Monitor, in which the evidence obtained by the CSM implicating Galloway was revealed to have been falsified. They then rake Sullivan over the coals for suggesting that Galloway's actions may have been traitorous. They conveniently leave out two things:

1) The actual CSM article, which points out that evidence acquired by other papers, including the Telegraph, were authenticated.

2) the fact that Sullivan linked to the CSM precisely ONE time in all of his posts on Galloway. A quick check shows that Sullivan posted about Galloway on 22 April, 23 April, 25 April, and 18 June. (Sullivan's permalinks are strange, so I am not providing links to the specific articles.) In those posts, he links to a variety of British papers: The Times (of London), The Guardian, and (most importantly) The Telegraph, which broke the story. Only on 25 April did he link to the CSM. This is the post to which Tapped links, implying that Sullivan relied upon this source. They do make an offhanded comment about "The Christian Science Monitor and other sources" (emphasis added), but the CSM is not the primary source for Sullivan's posts on the subject.

Tapped then has the audacity to state that they are playing by Sullivan's rules. Sullivan may have his faults, but making blatantly misleading attacks is not one of them.

The sad thing is that Tapped is a source document for a lot of left-wing bloggers; I am willing to bet that this meme will end up all over the left-wing of the blogosphere, and will become accepted truth by anti-war bloggers everywhere.

UPDATE: Tapped, to their credit, has updated their post and apologized to Sullivan. They provide a link to the Monitor article and highlight the relevant passages about the authenticity of the Telegraph's documents.

They also note that they are not particularly supportive of Galloway, although they hold out hope that the documents may still prove to be false. That sounds like a defense to me.

(Link courtesy of Instapundit, whose post was the basis for mine.)

posted on June 20, 2003 06:16 PM


I fully share your views relative to the decline in the quality and worth of TAPPED since about last winter, when they went through some staff and other organizational changes; in fact, this Spring I deleted them from my bookmarks of favorite sites. They had become shrill and at times almost indistinguishable from mediawhoreonline. Another liberal site that has rapidly declined is Eschaton, which in recent days appears likely to overtake Indymedia and Democrat Underground, in terms of paranoia and shrill, almost lunatic ravings (today's post includes an argument that today's America resembles 1930's Nazi Germany; the comment thread is a veritable cesspool of nonsense).

posted by Terry on June 20, 2003 07:58 PM

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