Newsbusters accuses Media Matters of "defamation"; doesn't seem to know what the word means

Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

Newsbusters associate editor Noel Sheppard is unhappy with Media Matters work debunking Betsy McCaughey's latests health care falsehoods. Here's Sheppard:

[T]he leftwing shills at Media Matters for America ... began publishing -- and, of course, disseminating -- defamatory articles about McCaughey and all those having the nerve to quote her here, here, here, and here. Yes, four defamatory pieces about McCaughey in three days. I guess this is what America can count on from this George Soros-funded propaganda machine anytime anyone has the nerve to criticize an Obama-supported bill.

That's all Sheppard said about us. He refers to our items as "defamatory" twice in two sentences, but doesn't offer so much as a hint at what we might have gotten wrong. It doesn't seem to have even crossed his mind that it might matter whether what we wrote was true or not. (It was.) It's like he chose the word "defamatory" simply because he had heard it on TV once, and it sounded bad.

Indeed, in his entire post, there isn't a single effort to determine or demonstrate who is right: McCaughey or the numerous people who have pointed out her falsehoods.

Instead, he just calls Keith Olbermann names ("disgraceful") and asserts defamation without bothering to make a case. The closest he comes is linking to McCaughey's resume, as though that ends the discussion. I would imagine that even Noel Sheppard can figure out that having an impressive resume doesn't mean you're right. If he thinks real hard, he might even be able to think of someone with such a resume whose claims he would not assume to be true.

Given that Sheppard is associate editor of the conservative movement's preeminent media criticism organization, you'd think he would understand that pointing out factual errors and distortions in news reports isn't "defamatory."

Then again, Newsbusters seems to spend as much of their time making factual errors and distortions as they do correcting them.

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