Why conservatives make such lousy media critics

Blog ››› ››› ERIC BOEHLERT

Because they're wildly dishonest.

Paging former McCain flak Michael Goldfarb, who apparently has trouble deciphering bylines while attacking ABC News' recent CIA interrogation report.

Goldfarb [emphasis added]:

ABC runs a report showing the names and faces of two CIA contractors who may have had a role in the waterboarding of KSM and Abu Zubaydah. The network apparently outsourced this report to a freelancer named Matthew Cole.

Goldfarb builds his attack around the fact that ABC News "apparently" turned to journalist Matthew Cole. (Goldfarb says that's a no-no because Cole's "left-wing.") But I'm puzzled. How does a news organization "apparently" outsource reporting duties? Typically the best way to determine who reported a story is to, y'know, look at the byline. I guess that's how Goldfarb cracked the code of Cole's 'apparent' role in the story; because his name appears in the byline. Boy, nothing gets past Goldfarb.

Having confirmed Cole's 'apparent' involvement, Goldfarb announces that ABC News never should've allowed a former Salon freelancer to report out a controversial CIA interrogation scoop. But back to those mysterious bylines. Here's what the byline above ABC's interrogation report says:

By BRIAN ROSS, MATTHEW COLE, and JOSEPH RHEE

Goldfarb wants his Weekly Standard readers to think that the ABC scoop was the work of some fly-by-night freelancer, when in fact Brian Ross, one of ABC's most senior and veteran reporters, is the lead name on the byline.

How lousy are conservative media critics? So lousy, critics like me have to clean up after their mess.

UPDATE: Tbogg at FDL finds even more to mock in Goldfarb's weak effort.

UPDATE: As Greg Sargent notes, if the ABC investigation did have a flaw, it was the way it quickly glossed over earlier ABC reporting on interrogation practices; reporting that has recently been discredited.

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