In the process of writing the blog entry below — mocking the stupidly false stories about me and others spouted by the denizens of David Horowitz’s Frontpage — I realized something that is really beginning to bother me: I’m guilty of exactly the same thing.
My Monday column featured a memo allegedly penned by U.S. ambassador to Kyrgyzstan Stephen Young that I found on the website of the Kabar News Agency. Now, as soon as I read this piece I realized fully that a great deal of it was probably the product of someone’s imaginative literary gifts: oh, I thought, too bad I can’t use it! With the clock ticking on my deadline, and a little voice inside my head telling me “Let them deny it!”, I decided that at least part of it was probably true, and I made sure to cover my ass with an exculpatory paragraph at the very end, as well as a weasel-worded introduction to the material that gave several reasons why it could be at least partially authentic.
Part of the memo may well be real: but that isn’t good enough.
That was a mistake, one that, in retrospect, I greatly regret. After all, where do I get off complaining about how the Frontpagers are making up quotes and libeling people without any credible evidence — and then think I can pull stunts like that? It’s not right.
Without giving myself any excuses, I’ll just note that I’m currently recovering from a very mean bout with pneumonia. And none of this “well, it could be true, in a “metaphorical” sense. That’s bs. The War Party is doing enough evil in this world: it isn’t necessary to make anything up. All that’s necessary is to tell the truth, and, in this instance, I failed my readers miserably. I have to note that both my editors, Eric Garris and Matt Barganier, objected, but I brushed their concerns aside with my typical brusqueness.
My apologies, to one and all.