Glenn Greenwald, in his post about Allahpundit and me and Glenn Reynolds, made the following assertion:
Allahpundit’s post consists of a very thorough, contemporaneous, and — at times — appropriately skeptical chronicling of what major media outlets were reporting about the Fort Hood attack, combined with his passing along of much unverified gossip and chatter from Twitter, most of which turned out to be false.
Greenwald has now appended a whiny little introduction to his post, in which he falsely claims that “I didn’t write a critical word about Allahpundit.” To which I say: Glenn Greenwald, you are a very bad liar. In the bolded portion of the quote I just provided, you can see this is a lie — unless, of course, you don’t consider it to be criticism to claim that a blogger has “pass[ed] along . . . much unverified gossip and chatter from Twitter, most of which turned out to be false.”
But was “most of” the Twitter information passed along by Allahpundit false? An analysis by patterico.com reveals that Greenwald’s claim is a rank falsehood. As it turns out, “most of” the Twitter material passed along by Allahpundit turned out to be true. As for the small minority of items that proved to be false (there were only two), it turns out that Allahpundit warned against both of them — but Allahpundit’s warnings were misquoted by Greenwald in both instances.
Let’s take Allahpundit’s citations of Twitter one by one, rendering a verdict as to each:
Update: Hearing reports on Twitter that there have been shootings in the parking lot of some store in Killeen, the town adjacent in Fort Hood. Grain of salt, though: I haven’t seen anything like that on the wires.
Verdict: false . . . but Allahpundit warned it might be false. A fact which the dishonest Greenwald did not tell his readers. Here is how the dishonest Greenwald quoted Allahpundit here:
Update: Hearing reports on Twitter that there have been shootings in the parking lot of some store in Killeen, the town adjacent in Fort Hood. . . .
Whoops! Looks like Greenwald ignored the caveat! Let’s move on to the next citation of Twitter by Allahpundit:
Update: Am hearing via Twitter that Fort Hood’s public affairs office says the earlier reports of a third shooter were wrong and were based on a second eyewitness report of the second shooter. Which means everyone’s in custody now.
Verdict: mixed. Reports of a third shooter were indeed wrong. But reports of a second shooter were also wrong. So Twitter here contributed to the understanding of the truth, but also perpetuated an untruth that had been previously disseminated by Big Media.
I think that, here, the role of Twitter was a net positive for the truth. But, unlike Greenwald, we are scrupulously honest here. So we’ll classify this one as “mixed” — a verdict that gives maximum credibility to Greenwald. (By the way, if you automatically assume the truth of Twitter reports, you are a moron. But that’s neither here nor there. So we’ll let that point slide as well.)
Onto the next Allahpundit citation of Twitter:
Update: Heavy suspicions of a fragging grow heavier still. From Chuck Todd’s Twitter account: “More from NBC’s Pete Williams: US official says early reports are the man in custody is in the military, late 30s, with officer rank.”
Verdict: true. Hasan is 39 and is a major. Twitter wins here.
Update: Good lord — there’s a report from BNO News on Twitter that new shooting is being heard on the base. Nothing on the wires yet. Big grain of salt.
Verdict: false. But Allahpundit explicitly warned readers it might be false. And Greenwald lied about that by failing to pass on Allahpundit’s caveat. Again. Here is Greenwald’s quotation of Allahpundit:
Good lord — there’s a report from BNO News on Twitter that new shooting is being heard on the base. . . .
Once again, Greenwald deliberately omits Allahpundit’s caveat. Let’s move on to Allahpundit’s next allegedly irresponsible citation of Twitter:
Update: And yet another reminder: Hearing rumblings on Twitter right now that Perry was wrong and that the two other “suspects” have now been released.
Verdict: true. The other suspects were indeed released and Hasan was indeed a lone gunman. Governor Perry was wrong, and Twitter was right. So, not only was Allahpundit’s citation of Twitter dead on — but here, Twitter apparently beat out the Governor of Texas on accuracy in this case.
Onto the next one:
Update: Lots of buzz on Twitter about Shep Smith’s interview with a colleague of Hasan’s who claims he was known to say things about standing up to the American aggressors in the Middle East. I can’t find a clip or print account, though. If you see one, please e-mail it to our tips account; I don’t have time to follow the comments below.
Verdict: true. This Twitter buzz turned out to be precisely correct. Onto the next Twitter citation by Allahpundit:
I’m hearing on Twitter that Fox interviewed one of his neighbors within the last half-hour or so and that the neighbor claims Hasan was handing out Korans just this morning. Does anyone have video? Or is this a bad lead? Smells fishy to me but multiple people have mentioned it.
Verdict: true. Even though Allahpundit expressed reservations about it — and Greenwald quoted this passage in a way that suggested it was false — it turned out to be utterly true.
So, adding up the above, we find the following:
- Allahpundit’s citation of Twitter rumors that proved true: 4.
- Allahpundit’s citation of Twitter rumors that proved to be ambiguous: 1.
- Allahpundit’s citation of Twitter rumors that proved to be false: 2.
And in both cases, Allahpundit warned readers against accepting the Twitter assertions. And in both cases, Glenn Greenwald quoted Allahpundit as if he were promoting the falsehood, while surgically excising Allahpundit’s cautionary language.
So much for Glenn Greenwald’s claim, regarding Allahpundit’s citation of Twitter information, that “most of” it “turned out to be false.” In fact, “most of” it turned out to be true — and Allahpundit warned readers against every Twitter rumor that later proved to be completely false.
Not that the dishonest Greenwald communicated any of this to his gullible readers.
Greenwald could not be more dishonest.
Will his defenders note this dishonesty? Pardon me if I decline to hold my breath.