Eric Boehlert recently wrote that Jim Treacher had claimed, on the Daily Caller web site, that the Secret Service had hit him while he was jogging:
UPDATED: And how about the Daily Caller itself, which allowed its blogger to publish the allegation on its site that he’d been hit by the Secret Service, which was not true.
Note very carefully Boehlert’s reference to Treacher publishing this on the Daily Caller web site. In case any reader missed it, Boehlert repeated the claim:
The Daily Caller then posted a long, detailed account of the accident, suggesting a government conspiracy to cover up the crime. Yet in that accusatory article, the Daily Caller left out the fact that its employee originally, and eroneously [sic], accused the Secret Service of running him over, and did it on the Daily Caller site. That fact was conveniently flushed down the memory hole.
Note well: Boehlert’s complaint was that Treacher published on the Daily Caller web site the false allegation that the Secret Service had hit him.
In a post published this morning, I noted that Boehlert’s claim was false. Instead, Treacher’s Daily Caller piece merely noted that he had been told the Secret Service had hit him. (As it turns out, Treacher had been misinformed; he was really hit by a security officer for the State Department.)
Boehlert now defends himself in a new, dishonest post at Media Matters titled Surprise! RW blogger Patterico swings and misses.
Pay close attention, because I want you to see precisely how dishonest Boehlert’s debating tactics are.
- Tactic #1: If you said something indefensible, pretend you never said it.
As noted above, Boehlert repeatedly claimed that Treacher’s claim was published “on the Daily Caller site.” It was not. So Boehlert is pretending he never said it.
Instead, Boehlert cites a couple of “tweets” by Treacher.
(For those not familiar with the term, it refers to the short 140-character-or-less messages posted on Twitter.)
Remember the Boehlert quotes above, about “the Daily Caller site” and how the Daily Caller “allowed its blogger” to publish a false allegation “on its site”?
That never happened, friends. This was all about Jim Treacher’s “tweets.”
It remains clear: Eric Boehlert still owes Jim Treacher a correction. Boehlert claimed that Treacher published false allegations on the Daily Caller web site. Treacher did not. Boehlert called the injured bloggers’s statements “lies.” They were not.
What’s more, Boehlert owes Treacher an apology for being such a cretin. The man got hit by a car and had his knee broken, for God’s sake, and all Boehlert can do is insert falsehoods into Treacher’s mouth and do a little happy dance.
Oh — and in discussing the “Tweets,” Boehlert engages in his second dishonest, Media Matters-approved tactic:
- Tactic #2: Rip statements out of their context.
Treacher’s original Twitter messages came one after the other, over the course of about 10 minutes. In those messages, Treacher said the following:
Guess what? I just got hit by a car while crossing the street. At a crosswalk. With the right of way. By the Secret Service. Not joking. My knee’s broken. I’m staying at my boss Neil’s house. I want to know why the Secret Service hit me, crossing w/ the Walk sign, & drove off. You guys think I’m joking. I’m not joking. So everybody who doesn’t like me, give yourself a pat on the back. Don’t be afraid to cheer. I know the Secret Service hit me because the cops said so. Oh, and so did the Secret Service. No apology, though. Yet.
Because of the nature of Twitter, messages are broken up into 140-character segments — meaning that the above set of messages was necessarily broken into separate messages, as follows (start at the bottom):
Remember: Boehlert’s claim is that Treacher claimed, without qualification, that he had been hit by the Secret Service. Treacher’s claim is that he said only that he had been told he had been hit by the Secret Service.
Boehlert’s claim depends on the reader ignoring the context of the 10-minute stream of messages, taken as a whole. If you read the statements in context, Treacher clearly qualifies his claim as based on what he was told.
Yes, he said he had been hit by the Secret Service. Yes, he made it clear that he “knew” this only because of what he had been told. Yes, when he learned he had been told the wrong thing, he immediately corrected himself.
So what exactly is Boehlert making such a big deal about?
I listed at least three previous instances (all unaddressed by Boehlert) where Boehlert made incorrect and/or unsupportable statements without correcting them. He’s now up to at least four.
It’s a shameful record. He engages in shameful and dishonest tactics.
Par for the course at Media Matters.
Oh — and by the way, it wasn’t a hit and run. It was a hit and walk.