Thursday, April 07, 2005

Memogate Shredded

So in light of all the GOP hrrumph hrrumph about that mysterious GOP talking points memo on Terri Schiavo having actually been a dirty-trick plant by the Democrats (as if Karl Rove doesn't have the monopoly on that gag), let us bow our heads and gloat just for a bit.


Turns out the memo, indeed, was authored by legal counsel for Florida Republican Sen. Mel Martinez, who inadvertently handed the talking points over to Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin.

The revelation comes from The Washington Post's Mike Allen, a reporter unjustly vilified by some conservative blogs for his initial story on the controversial memo:

"The staff of the Senate Rules and Administration Committee, at the request of a Democrat, spent a week trying to determine the memo's origin and had come up empty, said an official involved in the investigation.

"The unsigned memo -- which initially misspells Schiavo's first name and gives the wrong number for the pending bill -- includes eight talking points in support of the legislation and calls the controversy 'a great political issue.'

" 'This legislation ensures that individuals like Terri Schiavo are guaranteed the same legal protections as convicted murderers like Ted Bundy,' the memo concludes.

"It asserts that the case would appeal to the party's core supporters, saying: 'This is an important moral issue and the pro-life base will be excited that the Senate is debating this important issue.'

"The document was provided to ABC News on March 18 and to The Post on March 19 and was included in news reports about congressional intervention in the Schiavo case ...

"At the time, other Senate Republican aides claimed to be familiar with the memo but declined to discuss it on the record and gave no information about its origin."

Even though Martinez has admitted the memo originated from his staffer, and even though the offending staffer has resigned, some on the political right still smell something fishy.

Whatever ...

Sometimes, good people, it's not a fish you smell, but just another fish story -- one cooked up and served by your friendly short-order cooks of the kooky far-right.


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