The Reuters news service once again has made itself a laughingstock by publishing a mistake-riddled hit piece on Marco Rubio, all but ruling him out as a vice presidential nominee for the GOP because of alleged financial problems. Many of which turned out to be untrue. Five corrections were necessary.
Matt Lewis of the Daily Caller outlines a total of 7 falsehoods or exaggerations in the story. Dylan Byers of Politico spoke to Reuters staff who refused to go on the record (an interesting stance for a newsman), and writes:
One senior staffer at Reuters described the episode to me as a “fiasco,” another as a “disgrace.”
It was so bad, in fact, that the editors and writer involved have been asked not to talk about it. (I reached out to editors David Lindsey and Eric Walsh, but have not heard back.)
They won’t even defend themselves! How bad must it be if you can’t even fabricate a rationalization of the facts. The facts must themselves be damning. John Hinderake of Powerline calls it the “worst news story of 2012.”
There are two hypotheses for what happened at Reuters:
1. An incompetent reporter did a half-assed job of research, and his editors (who either assigned or approved the story to the reporter in the first place) didn’t bother with fact-checking. Or
2. They were fed flawed oppo research. Which raises the obvious question of who would want to knock Rubio out of consideration.
Let’s examine each.