Andy, your points have some force and it’s indeed bizarre that we’ve had a week-long controversy about allegations that no one has yet definitively specified. The whole thing is likely to end up a 15-year old he said/she said. On the original story, I would say two things: 1) As far as I can tell, there’s nothing in the Politico report that was inaccurate. Politico appears to have been considerably more careful than our friends at PJ Media, alas. 2) The charge you can make against the Politico story is incompleteness. This is the point ProPublica was making. It comes down to whether the very existence of these claims and a cash payout is itself newsworthy; I’m guessing most news editors in the country would have made the same call as Politico (and there surely would be conservative outlets that would have gone with exactly this kind of story had it involved a liberal Democrat).
by Rich Lowry