You'd think they'd learn a lesson

But obviously, in the case of the mainstream media, lessons are hard to learn. After Memogate/Rathergate, most conservative bloggers felt pretty good about themselves, because not only had they smacked down a lot of false liberal propaganda, but they'd also shown the mainstream media that they were watching, and they wouldn't be able to get away with that in the future. Unfortunately though, ABC appears to not have been listening, and Power Line (yep, them again) have been all over it. Firstly, they explain what it means:
This memo, obviously, ties in with the Democrats' talking point that the Republicans don't really care about a disabled woman who is being starved to death, but are seeking political advantage. (Simultaneously, they point out poll data suggesting that an overwhelming majority of Americans are on their side. Consistency is never required of Democrats.) But I have to wonder: is the memo genuine, or is it a Democratic dirty trick?
Then, a copy of the memo turned up. It looks like this:



Now let's just ignore the fact that it looks like a fake simply because of its similarities to the Rathergate documents, and that it came from "a source on Capitol Hill". Here's what's wrong with it:

- The Schiavo case is not S.529, it's S.539. That's an unthinkable mistake for a staffer to make.
- The last three points are taken word-for-word from here.
- It doesn't exactly match up to the text that ABC said was on the memo - it's missing 3 of the 4 mistakes that required that lovely phrase (sic). Although, ABC did get the wrong bill number as well.
- It's unsigned, there's no header, there's nothing on it at all.
- The "Budget Act" should read "budget resolution", and they're already too late, as a Senator's staffer explains to Power Line.

So we can safely say that the memo is at best ridiculously dubious, and almost certainly fake. Now, where did the memo come from? The New York Times sheds some light:
As tensions festered among Republicans, Democratic aides passed out an unsigned one-page memorandum that they said had been distributed to Senate Republicans. "This is an important moral issue and the pro-life base will be excited that the Senate is debating this important issue," the memorandum said.

Dr. Frist and other Republicans denied having seen the memorandum, and Dr. Frist said he "condemned it as soon as I heard about it." [Emphasis mine]
This traces back to Democrats so far - no further so far. I'm calling this a Democrat hoax in an attempt to score extra political points out of what already doesn't look to good for the Republicans.

(Via Captain Ed, who has more. Cross-posted to The House Of Wheels.)

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