Error-filled "Politico" not ready for prime time
Think Progress documented The Politico's tough week, with its three bungles -- two "breaking" reports that didn't pan out and an incorrect (and self-aggrandizing claim) that they would be the first site to host "real-time" questioning of '08 candidates. Think Progress would be the first -- coverage that was in fact dissed by the Politico.
So, channeling Alberto Gonzales, maybe they just weren't aware of the coverage they'd assessed.
Here's Washingtonpost.com's Dan Froomkin on the upstart site a few weeks back:
White House political guru Karl Rove, in a talk at Texas State University yesterday, said he would not be surprised if the existence of Politico.com led more and more newspapers to abandon doing their own political coverage.
W. Gardner Selby writes in the Austin American-Statesman that Rove "said he would not be surprised if Politics.com [sic], a fledgling Web-based operation focused on U.S. politics, contributes to the fast fadeaway of Washington bureaus staffed by reporters for regional newspapers."
It was just the latest White House endorsement of the new Web site and newspaper for political junkies.
Bush himself offered Politico a Valentine at his Feb. 14 press conference, calling on correspondent Mike Allen and asking him to describe his new employer in front of all the cameras.
What makes the White House so fond of the Politico?
Well, it could be that it is proving to be a reliable outlet. For instance, Rove gave a friendly interview to Allen and John Harris a few weeks back. The write-up suggested no evidence of tough questions about such things as Rove having lied about leaking CIA agent Valerie Plame's identity to reporters, or about how Bush's obstinacy on Iraq is sinking GOP hopes for 2008.
Interestingly, the Politico is turning out to be not just a chronicler, but a source, of Republican talking points.
In a "confession" today, Politico editor Harris writes that he is responsible for the term "slow-bleed strategy" as a description of Rep. John P. Murtha's proposal to limit Bush's options for mobilizing more forces in Iraq. (A position supported by 58 percent of Americans, according to the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll, but for some reason having a hard time finding traction among the Washington elite.)
Harris, in other words, brags about having coined a Republican talking point which then got picked up and distributed by a complaisant media to great effect.