Those Powerline bullies at it again

Hindrocket kicks sand in Jon Klein’s face on CNBC:

Mr. JOHN HINDERAKER ( Co-founder): Well, here’s how it happened. I would say this is not really a big exception to the way that we and other blogs operate all the time. I think that this story illustrates the medium, the Internet, at its best, but the same kind of thing has happened many times.

It started on the morning of September 9th. We’re a group blog; there are three of us who do Powerline. My partner, Scott Johnson, got up early in the morning, and one of the first things he did was to check all the e-mails that readers had sent to us overnight looking for something interesting to follow up on. And one of those e-mails quoted from and linked to a post which somebody called BuckHead had done on a message thread at the Free Republic site, which is basically a message board.

BORGER: It’s a very conservative site, we should say.

Mr. HINDERAKER: It’s a conservative site, yeah…


Mr. HINDERAKER: …basically a message board. And Scott thought it was interesting because this guy had looked at these documents which had just become available online, and he made some very good points about the font and the appearance and so on of the documents, said, ‘I think they’re forgeries.’ Scott was intrigued by that, so he put up a quote and a link to the original post on Free Republic, and he said, ‘Hey, anybody else out there among our readers have any information about this?’ Well, that opened the floodgates. Over the ensuing hours, we received hundreds…

BORGER: Right.

Mr. HINDERAKER: …and hundreds and hundreds of e-mails from readers…

BORGER: Right.

Mr. HINDERAKER: …not all of them valuable, but many of them from people who had a remarkable knowledge of military protocol of the early 1970s, type fonts and typewriters and so on…


Mr. HINDERAKER: …and other subject that were relevant.

BORGER: Well, and the rest is obviously history. Now, Jon Klein, let me ask you–it turns out that this blogger BuckHead is Harry McDougald, who is a very conservative lawyer from Atlanta. Who holds the bloggers responsible here in this battle to control the media?

Mr. JON KLEIN (Former CBS News Executive Vice President): Well, to hear them tell it, they hold themselves responsible. And, you know, that’s fine as far as it goes; it’s just not any kind of a third-party or any kind of a reliable check or balance against them. They are, you know, journals of opinion. And if they’re taken that way, they can be useful. But we can’t confuse the opinion of a guy shooting off an e-mail from BuckHead, Georgia, as fact.

Mr. HINDERAKER: I don’t understand that, Jonathan. Are you saying that Republicans somehow don’t have standing to point out forgeries?

One thing I couldn’t help noting is how the host kept saying “very conservative”. Have you ever heard any talking head utter the words “very liberal”? I can’t think of one example. I wonder if Powerline is going to start painting silhouettes on their fuselage soon.