Today, former "journalist" (now "blogger") Suzi Parker, posted another snark-filled article at The Washington Post trying to trash Governor Palin. The most obvious problem with the piece is that when WaPo first ran the "story," it looked like this:
Parker’s source for that scoop?… The Daily Currant, which describes itself as the "global satirical newspaper of record." As astounding as it is that someone who (until today anyway) calls herself a "journalist" didn’t catch this fact while gathering her research, it is even more outrageous (yet, completely typical) that her editors missed it as well.
Currently the same article, complete with a bunk poll and some know-nothing academic speaking for Palin supporters everywhere, has the following new headline and bold correction:
Notice that WaPo’s correction states that Parker is now just a "blogger" while her actual bio at the bottom of the page reads:
Suzi Parker is an Arkansas-based political and cultural journalist and author of “Sex in the South: Unbuckling the Bible Belt.” Follow her on Twitter at @SuziParker
Way to ruin your career, Suzi. Bravo!
The new media, and even some in the old have been taking Parker to task over this today.
Chad Sinclair at the DailyDownload wrote:
One click. That’s all it would have taken for Suzi Parker, the author of this phony gem, to discover that the entire site is full of fake news.
Is this what the Washington Post has come to? Stooping so low that neither its reporters nor its editors can perform the most basic fact checking?
Parker and the Post made a second egregious mistake: They waited too long. The Currant story was published on February 4. The Post’s story? It published eight days later.
Now, if Sarah Palin was in fact joining Al Jazeera American, don’t you think more news outlets would have picked up on that? Perhaps MSNBC or her old chums at Fox News? Let’s be honest, it’s not as if the Post was sitting on the story for eight days to triple-check the facts.
The gross oversight in editing, the lazy reporting and the utter lack of common sense at the Post is astounding.
Dylan Byers wrote:
Parker calls this "a cautionary tale about what can happen when politics and celebrity meet."
But Parker’s report is a cautionary tale about what can happen when writers cite satirical websites, such as The Daily Currant.
John Hayward wrote:
But the marquee element of Parker’s post – the entire reason she wrote the silly, contemptuous piece – was the revelation that Palin would become a contributor for the TV network al-Jazeera bought from al-Gore. Supposedly Palin hoped to use her new perch at al-Jazeera to “reach millions of devoutly religious people.”
It’s a blockbuster revelation that turned out to be based entirely on a hoax… which Parker fell for hook, line, and sinker, apparently making no effort whatsoever to substantiate it, not even through the minimal practice of searching for a single corroborating source online. Parker’s sole source was an obvious parody site, the Daily Currant. She probably didn’t even bother to visit the site, instead building her story around a cut-and-paste of something she received via social media. At the time of this writing, the top story on the Daily Currant is “Catholic Church Considering Jerry Sandusky as Next Pope.”
So it turns out that this is really a “cautionary tale about what can happen” when sloppy reporting, liberal prejudice, and Internet comedians meet. It’s really not that hard to lead mainstream media reporters, pundits, and editors into phony stories – just give them something that fits the “narrative” they already believe in. Just yesterday, on Sarah Palin’s birthday, Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post announced the Pope’s resignation on Twitter as follows: “Pope Benedict, following Sarah Palin’s lead, resigns.” Maybe it’s time for the top brass at the Post to do some soul-searching about its unhealthy obsessions. Or could this be more fairly characterized as a desperate search by their writers to “find ways to stay relevant?”
It does not speak well of the Post that they would leave the story in place without a full retraction and apology to Palin, or a complete explanation to readers of where the false material came from.
Doug Powers writes:
Michelle mentioned it this morning, but I thought I’d elaborate…
A WaPo “journalist” reported earlier — in a piece claiming Sarah Palin’s star has fallen and she’s now engaged in a desperate search for attention by thanking people for wishing her happy birthday or something — that Palin would be joining up with Al Jazeera (the Al Gore costume Sarah wore last Halloween was way too convincing).
Iowahawk posted the following over at Breitbart:
Something called "Suzi Parker" who writes something called "She The People" at something called "The Washington Post" bagged the scoop of the century earlier today, in a report originally entitled "Sarah Palin’s plan to reach ‘millions of devoutly religious people’ through al-Jazeera"
Maybe a more accurate correction would have added "because we are psychologically incapable of disbelieving about any story the voices in our head tell us about Sarah Palin."
Another proud moment for the Washington Post’s layers and layers of fact-checkers. Take a bow, Suzi! And a 500mg of Xanax.
And Twitchy has covered it here and here.
Update: Heh! Governor Palin sent out the following two tweets in response:
Update II: And another: