In his February 23 "Inside Politics" column for The Washington Times, Greg Pierce reported on the Republican National Committee's "key findings" about leading 2008 Democratic presidential candidates by printing the title of each of the RNC's smear sheets verbatim and providing no analysis beyond his assertion that the "findings" were not "a pretty sight." Additionally, Pierce stated that the "findings" constituted "everything [the RNC] could dig up" on the candidates but did not note that the RNC smear sheets cited Washington Times articles, columns, and editorials a total of 14 times.
As Media Matters for America noted, The Politico's chief political correspondent, Mike Allen, touted the "just-the-facts fashion" of the "sophisticated" RNC documents and falsely claimed that "[s]uch 'talking points' used to be closely held," when in fact, the RNC has been distributing talking points to media outlets for years. Allen did not acknowledge that the RNC documents cited his articles for The Politico six times.
From the February 23 edition of The Washington Times:
Short and unsweet
The Republican National Committee has just released everything it could dig up about the Democratic presidential candidates, and it isn't a pretty sight. Here's an abbreviated version of the committee's key findings:
- Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois: "An inexperienced, insulated, arrogant, unabashed liberal."
- New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson: "A self-promoting, Washington insider with a controversial record."
- Sen. Christopher J. Dodd of Connecticut: "A New England liberal, past his prime, on an unrealistic vanity run for the White House."
- Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York: "A calculating, divisive, lifelong liberal with political baggage."
- Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. of Delaware: "An undisciplined, self-described Northeast liberal, in love with the sound of his own voice."
- Former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina: "A hypocritical, inexperienced liberal with a new negative attitude."
- Former Gov. Tom Vilsack of Iowa: "A tax-hiking, mismanaging, 'blip' candidate with no foreign policy experience."