Greg Sargent, who for months has used his megaphone at The Washington Post to twist and turn almost every statement by Sharron Angle into a supposed call for violence or some other thing it was not, now demands Context! for the audio recording in which a CBS station in Alaska was caught planning negative coverage of a Joe Miller event.
Sargent misleadingly titles his blog post Alaska station says Breitbart Web site audio attack is bogus, but if you actually read his post, the quote from the Alaska station actually verifies that the recording was real. So why the title?
Sargent goes on to suggest that the audio recording may be incomplete, but then acknowledges in an update (without updating the post title) that:
It’s possible that the audio Big Journalism posted is all that was recorded on the cell phone. But even if this were the case, running with this audio alone, if that was all that existed, seems pretty questionable.
So what else should they have run with, other than the complete audio recording?
That recording is pretty clear on its face that the reporters were hoping to find a “registered sex offender” in the crowd or capture a scuffle about which they could tweet and report. Here is the relevant part of the transcript (full transcript available at Left Coast Rebel)(emphasis mine):
FEMALE VOICE: We know that out of all the people that will show up tonight, at least one of
them will be a registered sex offender.
MALE REPORTER: You have to find that one person…
FEMALE REPORTER: And the one thing we can do is ….we won’t know….we won’t know but if there is any sort of chaos whatsoever we can put out a twitter/facebook alert: saying what the… ‘Hey Joe Miller punched at rally.’
FEMALE REPORTER: Kinda like Rand Paul…I like that.
FEMALE REPORTER: That’s a good one.
Notice the reporters are talking about what they are doing to do, not what someone else is going to do. They will look for registered sex offenders in the crowd, or a fight, so that they can report on it.
That’s the context. WaPo readers would know it if Sargent printed the transcript, which he has not done.
Once again, context is demanded for we, but not for thee.
Update: Big Journalism makes the same point that the “context” actually contradicts the station’s defense.