ABC’s Jonathan Karl regrets that he was caught lying about Benghazi

As you know, ABC’s Jonathan Karl created quite a firestorm this past week by publishing a “breaking” story about the Benghazi controversy that was an utter and complete fabrication.

Karl’s story purported to “prove” that the White House had made partisan hay with the Benghazi talking points in those first few days after the deadly attack on our consultate in Libya.  In fact, Karl’s story, we now know, was a lie, fabricated by congressional Republicans who are out to get President Obama, and aided by Karl having intentionally misled ABC’s audience in his reporting on the matter.

I actually felt bad for Jonathan Karl, initially

I actually felt a little bit bad for ABC’s Jonathan Karl, and thus haven’t been joining in the vocal attacks others have lobbed at him over his fabricated story about the Benghazi emails.

All reporters mess up at some point.  And Karl’s mistake was rather monumental, to be sure.  Karl not only was lied to by a source, and printed the lie as fact, but he hid the hearsay nature of the lie and pretended that he was quoting White House emails that he had seen himself, when in fact he was quoting a GOP congressional source lying about what was in the White House emails about the Benghazi talking points.  Quite a small fact to omit from a breaking new story.

Why not go after Jonathan Karl with a vengeance?  Because he never struck me as particularly Fox News-y, so I was willing to not hang the man from the gallows for one mistake, regardless of how severe.

But now it might be time to go shopping for some rope.

Jonathan Karl’s bizarre apology-non-apology

On CNN’s Reliable Sources this morning, host Howard Kurtz read a new statement from ABC’s Jonathan Karl:

“Clearly, I regret the email was quoted incorrectly and I regret that it’s become a distraction from the story, which still entirely stands.  I should have been clearer about the attribution.  We updated our story immediately.”

-Jonathan Karl, ABC News Chief White House Correspondent

Was quoted?  So now we’re using the magical passive voice, absolving he who did the quoting from all culpability.

Why didn’t Jonathan Karl verify the emails?

But putting the passive voice aside, this story isn’t a problem simply because the quote was incorrect.  The story is a problem because ABC’s Jonathan Karl not only trusted a partisan source with a clear agenda to harm the President, but Karl didn’t even bother verifying the hearsay quote that he was quoting as anything but partisan hearsay.

Karl claims his source wasn’t allowed to copy the emails and send them to him for verification.  Was the source allowed to leak the emails to Karl in the first place?  No.  So why would Karl accept the “gosh, it would be morally wrong of me to break the rules” from a source who was already breaking the rules by talking to Karl?

But what’s more, did Jonathan Karl respond by saying, “fine, I’ll come over and look at the emails in person”?  If he did, the source said no, and rather than telling the source “I’m not printing this until I see the emails,” Karl went ahead anyway, and rather than, at the very least, disclosing in his story that it was a partisan source, and that he was quoting hearsay rather than emails he’d actually reviewed himself, Karl cleaned up the story and misled ABC’s audience in an apparent effort to exact maximum damage on the Obama administration.

Jonathan Karl’s mistake goes far beyond getting the quote wrong

You see, Karl didn’t just “quote incorrectly,” unless by “quote incorrectly” he meant, literally, he put quotation marks around something that shouldn’t have had quotation marks around it.  In his initial story, Jonathan Karl said that he had seen the White House emails in question, and he hadn’t.  Here’s how Karl referred to the emails at the top of his story:

“White House emails reviewed by ABC News suggest the edits were made with extensive input from the State Department.”

Reviewed by ABC News.

Karl then went on to quote the White House emails that he’d “reviewed,” leading the reader to believe, understandably,  that the quotes were accurate, since Karl had actually reviewed the emails himself.

He hadn’t.

He was told what the emails supposedly said by a Republican congressional source who had every incentive to lie.  And rather than be somewhat skeptical of the source, and demand to see the emails in person before running the story, Karl ran the story anyway, got it wrong, and now is trying to downplay his multiple journalistic errors, which include lying about having seen the emails in question and thus giving ABC readers and viewers a false sense of the veracity of the reporter and the story.

As a result, we had a media, and congressional, feeding frenzy for a week blasting the administration for playing politics with the lives of US diplomats, since the Benghazi “smoking gun” had finally been found.  And it hadn’t.

So for Jonathan Karl to now go all passive voice on us about emails “quoted incorrectly,” and to suggest that his error was – what, a typo maybe? – rather than him having misled ABC News’ readers and viewers because he didn’t do his due diligence when dealing with a partisan source with a clear agenda, and then to suggest that his only regret about having lied to ABC’s audience is that his lie has distracted from the larger, in his mind, “valid” story is pretty reprehensible.

The fact that congressional Republicans who are conducting the Benghazi witch hunt felt the need to leak information, and then lie about it, in order to buttress their case might perhaps suggest that even they think their case is lacking.  But not Jonathan Karl.  He thinks the story “entirely stands.”

Then again, Jonathan Karl thinks having a partisan source with an axe to grind paraphrase emails over the phone is the same thing as him having personally “reviewed” those emails.  So maybe Jonathan Karl has a different definition of “entirely stands” than the rest of us do.

Jonathan Karl could learn a thing or two about humility from Howie Kurtz

I know a lot of folks have been enjoying their Howie Kurtz schadenfreude the last few weeks.  I disagreed with them, for the same reasons I didn’t want to, and had no plans to, initially go after Jonathan Karl on all of this.  People mess up occasionally, and I’m willing to forgive if they come clean (at least the first time).  But it’s ironic that Karl gave this apology-non-apology to Kurtz.  Howie apologized for his mistake.  Clearly, fully and immediately.  Where is Jonathan Karl’s mea culpa?

It sure isn’t this:


It’s one thing to mess up, monumentally.  It’s another to refuse to come clean after you’ve been caught.  The former could, generously, be ascribed to error.  The latter is intentional, and deceitful.

I love ABC. I grew up with ABC. ABC was my news channel. Now I don’t trust them.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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112 Responses to “ABC’s Jonathan Karl regrets that he was caught lying about Benghazi”

  1. KingCranky says:

    Ditto this X infinity.

  2. Houndentenor says:

    More? It calls into question everything Karl or ABC has reported from an “unnamed source.” We should all be suspicious of unsubstantiated claims anyway. It’s a huge problem in reporting. Yes, sometimes important information is revealed this way. it’s also a way for people with an axe to grind to inflict damage on people they don’t like without retaliation. There’s far too much of this. At least some part of a story should be verified before it goes on air. Maybe they might protect the source of the emails, but every last email should have been read before airing the story. It’s clear that they didn’t. Whether it was their intention to dupe the viewers or whether they were just played by someone who intended to spread lies, it is inexcusable for outright lies to have been approved for broadcast. They deserve to be mistrusted not only going forward but retroactively as well. That is a perfectly reasonable response on the part of the public. I don’t want to hear any victim bullshit from anyone at ABC. Actions have consequences. Reputations take a long time to build and are easy to lose. This should have massive consequences and serve as an object lesson to everyone in the media for decades to come. Unfortunately I don’t think that will happen. If you were caught in something this severe at your job, you’d have been fired and escorted out of the building by security. Shame on Karl and shame on ABC.

  3. KingCranky says:

    Thanks for proving you can’t, not “won’t”, but “can’t” prove your assertions, especially the codswallop about Syria having Iraq’s WsMD.

    Like I said, a colossally stupid move to invade & occupy Iraq if Syria had those weapons, which, of course, it didn’t.

    You Bush/Cheney sheeple always play the “but…..but…Clinton” card whenever you try the pathetic rehab of W spin, I’m sure that won’t change.

    Even funnier when you play that card, you bring up actions during the Bush/Cheney Administration-Iraq shipped its weapons to Syria-then whine when called on such glaring, debunked idiocy.

    Only with the Bush/Cheney lackeys like yourself is it a sign of “success” that more people died due to terrorist attacks on US embassies and consulates during the previous Administration, while fewer victims have been killed under similar circumstances during the Obama/Biden Administration.

    Logical consistency, a trait you should embrace, not fear.

  4. Liberty1773 says:

    Keep drinking the cool aid.. Black unemployment is STILL 50%.. The palm leaves you place at Obamas feet are plastic….God bless.

  5. RightArmOfFreedom says:

    First of all, the main objective was to remove Sadaam from power in Iraq. Your missing the entire point on Benghazi and obviously dont have a clue on what the argument is even about. So when you catch yourself up on whats going on come back and talk instead of just throwing a bunch of well bush well bush boo hoo hoo wah wah bush but bush but bush waaaahhhhhh wahhhh bush wahhhh bush wahhhhhhhh that is all anyone hears anymore. Bush is not in office, obama is. But when bush was, the Liberals and the media would attack him if he didnt chew his food enough times. This president has had a free ride on the medias back saying and doing whatever he wants. So sorry if im not feeling the shmpathy. Lastly i am not republican. So i was critical on bush for a of things. Im not going to treat obama any different.

    We know sadaam had wmds because he used them on us during desert storm. Proof? There are thousands of desert storm vets sufforing daily from chemical warfare. Lastly yes i can gurantee that bush didnt lose an ambassador. I cant answer the rest until you have a clue what the argument is even about.
    PS Bush has been gone for more almost 5 years. Move on! Your obsession with bush is kinda creepy

  6. KingCranky says:

    Ah, the old “Iraq’s weapons are in Syria”, which doesn’t then explain the colossal stupidity of invading and occupying Iraq if those nonexistent WsMD were transported into Syria.

    HINT: They weren’t, but you can debunk me by linking to footage, preferably from US satellites, bearing out your laughable claim-and it has to be independently verified that it was actually Iraq’s WsMD being transported, the “because I said so, with nothing else backing me up” claim doesn’t count as independently-verified proof.

    Bush Jr had the only opinion that mattered when it came to invading and occupying Iraq.

    Apparently, you, like the other GOP historical revisionists, don’t think anyone killed or injured due to attacks on US embassies and consulates during the Bush/Cheney Administration was as innocent or dead as the Benghazi victims, you seem to think those victims before Benghazi deserved what happened to them, their families deserved their grief.

    Since you’re not as insistent, to the same exact degree, about the glaring embassy & consulate security lapses of the Bush/Cheney Administration, then your outrage is phony.

    But you keep right on spinning to rehab the abysmal record of the worst Administration in US history, Bush/Cheney, a wrecking crew which left the US weaker in every possible way, inflicting harm and hardships on our military while allowing Iran’s stature to grow in the region after removing its counterweight, Saddam Hussein.

    “Mission Accomplished” indeed.

  7. KingCranky says:

    Still can’t, not “won’t” but “can’t”, dispute my pointss about current southern state republicans, which you prove perfectly with each pathetic reply.

  8. KingCranky says:

    Absolutely correct, there’s no excusing the outright lie pushed by Karl and his ABC News superiors, they claimed to have seen e-mails, they charged those e-mails showed a cover up, but they hadn’t actually read those e-mails themselves, instead, they helped push a false narrative forwarded by a political operative.

    For all we know, Karl and ABC “News” will push more garbage from that same source.

  9. Butch1 says:

    One doesn’t know what this man has up his sleeve, right now he is licking his chops dealing with Detroit. I think if he were to go after Ann Arbor, there is too much liberal money involved in that place connected with U of Michigan and there would be too much uproar for him to handle on a national level. He may be able to handle Detroit because of all the problems with financial ruin and a city council that has never been able to do anything but argue among themselves, corruption with mayors, Kauammee (sp) Fitzpatrick in jail and going to serve an even longer sentence, the present mayor, former basketball star Bing saying he will not run anymore after being usurped of his powers by this dictator

    . He can get away also because more residents have given up and moved out of the city including my sister and her husband. They used to live in a historical district and watching thieves come by and steal the copper off of their down spouts got to be enough. The police would not come out unless someone was breaking in and you had actually shot them! Furthermore, he’s been going after black and poor cities and no one seems to give a fig. What does that tell you in this country? Ann Arbor is a different demographic. It would be like him trying this on Grosse Pointe or Cranbrooke where Romney went to school. Snyder would be out on his ass in a flash. The rich would not put up with him so, you know who’s behind all of this. Rich republicans.

  10. RightArmOfFreedom says:

    The war was approved by Congress. Bush just didn’t send troops over there and invade. Come on now. Bin Laden warnings? Oh your talking about the 8 times he attacked Clinton without retaliation? Ok He didn’t lie about WMD’s. Intel (CIA and UN agents) said Sadaam had them. In fact he did have them. Just before US attacks though, he smuggled them all into Syria his closest allies. Also, they found a ton of IED’s while in Iraq. The IED’s used in Boston, were called WMD by Obama himself and is what the surviving brother has been charged with using. So in fact, they found a number of WMD’s in Iraq. He didn’t ignore Katrina. FEMA was the problem at Katrina. FEMA was reorganized as a result and is what is being used today. I still dont like FEMA. I like the idea of FEMA, but I think it is a wasted appropriation of government funds. So again,really nothing to do with Bush. What are Liberals so obsessed with Bush anyways? Obama does the same things Bush did and they don’t say a word. If they do, they just say “Well Bush did it.” How does that make it right? If it was wrong for Bush, it should be wrong for any President. You were so against the war in Iraq calling Bush a murderer and so on, tell me, what protest have you done for Obama just moving all the troops from Iraq to Afghanistan? He never brought the troops home like he promised. He just moved them next door. Where were your protest and hate driven rallies when Obama used military force on 2 countries WITHOUT Congressional approval? (He received a stern by the Democratic Congress on those) Where were the Liberals for all of this? I thought they were against all this fighting? Lets not talk about the 100’s of thousands of firearms smuggled to Mexican drug cartels, 5 F16’s and $250 million cash given to the Muslim Brotherhood (a terrorist organization against America), Should I go on? I don’t even want to imagine what Liberals would have done if Bush did even half of that. FYI Im not Republican either. I have a brain which enables me to vote for the individual and not a R or D written in () beside someones name. I am Liberal on some issues and conservative on others. Its called thinking for yourself. Should try it sometime. Schooled 101

  11. RightArmOfFreedom says:

    ? All I said was don’t go throwing someone under the bus when the facts have yet to be released. You take that as a personal attack? Yes you are correct FOX deserves to be there to. SORRY for not putting EVERY news station known to mankind in there for your equality. Now go grab some of your entitlements try to be a parent to all of your illegitimate children so they don’t have to be leach on the system when they grow up. Like personal attacks? I do I do!

  12. karmanot says:

    I hate to think how or if Ann Arbor has fared.

  13. karmanot says:

    Well done! It demonstrates the power of propaganda to obfuscate the ability to distinguish what is ‘real,’ what is ‘true’ and when the two are one. Critical thinking is going the way of the dinosaurs, but sophistry is ever vigorous.

  14. DCinDC says:

    Karl needs to go! ABC has to fire him to demonstrate that they have high standards! ABC News means to report the facts and nothing else will do.

  15. Karl needs to be fired immediately… but then i am sure he will pop up as a Fox News no spin zone rectum wipe.

  16. Butch1 says:

    Do they all learn short-hand as a requirement? Stenography or a secretary would be a perfect secondary vocation if any of them were ever fired from a real reputable newspaper. News has become sensational and more like the Inquirer and People Magazine. It appeals to the type of viewers that attract to it and this is where this country is going when education continues to drop as these republicans win and democrats fall in line behind them on cutting critical dollars going into school systems at the state levels.

    I recently saw what has happened to my old high school and it was depressing. There is no librarian anymore. Can’t afford it. The Olympic size pool had been drained dry and sits empty and has been for years. Can’t afford to run it or a program to maintain it. Got rid of the tennis courts. Got rid of the auto-shop and the drafting department. These would be great for the students who cannot afford to continue on to college and would like to learn a craft. Cannot afford it. I could go on and on but it’s too depressing. The state by the way, is Michigan which has a dictator for governor, Snyder. He’s infamous for his “emergency managers” who replace duly elected mayors and complete city councils. That person nullifies previous contracts with the cities and sells off city owned parks and lands. Pretty neat, eh? These republicans go after democratically held cities and take them over and sell off their assets to their rich friends. Why this man isn’t in jail yet is a mystery. This is being fought in the court system but that moves at a snails pace.

    The people actually voted this draconian measure down in last years’s election and he turned around and wrote a new law with his majority republicans in Congress and put it right back where they couldn’t remove it this time around. Amazing and against the state’s majority wishes.

  17. Butch1 says:

    Well said.

  18. wmforr says:

    Dan Rather, one of the greatest anchors after Cronkite, was forced out for a similar set-up, which was likely set up just to discredit him.

  19. wmforr says:

    You pinned it. Puppets on the string, and none of them ‘nose’ that Pinocchio is pulling the strings.

  20. wmforr says:

    Between the lines, “the story still stands”, is the modern confusion, particularly on the right between Facts–verifiable reality–and Truth–“what I believe for no other reason than that I want to believe it”. Hence the propensity for using outright lies to support a position and still believing the structure must stand when the supporting framework is kicked out from under it.

    Haven’t we seen plenty of Congresscritters go all Mormon Church when their lies were caught by self-righteously insisting that the conclusion is obviously true even if the total syllogism proves Socrates is a cat? And the fact that the conclusion is true justifies the lie.

  21. karmanot says:

    Hon, I think you have your Confederate flag thong in a twist.

  22. karmanot says:


  23. Estproph says:

    I’d say it’s the second alternative.

  24. Estproph says:

    “The Myth of the Racist Republicans”, an analysis of the decades-long
    shift of the South from the racist Democratic Party to the racially
    tolerant Republican Party.”

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!You should be ashamed for saying something so completely stupid! It is literally not possible to look at the republican party and claim that they are racially tolerant after the last 4 years. It is like saying that the sun comes out at night, or gravity makes things fall upward. If the democrats are so racist, THEN WHY IS THE FIRST BLACK PRESIDENT A DEMOCRAT?

    Fuck are you stupid.

  25. Houndentenor says:

    I have no idea if Karl saw the emails or not, but it seems clear that whoever approved the story to air did not, and should have insisted that they saw them before approving the story. That’s just basic journalism. This is the lazy excuse for reporting that plagues the news media today.

  26. Shivas says:

    “But now it might be time to go shopping for some rope.”

    Even if you mean that figuratively, I question your using it in this day and age. The left is critical of the right’s use of threats of violence against their supposed enemies, you shouldn’t be giving them ammo (there I go again) to use against you.

  27. Houndentenor says:

    All distortions of the truth. the KKK attached itself to each state’s dominant party. In the south that meant Democrats. In Indiana it was Republicans. Yes, there were civil rights advocates who were Republicans. In the south the Republicans had been the party of reconstruction which is why no one could get elected as a Republican in most of the south from Reconstruction to the Reagan era (exceptions duly noted but they are rare). Nixon’s Southern Strategy changed that and began the rise of the GOP in the south. Also, both parties had right and left wings up until the 1980s. There were liberal Republicans and conservative Democrats. Almost all bills passed in the first half of the 20th century did so with bi-partison coalitions. A good many Republicans voted for the Civil Rights Act and other civil rights legislation. That was before the party alignments and purges that gave us the current dysfunctional mess we have today.

  28. KingCranky says:

    Like I said, can’t dispute my points, so don’t even bother.

    Thanks for proving you can’t, not “won’t”, but “can’t” counter those points about current southern state republicans.

  29. Houndentenor says:

    Because the actual emails have been shown to be doctored. If there is evidence that Obama did something, that evidence needs to be provided. In America we don’t assume someone is guilty until they are proven innocent. It works the other way. Always has. If you make baseless charges and then fail to provide proof, people should assume that you just made it up, because that’s what you did. Charges need to be proven.

  30. Houndentenor says:

    That should go for Democrats as well. There’s no reason to believe something anyone says without being able to verify it. If there’s no corroboration, then that should be pointed out in the story so that we know to take it with a grain of salt. The same standard should apply across the board. This standard should increase exponentially in cases where there should be corroboration but none is provided. (See Mitch McConnell’s assertions of Obama and the IRS on tv yesterday.)

  31. Houndentenor says:

    Unfortunately this is the norm in tv journalism, not the exception, and it has been the norm for a very long time. Journalists are so proud of their “sources” but what that really amounts to is being used by powerful people to get statements in the press without having to take ownership of them. It’s amazing how often reporters turn out to be dead wrong without any repercussions. Karl is not going to lose his job, just like the last 100 times a reporter got caught reporting something that was dead wrong (usually played by some politicians just like this) weren’t fired either.

  32. Butch1 says:

    He should stop calling himself a journalist or even a reporter. He’s proven that he’s nothing but a lazy stenographer who is mindless enough to just take down notes from republican liars and present them as facts and truth.

    He can’t even own up to his own culpability like a man and has to passively distance himself from his role in this mess by not even naming himself as the jerk that owned it. Shame on him. Jay Carney should point the finger at him to signal just who is responsible for the big mess so that there is absolutely no question for the rest of the nation.

    This “I regret,” is not good enough. How about, ” I apologize for misleading you with a lie because I was too damned lazy to go check the notes with the real information just to make sure it was legitimate before I put it in print like a real journalist/reporter would do. I hope you will give me a second chance and I hope I have not lost credibility with you, my readers.”

    That would have been credible and a much better apology to read and believable and from the heart if he has one.

  33. Sweetsue says:

    Who can ever trust another word Jonathan Karl says again? ABC should cut their credibility losses and get rid of the guy. Then they need to tell their other reporters to “trust but verify” anything a republican says. They are not to be trusted. How long has JK been carrying water for them.

  34. Candlefly says:

    I will never believe this man again. I had noticed he was always going for the Presidents throat in press conferences and now I know why, he’s carrying water for the Republican Party. ABC hid the prevaricator Sunday, I suppose waiting for the air to clear. Well ABC it won’t clear, Fire the Liar.

  35. Demittry says:

    You wouldn’t like the answers anyway. They wouldn’t fit into your little lefty narrative. Facts never do, that is why leftists lie.

  36. sarah says:

    Don’t part of the idiots in America. We have seen the same thing in past history with the Republican party. This is the Christian BS they push. Only they believe there is NO bad lie if it benefits them. If Obama had changed these emails you would not shut the F*** up. Pay attention and you should be pissed that they lied about this issue. You are exactly what is wrong with this country clueless Americans that buy the lies and ignores the truth.

  37. sarah says:

    First you left out FOX in your remark about real reporters and journalist do not work for ABC, CNN, CBS. Fox has NONE at all that can be trusted. Your comment does not surprise it just shows you are also part of the lies your party feels is OKAY to spew. Your name shows Right Arm of Freedom it should be left leg of BS.

  38. lynchie says:

    How do you know there are 25,000 pages more importantly why do you care. Did you care Bush ignored Bin Laden warnings, lied about WMD, lied about the war being over, invaded a country that had nothing to do with the attacks, ignored Katrina. No you were a good little GOP puppy

  39. lynchie says:


  40. cinorjer says:

    What nobody seems to get is that Jonathan Karl is a right wing pundit who deliberately lied in his story in the eternal effort to smear Obama. The reason these unnamed Republican leakers aren’t being named is that in all probability it was Karl himself who twisted and rewrote the emails. This refusal by him to even acknowledge the story was completely wrong points to a desperate effort for the truth not to emerge.

  41. RightArmOfFreedom says:

    How do you know it was a lie? Because Obama said so? The White House released around 300 pages hand selected pages out of reportedly 25,000. So you tell me how you can definitively say it was a lie? The White House has released 0 of the emails from the first few days following the attack which is where the information would be contained that Karl was reporting.

  42. RightArmOfFreedom says:

    They don’t even know yet because the white house has yet to release the emails during the first 2 or 3 days. So to say that his story was false is well FALSE. This is why real reporters and journalist do not work for ABS, CNN, CBS because you can’t do real reporting or you will be slammed if you do anything against a Liberal in office.

  43. KingCranky says:

    Yep, no way to spin those questions in any way positive for current southern state republicans, smart not to even try.

  44. Demittry says:

    “Through this inscription I wish to enter my dying protest against what is called the Democratic party. I have watched it closely since the days of Jackson and know that all the misfortunes of our nation has come to it through this so called party, therefore beware of this party of treason.

    Put on in fulfillment of promise to Deceased. Posted on one side of the monument of N. Grigsby.”

  45. Demittry says:

    Well go ask some, then ask some democrats why they’re still voting democrat after being lied to for all these years!

    “Democrats condemn Republican President Richard Nixon for his so-called “Southern Strategy.” These same Democrats expressed no concern when the racially segregated South voted solidly for Democrats for over 100 years, while deriding Republicans because of the thirty-year odyssey of the South switching to the Republican Party.”

    “The Claremont Institute published an eye-opening article by Gerard Alexander entitled “The Myth of the Racist Republicans”, an analysis of the decades-long shift of the South from the racist Democratic Party to the racially tolerant Republican Party. That article can be found on the Internet. Another article on this subject by Mr. Alexander is “Conservatism does not equal racism. So why do many liberals assume it does?”, also posted on the Internet.”

  46. KingCranky says:

    Yeah, let’s ask southern state republicans if the Confederacy was wrong to use slavery as its economic engine, if the North was right to destroy the evil system of owning humans and physically separating families, if Sherman was right to inflict as much damage to the Confederacy as possible during his March to the Sea.

    If Southern State Republicans don’t state that the Confederacy was made up of traitors, then they’re not the same as their Civil War namesake party.

  47. KingCranky says:

    Link to a photo of MLK’s voter registration form, showing he was a registered Republican at the time of his assassination.

    Or is this claim of the “because I said so, with absolutely nothing backing up my opinion” type of “proof”?

  48. ronbo says:


  49. Demittry says:

    ” It does not make sense to believe that racist Democrats suddenly rushed into the Republican Party, especially after Republicans spent nearly 150 years fighting for black civil rights. In fact, the racist Democrats declared they would rather vote for a “yellow dog” than a Republican because the Republican Party was known as the party for blacks.

    From the time of its inception in 1854 as the anti-slavery party, the Republican Party has always been the party of freedom and equality for blacks. In essence, the Republican Party is the party of the four F’s: faith, family, fairness and freedom. As author Michael Scheuer wrote, the Democratic Party is the party of the four S’s: slavery, secession, segregation and now socialism. Democrats have been running black communities for the past 50+ years, and the socialist policies of the Democrats have turned those communities into economic and social wastelands.

    Democrats first used brutality and discriminatory laws to stop blacks from voting for Republicans. Democrats now use deception and government handouts to keep blacks from voting for Republicans. In his book, “Dreams From My Father,” President Barack Obama described what he and other Democrats do to poor blacks as “plantation politics.” ”

  50. ronbo says:

    Forever? Who said that…ckg1? I simply noted that the plane headed for the building didn’t make it to the building and yet the building fell down anyway.

    Your engineering degree is in the mail, now that you’ve posted your theory that “debris” causes building to fall. You are truly Phoenix-quality kind sir or madame.

    In OKC, the Murrah building took a much, much larger bomb, yet remained standing.,r:10,s:0,i:113&iact=rc&dur=1552&page=1&tbnh=168&tbnw=200&start=0&ndsp=19&tx=67&ty=79

  51. Andy Olsen says:

    By this report from FAIR, Jonathan Karl is a right winger, trained at right wing media schools intended to get ideologues into the business. This report is a little dated but as it provides history, that doesn’t really matter.

    Karl should directly address his misreporting. ABC certainly should.

    “Karl came to mainstream journalism via the Collegiate Network, an
    organization primarily devoted to promoting and supporting right-leaning
    newspapers on college campuses (Extra!, 9-10/91)—such as the Rutgers paper launched by the infamous James O’Keefe (Political Correction, 1/27/10).
    The network, founded in 1979, is one of several projects of the
    Intercollegiate Studies Institute, which seeks to strengthen
    conservative ideology on college campuses. William F. Buckley was the
    ISI’s first president, and the current board chair is American Spectator
    publisher Alfred Regnery. Several leading right-wing pundits came out
    of Collegiate-affiliated papers, including Ann Coulter, Dinesh D’Souza,
    Michelle Malkin, Rich Lowry and Laura Ingraham (Washington Times, 11/28/04).”

  52. caphillprof says:

    The real scandal here is NOT Benghazi, NOR even Jonathan Karl (though he should be fired from ABC News); the real scandal is the House Republicans and/or staffers who created and peddled the lie. Karl should name names.

  53. Demittry says:

    Good post! Here’s a couple more tidbits..

    ”These Negroes, they‘re getting pretty uppity these days and that‘s a problem for us since they‘ve got something now they never had before, the political pull to back up their uppityness. Now we‘ve got to do something about this, we‘ve got to give them a little something, just enough to quiet them down, not enough to make a difference.”
    ~Lyndon B. Johnson (Democrat)

    President Lyndon Baines Johnson, And is “Great Society” to help the Negro… was recorded on a White House taped (and saved) conversation claiming, “I’ll have them n***ers voting Democratic for the next two hundred years.”

  54. pappyvet says:

    I have,the leaked email adds new language to State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland’s email, including a specific reference to al-Qaeda:

    “The penultimate point is a paragraph talking about all the previous warnings provided by the Agency (CIA) about al-Qaeda’s presence and activities of al-Qaeda.“

    The actual email read:

    “The penultimate point could be abused by members to beat the State Department for not paying attention to Agency warnings.“

    A leaked email written by deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes suggests that he asked for the final draft to remove references to warnings about specific attacks, a demand made by the State Department:

    “We must make sure that the talking points reflect all agency equities, including those of the State Department, and we don’t want to undermine the FBI investigation.”

    But the actual email did not mention the State Department:

    “We need to resolve this in a way that respects all of the relevant equities, particularly the investigation.”

  55. karmanot says:


  56. karmanot says:

    FOX already has an anchor for him.

  57. karmanot says:

    That was a tragic undoing of a great journalist. AWOL Bush has always gotten away with behavior for which the lot of us would be imprisoned.

  58. EdA says:

    Dan Rather’s career at CBS — one that was actually highly distinguished, unlike this clown’s — came to an end when he relied on a document whose contents may actually have been accurate but which was arguably a reconstruction.

  59. WBC says:

    “White House emails reviewed by ABC News suggest the edits were made with extensive input from the State Department.” Having read the near 100 emails released by the Whitehouse, it is clearly evident that the State Dept. DID make extensive & substantial changes/edits to the “Talking Points.” Yes, lousy journalism on his & ABC’s part, but the fact remains that the above quote is true. Read the emails folks!!!

  60. Ninong says:

    Wow, you had choices? I remember when television first came out. Before that we listened to the radio for news and entertainment.

    In the beginning there were just two channels: NBC and CBS. The news came on at 6:00 p.m. and it was over at 6:15 p.m. And it was just a guy sitting behind a desk reading his typed script. Pretty much the same as radio except you could see him doing it. The ABC television network wasn’t even invented until years later.

  61. r a says:

    Who signed off on his story?

  62. Jimi LaLumia says:

    he should be FIRED, Re PIG enabler!!

  63. RepubAnon says:

    Further, I thought that lying about the events surrounding Benghazi for political gain was a heinous crime. Here, we’ve got a GOP source lying about the events surrounding Benghazi for political gain – and an ABC reporter saying that the story (about the Obama Administration lying about Benghazi for political gain) “stands” – to avoid personal embarrassment.

    Either the whole Benghazi story is much ado about nothing, or both the ABC reporter and the GOP source have done precisely what they claim the Obama Administration did. In either case, they should be exposed and forced to resign.

    Except, of course, It’s OK If You’re A Republican (or a Villager).

  64. PDQ says:

    John: Wait a minute…….only NOW you don’t trust them?

    You mean to tell me you still trusted them after all of Brian Ross’ sensationalistic blunders?

    ABC News lost credibility years ago.

  65. pappyvet says:

    Hit it on the head Becca,but you also hear these people constantly say that the hate talk comes equally from both sides. Its the same babble as saying that he’s sorry that you thought he did something terrible.

  66. PeteWa says:

    give that creep another ten years and he’ll be telling us how it was always the republicans who were for gay rights.

  67. Mike O'Leary says:

    I notice when you guys tell this lie you always leave out the part that it was the democrat kennedy that wrote the bill the ended segragation. You also leave out the part that is was the democrat Johnson that signed it in to law, and you leave out that entier souther stratgey to whip up racism to get votes in the south. Malcom x was shot but two muslims how followed the man Malcom had declared to be a liar. When you tell a story and leave out all those facts that is called propoganda if the truth on your side you dont need propoganda. I think we all know wich side the racist are on today don’t we? Not that any of this matters because none of this has anything to do with republicans telling lies to fit their story of Obama you guys could not find the evidence so you made it up. So it is a good question to ask you will lie and cheat that has been proven not in 50s and 60s but right now you have proven today you will lie so what is next from youl liars?

  68. ckg1 says:

    Ronbo: WTC7 had a crapload of debris rained on it from both WTC 1 and 2. And you still think the tower would stand forever? REALLY?

  69. Zorba says:

    LOL! Let’s see…….his first initial is T and his last initial is B. Gee, who could it be? ;-)

  70. BeccaM says:

    I’d say ABC News should be concerned that he put the reputation of their entire news division behind his shoddy journalism when he said that the emails had been “reviewed by ABC News.”

    This implies that it wasn’t just him and his lying GOP source, but that others had seen the emails and signed off on their veracity.

    Jonathan Karl didn’t fix anything either with his non-apology. His story was entirely about the White House attempting to set talking points for political gain, which turned out not to be true at all. How is it that “the story still entirely stands” when all it is, is a GOPer who won’t even go public falsely portraying the contents of the emails in question? That’s a completely different story.

    At minimum, he deserves to be fired.

  71. dallasne says:

    What, you didn’t realize that a double standard exists depending on your politics. ABC/Disney is still standing by the story. Never mind that to make it a story it requires doctored documents. That is the new standard at ABC. (Or is it just more obvious this time).

  72. dallasne says:

    “Now I don’t trust them”. That is exactly what I said when no apology came forth. Further, Karl’s assertion that the story “still stands entirely” totally discredits anything he may say in the future on this story. What “stands entirely”? Rather than an apology, this is just doubling down on the story. Not only does he need to explain what exactly that means he needs to show what his proof is in supporting that claim. ABC News, as a corporation, needs to apologize for Karl’s report, ask for his resignation and provide the public with the name(s) of Karl’s source. On the last point the voters represented by this/these individual(s) deserve to know what their representatives are engaged in and whether lines have been crossed.

  73. Liberty1773 says:

    Put the BONG down.. DR . King was a republican… The KKK was the Smack-down unit of the

  74. Clecinosu says:

    Yes, those were the days. Back when “News” did not mean “Entertainment.”

    In my prime, our choices were Jennings at ABC, Rather at CBS and Brokaw at NBC. Out of those three, I watched two of them.

    Try to guess which one I didn’t. (Hint: He opines about “The Greatest Generation” and can’t pronounce Ls.)

  75. NorthAlabama says:

    i’m still waiting for a retraction and correction from abc news – forget what the reporter says.
    the story claims emails were “obtained by abc news”. they were not. this is a lie, not a mistake. who’s taking responsibility?

  76. ronbo says:

    “Same stuff over and over”!?! No, just the truth, dude.

  77. Zorba says:

    Meh, you young pup. ;-)
    I preferred CBS News, because I grew up with Douglas Edwards, and then Walter Cronkite. Peter Jennings was “okay,” but he couldn’t have held a candle to them.
    Or, for that matter, NBC’s Chet Huntley and David Brinkley.
    Ah, those were the days!

  78. ronbo says:

    The buliding fell AFTER the plane missed the target. “Truther”? I don’t know if that’s an … attack, insult or or compliment. Sometime logic IS important; unlike when you said, “Someone down-voted me. Why? For calling for Anonymous to step in?”

  79. Quilla says:

    He’s a tool.

    It shouldn’t take as long as it has, but I hope he AND David Gregory will find homes at FAUX.

  80. mtblaze says:

    I remember Dan Rather being attacked for a story about George Bush’s military avoidance scheme.
    Rather’s story was correct in substance, but he used a false document to help him make the case. Rather was quickly removed from his long-held anchor position by CBS.

    Karl used a false statement to help him make the case. Perhaps he should provide us with a deeper mea culpa and reveal his source, or perhaps ABC should make sure he goes the way of Dan Rather.

  81. karmanot says:

    Mine reads: “WTF 7”

  82. karmanot says:

    Yep, he can see Fox from his office.

  83. Zorba says:

    ABC News needs to publicly dump their lying reporter. Unfortunately, I won’t be holding my breath waiting for this to happen.

  84. karmanot says:


  85. Max_1 says:

    “Democracy Now” is the ONLY news organization that isn’t “owned”. Amy Goodman’s shadow evicerates Jennings.

    just repeating what needs to be repeated.

  86. Max_1 says:

    Following ABC News, one will recognize Peter Jennings is no longer with them after his death in 2005.

  87. NMRon says:

    So who’s the liar here? Republicans for selling the lie or Karl for knowingly repeating the lie? And the media still wonder why nobody bothers to read their bullshit anymore. Corporate ownership, Corporate speak.

  88. Max_1 says:

    What guilt goes into spreading false information, anyway?

  89. Monomania is never pleasant to watch. It’s pretty damn boring after a while. The same stuff over and over. Does your licence plate read “WTC 7”?

  90. Mick says:

    Jonathan Karl will now go the way of all outed RW “non-partisan” journalists: analyst/editorialist. Probably for Fox.

  91. Irishgirl1 says:

    Great article. I hope this doesn’t end well for Karl.

  92. Barbie Dycus says:

    “fabricated by congressional Republicans “….. lie, cheat, steal, what’s next ….. assassination??? ~ I don’t put it past them to try.

  93. ckg1 says:

    See ya later, TRUTHER.

  94. Hue-Man says:

    He couldn’t possibly be expected to fact-check the telepathically-transmitted e-mail he received from a TeaParty/GOP liar. I know I wouldn’t be able to walk into an office in the White House and ask for confirmation from a WH staffer. Heck, I wouldn’t even be able to phone and ask for that confirmation. Why should we expect anything more from a member of the Independent Press? Other than this short intro from his wiki entry:

    “Prior to his current post at the White House…”

  95. ronbo says:

    Seriously? A news reader who claimed “that you’re going to do this you have to get at the under-infrastructure of the building to bring it down”? Amazing, in that he later agreed that the third building to fall was “normal” even though the plane that should have hit it, was downed in PN. A plane misses it’s target, yet the target falls, that’s “normal”. That is not journalism; It’s playing within the rules (as defined by the 1%.)

    “Democracy Now” is the ONLY news organization that isn’t “owned”. Amy Goodman’s shadow evicerates Jennings.

  96. PeteWa says:

    Karl’s been a dutiful, highly partisan ratfucker for years.

  97. KingCranky says:

    Another aspect of Karl’s malign neglect in not actually reading the same e-mails he claims he did, if he won’t out his source, then it’s completely possible that he’ll rely on that same source yet again.

    Jason Leopold never did out his sources who claimed an imminent Valerie Plame-related indictment for Karl Rove, now Karl’s not outing his source(s?), who pushed easily-debunked talking points Karl was too lazy, or stupid, to check himself, to do anything but accept uncritically.

    Jake Tapper was able to access those e-mails Karl didn’t, there’s absolutely no reason Karl couldn’t have done the same, there’s no excusing his deliberate actions in taking, at face value, explosive partisan claims intended to harm this Administration.

    At the very least, Karl showed not just a willingness to place blind trust in a clearly political operative/”source”, he pursued a strategy of aggressive naivete to an absurd degree.

    Karl outright lied when he claimed to have reviewed those e-mails, there’s no way to spin that in a logically positive fashion.

  98. So the most charitable interpretation of his actions is that he dutifully accepted on faith some documents handed him by a blatantly partisan source and copied them into his “report” without checking them like a good little stenographer.

  99. jixter says:

    This seems so simple and obvious to me – which is, very likely, the reason that I’d never ‘succeed’ on any level in Washington – but if I were Karl, I’d burn my source(s). I’d burn them at every opportunity, publicly and privately – and I’d burn them repeatedly. After making a real, public apology, which Karl hasn’t done, I’d let everyone know who participated in my journalistic undoing and then I’d let the chips fall where they may. If nothing else, it’d be a good way to find out who my friends, if any, were and then, perhaps: A) all the future co-conspirators and ‘agenda’-promoters would steer clear of me; B) All of Washington would steer clear of me or: C) I’d find a job at a Burger King in Nebraska..

  100. Jennings on 9/11 was amazing. He was our president that day, rather than the man who MIA and had to be called out by Jennings himself for that very fact.

  101. lynchie says:

    I actually grew up around the corner from Peter Jennings in Ottawa and knew him and his family quite well. He had his faults and his warts like all of us but he religiously checked sources and was a journalist who worked in the field for over 20 years. He covered the Berlin wall going up and coming down, spent 60 hours on the air covering 9/11 and like Brokaw and Rather was relied upon to be honest and not owned by a corporation. Alas Mr Karl has no such pedigree. He was happy to go in front of the cameras without a shred of professionalism, no fact checking, no smoking gun, though he made that up, and showed us all what passes for journalism these days. Amateur, opportunistic, unethical, rumor mongering that is best reserved for the National Enquirer. ABC revealed that any made up story is good enough for them because it is about sensationalism not fact which is important. Karl thought he had a gotcha moment for O, instead he became a buffoon. If he had decency he would reveal his source but I am sure he thinks next time he will be told the truth. What a tool.

  102. Karl is a partisan hack that wrote for National Review and if you go to Hullabaloo, Digby points out some very interesting links to him and O’Keefe, Coulter, et al.

  103. karmanot says:

    His weasely passive voice is right out of the Rumsfeld playbook: ‘I regret didn’t know and if I knew I would have known and reported it. The truth of the story still stands.’

  104. Krusher says:

    Three things about Jonathan Karl: he’s smug, lazy & mendacious.

  105. cole3244 says:

    karl’s apology sounds eerily similar to a gop talking point, must be me, or not.

  106. Blogvader says:

    “Regrets that he was caught”, being the operative phrase there.

    As it is, this is becoming a retread of the Clinton lame-duck presidency, when all the Republicans cared about was flinging dirt in preparation for the next presidential campaign.

  107. Ninong says:

    “White House emails reviewed by ABC News suggest the edits were made with extensive input from the State Department.”

    When is he going to apologize who that outright lie? ABC News didn’t review shit. He lied about that and I don’t see where he has apologized for that at all. Reading his “apology” you would think that he’s blaming his sources for quoting the emails “incorrectly.” In fact, his source added shit to the emails about the State Department that was never there. That’s a lot more than “quoting incorrectly.” His source lied to him, he repeated their lie and added another lie that “ABC News had reviewed the emails.”

    ABC News needs to apologize for their lying reporter.

  108. I grew up as the Peter Jennings generation. ABC was huge, and trusted. I also like Tapper, though he’s now moved to CNN.

  109. Joan says:

    Not good enough, what a half hearted statement, this is not going to make any difference to those who are now going to boycott ABC and those who want him tried for treason!

  110. Houndentenor says:

    Why make excuses for this? He didn’t do his job. He should have seen the emails himself before reporting them as fact. He should have made some attempt to verify the accuracy of information before reporting it. Accuracy used to be important in journalism. it’s isn’t any more. So-called journalists now repeat every piece of gossip they hear and thus become pawns in political games. It’s not that hard to fact-check information, but it does require effort. He was lazy and didn’t do his job. If I screwed up this badly at my job, they’d fire me. I don’t know why he should get any better treatment than the rest of us just because he’s on TV. There have to be consequences for being played. Judy Miller and Jonathan Karl and the rest of these tv hacks who fancy themselves reporters need to be laughed out of town for trying to pass themselves off as news reporters.

  111. Peter says:

    I’m sorry, but you “love” ABC? May I ask why?

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