On CNN’s Reliable Sources, host Howard Kurtz read a statement this Sunday from Jonathan Karl, chief White House Correspondent for ABC News, that didn’t make Karl look any better, but in fact only raised more questions.
Karls’ statement was a response to being busted by Jake Tapper of CNN for taking a doctored email hawked to other reporters by House Republicans and creating an “excuslive” out of it that specifically charged that the White House had changed talking points in order to protect itself.
Jonathan Karl isn’t backing down. Nope. He’s doubling down on the accusations while expressing regret that the email was quoted incorrectly (by whom? aliens who took over his keyboard?) and for the “distraction” from what Karl sees as the real story:
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
Somehow, Karl believes that the story still stands. But all examinations of the emails show that the minor edits fundamentally altered the meaning of the email. They were edited in order to make the Obama administration look bad, “inventing the notion that Rhodes wanted the concerns of the State Department specifically addressed.” That was the entire point of Karl’s story, and not coincidentally, the narrative of House Republicans.
Karl tried to defend his false story at the time by claiming his story still stood and pointing his finger at the White House. He wanted more information, darn it! Sadly for him, the White House complied and those emails proved that Karl’s story did not stand. Jason Easley explained at the time that by doing this, Obama put a stake through the heart of the GOP’s Benghazi scandal:
The president put a stake through the heart of the GOP’s attempts to revive Benghazi by releasing 100 pages of emails. (Now, the world can see how badly Jon Karl and ABC News got played when they used the summaries of someone else’s notes.) The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent published an email from Tommy Vietor, who until recently was the spokesperson for the National Security Council. Vietor wrote, “Regarding the talking points, it’s not surprising that the entire government would want the chance to look at and edit that language. This was a dynamic situation and new information was constantly flowing in, and different agencies had important concerns that had to be addressed – the State Department had security concerns, the FBI was worried about its investigation, and the CIA had a major, yet still undisclosed, role.”
What makes this even more egregious is that somehow Jake Tapper got the original email. How did he do that? Was Karl unable to get the original email or is he responsible for altering it?
Karl’s Rovian mea culpa actually only raises more questions, most specifically who is responsible for incorrectly quoting the email. Until now, it seemed he was had by the House GOP, who hawked their email to other reporters. But now, we have to ask — who altered the email, who “quoted it” incorrectly? Is Karl trying to cover for House GOP?
Yesterday, I gave Karl the benefit of the doubt, even after learning that he had been trained by a conservative media outlet also responsible for unleashing James O’Keefe, Michelle Malkin, and a host of other well known frothing lunatics who now pass themselves off as “journalists”.
Proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that he is indeed a Republican with an agenda that has made him blind to evidence and a general sucker for any lie a Republican wants out there, Karl’s words remind us all that crazy can never see just how crazy it appears, “I regret that it’s become a distraction from the story, which still entirely stands.” Oh, thanks for clearing that up, Karl. Integrity: ZERO.
Karl’s non-apology apology and refusal to go on his own network, let alone Reliable Sources, to explain what happened and how he came to mislead the public is indicative of an agenda that can’t afford the prying eyes of a TV audience.
Jonathan Karl is a coward, and a dupe. He misled his readers about his source, attributing it to a review of the actual emails when in fact he never had them. He got played by the GOP. The public is already starting petitions demanding his resignation (a move I support). But instead of apologizing for the real crime, ABC let him double down, claiming that he regrets this distraction. ABC is chasing after Fox News in the integrity department.
Jonathan Karl has officially become his own scandal, exposed by his own words and hubris.
Ms. Jones is the editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.