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Turns out the mystery Schiavo memo came from a staffer of Republican Senator Mel Martinez. The staffer has resigned, as he should have, not only for his putrid politicization of the issue, but also because, according to some of the drafts I’ve seen online, he is an atrocious speller.
Still, as PowerLine points out, the news of the memo’s source does not absolve the media of charges that it reported the story erroneously. For example, Washington Post referred to the memo being “distributed to Republican senators by party leaders.” A staffer of a man who has not even been Senator for a quarter year does not a “party leader” make.
Meanwhile, Jonah Goldberg quotes Senator Martinez denying knowledge of the memo prior to it being made public:
[Chris Wallace, Fox News]: Senator, how do you explain, then, these talking points, which have been circulated among Republican senators? And let’s put them up on the screen, so our viewers can see them.
Martinez: And I reject those. I’ve never seen them before today. And I’ll tell you, they’re not a part of what I think this case is about.
It may be possible that Senator Martinez’s staffer passed around a memo that he himself never saw. But is it likely? Looks like Mel’s got some splainin’ to do.
As with the much else in the Schiavo case, nobody seems to come out of this looking good.