Pay no attention to that man on the blog

Folks, please disregard the error published on this CBS News blog yesterday, headlined "S.C. Paper Asks Thompson to Drop Out," which said:

GOFFSTOWN, N.H. — The largest newspaper in South Carolina is asking Fred Thompson to drop out of the Republican nomination and endorse John McCain. 

    “It’s time for him to do the principled thing,” writes The State’s
editorial page director, Brad Warthen. “He should bow out, and support
McCain. And he should do it now; now is when he can make a difference.”

    The editorial from the Columbia, South Carolina, paper comes at a
time when Thompson is getting ready to focus all of his attention on
South Carolina, after finishing third in Iowa and admitting he is “not
competitive” in New Hampshire…

First, it wasn’t "an editorial." Editorials actually DO speak for the newspaper as an institution, and reflect the consensus of the editorial board, NOT of an individual. So the headline is wrong — this "S.C. Paper" said nothing at all on the subject.

Anyway, when I saw people were being directed to my site by CBS, and followed the link to that blog item (by a guy named "John Bentley") and found the error, I tried posting a comment there, as follows:

I’d like to request a correction.

This "S.C. Paper" has not said a word about Fred Thompson. It’s just a thought I happened to share on my blog. No one else on our editorial board had anything to do with it; in fact, I doubt that anyone else is even aware that I said it, since I posted that on a weekend and they all have other things to do.

It’s OK to say the editorial page editor [and not the editorial page "director;" what is THAT, some TV term?] said it, but The State did NOT say it.

As I said in a column (which is ALSO personal opinion, and does not speak for The State), "Such are the pitfalls of blogging. Some folks mistake my passing observations for final conclusions and (an even greater mistake) my opinions for those of the whole editorial board."

For more on that subject, here’s a link:

Anyway, please take note of this problem. I don’t wish to embarrass my colleagues by the world thinking they are somehow responsible for my personal eruptions.

So, to play on the allusion I used in my Friday column, pay no attention to that man behind the blog — especially not the erroneous one … but don’t attach to much importance to this one either. My thoughts are what they are — my thoughts. And I wouldn’t even want anyone to think they are MY final word on the subject, since one of the purposes of editorial board discussions is to make each other think a little more — as I also suggested in today’s column.

10 thoughts on “Pay no attention to that man on the blog

  1. Karen McLeod

    Its amazing the things that grow on the political grape vine, isn’t it? That’s why everyone should take real care to ensure that something’s true before they pass it on. That McCain appears to me to be the best choice available on the republican side does not translate into “democrats flocking to McCain.” At least the stuff that grows on said political grapevine drops off quickly as a ‘new’ item appears.

  2. Jim

    What are you afraid of, the truth or do you really want someone as old or lame as McCain?

  3. Adam Fogle

    Brad, just saw FoxNews reference your post in the same way with an “Election Alert” saying “South Carolina paper encourages Fred Thompson to drop out.”

  4. Richard L. Wolfe

    Karen, Since you seem to be one of the few bloggers with the guts to back up what you say. I will ask you the same question I asked Brad. If it comes down to McCain vs Obama how does McCain win? I see the independents that will decide the election breaking Obama’s way. Tell me why I am wrong.

  5. weldon VII

    Such are the pitfalls of blogging, Brad.
    Personally, I find it both funny and sad.
    Apparently, you straddle the fence between here and there at more than just your expense.
    Asking people to make the distinction between the two, especially when this page says “The” at the top just as much as it says “Brad Warthen’s Blog,” might be asking too much.

  6. Gordon Hirsch

    Actually, Weldon, I think it’s an equally telling commentary on the credibility of TV journalism, which obviously has little regard for facts or fact-checking. Put it on a blog, and voila, it’s national news.

  7. Richard L. Wolfe

    I think the sad part is that we have these parties at all. How could I vote for a democrat if I wanted to knowing that I was getting George Soros, Michial Moore and Move On Dot Org. in the deal?

  8. weldon VII

    I have no quarrel with that analysis, Gordon. In fact, I approve that message. 🙂
    But even I, with my newspaper background — knowing Brad the editorial page editor is not The State and Brad the blogger is not Brad the columnist, though columnist Brad sometimes appears on Brad’s blog — saw red flags go up when Brad the blogger dared to advise Thompson to bow out.
    However you parse it, Brad the editorial page editor did the deed, as Brad admitted above, no matter what hat he was wearing.
    With Thompson pointing at South Carolina’s primary, that’s newsworthy. The dumb clucks at CBS should have got the facts right, but the fact remains that the most prominent opinion page editor in South Carolina basically told Fred to take a hike and leave the campfire to McCain.
    After his “Edwards is a phony” column made the national circuit, Brad probably should have imagined that bit of derring do would, too.

  9. Lee Muller

    McCain is the John Kerry of the Republican Party – more dull than Bob Dole.
    Conservatives will not support him because of his amnesty sell out to illegal aliens, his suppression of political speech, and his lack of support for the Second Amendment.


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