ABC’s Jonathan Karl is in the uncomfortable position of being the story instead of reporting it.
He’s the one who got the breathless scoop about the White House e-mails that showed the administration was trying to scrub the facts about Benghazi! to make it look like they were trying to keep the heat off the State Department. But when the White House released the e-mails in their entirety that proved no such thing and it turned out that Mr. Karl had been given second-hand summaries edited and vetted by Republican Congressional staffers, he became the story. A number of news outlets, including CBS News, flatly contradicted the ABC story, as did the facts themselves, leaving Mr. Karl as the one who had some explaining to do about his work and the story he published.
That’s not a good thing for a reporter, whether or not he or she is right. Just ask Dan Rather or Judith Miller. Or, for that matter, Woodward and Bernstein.
Mr. Karl released a statement yesterday afternoon that basically said that while there were some errors made, the story “entirely stands.” Josh Marshall takes a look at his statement and calls bullshit: How can you have a factual error in a story, yet say that it’s still “entirely” true?
I don’t know if Mr. Karl will keep his job at ABC News, but it’s likely that he will, given that this is a story about a Democratic president and that party does not have the lung power and the shrillness of the GOP to hound someone out of a job. If this was about a Republican president, you’d be hearing the Mighty Wurlitzer of Fox News and the right wing demanding his head on a spike all the way to Venus.