Investigative journalism

While You Were at CPAC

In case you've been living in a cave or something, the left has lately gotten good at campaigns to delegitimize and destroy up-and-coming Republicans long before they have a chance at running for President.

For Sarah Palin, the nutroots-ginned-up stories ranged from the fabulist notion that she wasn't the mother of her own child or blowing up stories like questioning her role in the Bridge to Nowhere -- stories that to date generated little controversy even among her local enemies -- into national firestorms.

More often than not, the process goes something like this: a Daily Kos diarist posts something, which is then on Olbermann the next night. Pseudo-journalistic outfits like TPM start making phone calls, which gives the guys at Politico just enough cover to start get in on the action, making it an MSM story, embroling the targeted Republican and forcing them to respond. In Palin's case, sick Daily Kos rumors were given enough credence to precipitate the disclosure of her daughter's pregnancy, which itself became a pretty big national story.

The left's latest search-and-destroy mission is against Bobby Jindal, centering on the segment in Jindal's speech where he talked about commisserating with the late Sheriff Harry Lee about bureaucratic bungling in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. 

It started with a Daily Kos diary shortly after Jindal wrapped up his speech on Tuesday night, the 24th.

This prompted Keith Olbermann to declare Jindal's story of talking to Sheriff Harry Lee "apparently not true" on the Wednesday night's broadcast.

By Thursday, a Zachary Roth piece in TPM Muckraker poured gasoline on the fire, keying off the original Daily Kos diary and adding in some Nexis searches. Roth calls the Governor's office to ask for comment.

On Thursday night, Erick Erickson is the first to push back in Jindal's defense, noting accounts from Sheriff Lee's deputies. There is also a YouTube video of Lee, at the time in question, recounting visits from Jindal.

By Friday morning, the story is all consumming. Politico's Ben Smith, going on Roth's TPM piece, is on the phone for multiple rounds with Jindal's office. That day, Roth files two more dispatches, again based on first-hand reporting.

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