Stuart Rothenberg Engages in Lazy Journalism. Picks Up Opponents’ Smears Without Checking Facts.
This is what happens when you let your conventional wisdom friends write your articles for you without actually doing any real work.
Stu Rothenberg, a paragon of Inside the Beltway Conventional Wisdom, really screwed up some very basic facts in his story on Georgia.First of all, in a Republican primary where the clear front runner in the most recent polling is the Insurance Commissioner, John Oxendine, Rothenberg calls Ox and the President Pro Tempore of the Georgia Senate, Eric Johnson, “long shots.”Who does Stu think is the front runner? Why the Congressman, of course. Only in Washington, D.C. would a Beltway Pundit survey the landscape in Georgia and conclude that the guy who lives closest to him is the guy most likely to win.But more egregious, Stu uses Georgia Secretary of State Karen Handel’s opponents’ talking points to dismiss her. When he finds out the talking points aren’t true, he does not correct them.This passes for credible political journalism in Washington.Stu writes, “Handel, who earned a GED and worked in the nation’s capital for Hallmark Cards and later in the Bush-Quayle White House before moving to Georgia and being elected to the Fulton County Commission, is regarded as less prepared to stand toe-to-toe with Barnes in a debate.”First, Handel graduated from High School, she did not get a GED.The Handel campaign told Rothenberg she graduated from high school, but Rothenberg has not corrected the statement. In fact, the Roll Call article was posted on June 25th online and today on his own website with no correction in either.Where did Rothenberg get the data? Wikipedia. And who noted that Handel “dropped out of highschool, but later got her GED”? A John Oxendine supporter — one of Handel’s opponents.And did the Handel campaign try to correct his error? The campaign tells me yes, but Rothenberg told them reading her campaign biography sure made it sound like she got her GED.I guess by Stu’s reading of website biographies, Congressman Nathan Deal never graduated high school, Oxendine must have gotten his GED too, and Eric Johnson is wholly uneducated.Oh, and Stu writes his article to sound like Karen Handel sold cards and chocolate at a local Hallmark store. She was actually worked at Hallmark’s corporate headquarters doing government relations work before getting hired as Deputy Chief of Staff in the Bush-Quayle White House.Let’s review here: Stuart Rothenberg writes a long article on Georgia. He picks a long time Congressman as the GOP front runner. He dismisses as a “long shot” both the President Pro Tempore of the Georgia Senate and the Republican who has been elected state wide more than any other. He gets Karen Handel’s education wrong and never bothers to correct it. And he dismissively paints her as a chocolate and birthday card seller for Hallmark.Stu, one question: did Nathan Deal write this for you or did he just dictate while you banged away on the keyboard?