5,500 words, more or less. That's not a story you are writing overnight, or even over a weekend. You are presenting sourced evidencing, you are telling a tale, you are building a case, you are presenting a narrative.
5,5500 words. The approximate length of the piece claiming Mitt Romney was involved in a nasty piece of bullying in high school. After that amount of time, that amount of work, the piece should be virtually unassailable.
Turns out in this case, it isn't even true:
Ashley Parker of the New York Times has a statement from the family of John Lauber, the man the Washington Post claimed Mitt Romney bullied in high school. She tweets:
From John Lauber’s family, the bullied victim in WaPo story: “We are aggrieved that John would be used to further a political agenda.”
Also from John Lauber’s family: “The portrayal of John is factually incorrect,” but they would not elaborate on how it was inaccurate.
This comes after one source for the story, a man the Washington Post says has “long been bothered” by the incident, said he wasn’t even present and had no idea it had happened until the Post contacted him.
Unfortunately - or fortunately for the Washington Post - Mr. Lauber is dead, and unable to tell us what really happened that day - if anything. Via Breitbart, it seems as if the most damaging quotes were taken - intentionally - out of context:
The original Washington Post piece stated the following:
“I always enjoyed his pranks,” said Stu White, a popular friend of Romney’s who went on to a career as a public school teacher and has long been bothered by the Lauber incident.
Yet in an interview with ABC News today, White disowned that characterization:
While the Post reports White as having “long been bothered” by the haircutting incident,” he told ABC News he was not present for the prank, in which Romney is said to have forcefully cut a student’s long hair and was not aware of it until this year when he was contacted by the Washington Post.
Read it all, apparently, once busted, the WaPo re-wrote this portion of their fairy tale without mentioning it had made a key correction to the piece.
To paraphrase Mary McCarthy's famous line about Lillian Hellman, every word they write is a lie, including and and the...
What's the worst part about this for the Washington Post? Well, they've created sympathy for Mitt Romney with such a blatantly false hit-piece. Bad enough, I suppose. But their ham-fisted stupidity has opened the doors for Republicans to go back to Barack Obama's early years to see how he treated his mates.
Turns out, by his own admission, the president is even more a bully than the WaPo claims Romney was. You see, Obama confesses to pushing around...little girls. From the autobiography that everyone loved but nobody read:
Who knows, maybe the puppy he just ate for lunch upset his stomach a bit, and he took it out on poor little Coretta...