Another news source thought perhaps Politico’s reporting on Joe Biden using the T-word, “terrorists,” referring to Republicans and House legislators with Taxed Enough Already (TEA) Party leanings, might not be truthful, and apparently doubted that Politico got it right. As such, Politico is explaining exactly what happened and how they got the story – and don’t miss that Biden’s office was fully aware of the fact checking and contact with the Vice Presiden’ts office. Actually it’s interesting to read how these machinations work.
“They acted like terrorists.” ~ Joe Biden
Like many stories, it started with a tip from a source who was inside the tense Aug. 1 Democratic meeting with Biden as the debt negotiations reached a critical point. This is how much of the reporting works on Capitol Hill — reporters stand outside closed conference rooms, emailing people inside those meetings while waiting to buttonhole lawmakers as they leave. The best reporters have sources who reveal what goes on in these meetings, and we protect these sources.
After hearing from the first source, the two POLITICO reporters on the story, Jonathan Allen and John Bresnahan, quickly confirmed Biden’s words with three other sources who were in the same room. They also contacted a fifth source, who confirmed the basic reporting. The original tip came in at about 1 p.m. Aug. 1, and POLITICO spent the next few hours in contact with the vice president’s office, which was aware of what the story was going to say and had been given several hours to respond by the time the story posted at 4 p.m.
“We sought a response from the vice president’s office and after our interaction with Biden’s office, we were confident our story was accurate,” Allen said.
The original story was also clear about the context of Biden’s remarks, noting that he was responding to someone else. According to our reporting, Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) said “we have negotiated with terrorists,” and the story quotes Biden agreeing, saying: “They have acted like terrorists.”
Yesterday Obama insisted that Biden simply did not say the T-word – in other words he called Iowa TEA Party leader Ryan Rhodes a liar. But, you know, he argued his own sad plight:
I’ve been called a socialist who wasn’t born in this country, who is destroying America and taking away its freedoms because I passed a health care bill, I’m all for lowering the rhetoric,” Obama said to a tea party member…