NewsBusters has responded to its misleading reporting on the Graeme Frost family and its SCHIP coverage -- not by telling the truth, but complaining that conservative bloggers are being "smear[ed]" for peddling misleading information -- er, offering "scrutiny" of the Frost family.
In an Oct. 10 post, Ken Shepherd complained that after the bloggers attacked the Baltimore Sun for running "a gauzy profile on Graeme's mom and dad and their push for the Democratic SCHIP expansion," the Sun "is hitting back by attacking conservatives bloggers as heartless and obsessive." Well, yeah, when you're skulking around someone's house to determine if it looks poor enough to qualify for SCHIP, then yeah, that's a good definition of obsessive.
Shepherd glosses over the fact that those conservative bloggers -- including NewsBusters itself -- have peddled misleading and inaccurate claims about the Frosts:
USA Today reported in its October 10 paper that Graeme is a scholarship student and his sister Gemma's tuition at the Park School iscovered by a state education program. Of course, these are two facts might have been noted in initial coverage by the Sun had it been more diligent and skeptical and less interested in promoting liberal Democratic talking points.
But shouldn't NewsBusters' John Stephenson also have noted that as well when he regurgitated a psedonymous Free Republic blogger's claims that the children "attend the very exclusive Park School, which has a tuition of $20,000 a year, per child." Same with the claim that "they live in a 3,000+ square foot home in a neighborhood with smaller homes that are selling for at least $400,000" without also noting that the family bought the house 16 years ago for $55,000.
Perhaps that would have happened if NewsBusters was more diligent and skeptical and less interested in promoting conservative Republican talking points.
UPDATE: An Oct. 10 NewsBusters post and TimesWatch item by Clay Waters takes a similar tack, bashing the New York Times of taking a "hostile tone" for noting that the Frosts "have been attacked by conservative bloggers." But like Shepherd, Waters doesn't acknowledge that his conservative buddies have forwarded misleading information.
UPDATE 2: Waters, in the TimesWatch version, also notes that "Dan Riehl has some questions the Times didn't answer." But he didn't note that Riehl -- best known around these parts for peddling false claims about S.R. Sidarth at NewsBusters -- also smeared the Frosts, calling them "a couple of mostly spoiled brats who became parents and never felt compelled to take responsibility for themselves." Does this mean that Waters, by endorsing Riehl's reporting, also endorses Riehl's smear of the Frosts?