Scott over at Power Line has been all over the latest attempts to backtrack/bait-and-switch allegations that racial epithets were hurled at African-American Congressmen after the passage of the health care debacle (see here and here). The short version is that the story has changed several times, thanks to all that pesky video evidence (and lack of video evidence); but the new versions are not notably more accurate than the first ones. To give just one example, the AP is reporting Heath Shuler’s corroborating the basic fact of the story… except that he’s not (H/T: Instapundit). All of this is background to the aforementioned Farrell’s entertaining discussion with the WaPo ombudsman (found here, over this report). The latter does not come off favorably in the exchange, particularly when Farrell points out that yes, actually, the alleged location of the incident has changed as evidence contradicting it was brought forward.
There is a brutal truth here: nobody in the media wants to be the one to come out and say that John Lewis, a respected Democratic Congressman – one who took a beating for the Civil Rights movement – is a race-baiting liar. That’s because nobody in the media really wants to believe that a respected Democratic Congressman is a race-baiting liar. And I sympathize, really. After all, when I heard that there was credible evidence that Duke Cunningham was taking defense kickbacks in a time of war, I didn’t want to believe that a respected Republican Congressman and war hero was a war-profiteering near-seditionist.
But I didn’t let that stop me from facing reality. I suggest that Congressman Lewis’ defenders either come up with some actual proof to justify their beliefs, or else re-examine them.
Crossposted to RedState.