‘Real journalism': Talking Points Memo’s Benjy Sarlin falsely lumps Twitchy in with conspiracists

As Twitchy reported, conspiracists are foaming at the mouth over a nutty theory that links the fathers of the Aurora and Newtown shooters to the global LIBOR banking scandal. After we debunked this hoax, Talking Points Memo’s Benjy Sarlin penned a column in which he debunked it as well — and lumped Twitchy in with the wackos.

Seen this on your Facebook wall? Fringe spreads phony Newtown conspiracies involving Libor, Hunger Games bit.ly/VMxzAu

— Benjy Sarlin (@BenjySarlin) December 17, 2012

TPM’s editor Josh Marshall also tweeted out a link to Sarlin’s post:

Newtown Conspiracy Hoax Spreads Fast Across Fringetpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2012/12/newtow… via @tpm

— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) December 17, 2012

libortpm

Sarlin linked to Twitchy in the bit about the hoax “quickly spreading across social media.” Not only did he fail to acknowledge Twitchy’s role in the debunking, but he suggested that we were involved in perpetuating the ridiculousness. Twitchy CEO Michelle Malkin wasn’t having any of it, and she called on him to own up to his slimy innuendos:

.@joshtpm @tpm Twitchy beat you to this story 2 hours ago and you falsely lump us in with the conspiracy-mongers. You need to fix that.

— Michelle Malkin (@michellemalkin) December 17, 2012

.@joshtpm @tpm Twitchy did not “spread” the conspiracy. We DEBUNKED it 2 hours before your post went up. twitchy.com/2012/12/17/pos…

— Michelle Malkin (@michellemalkin) December 17, 2012

.@benjysarlin @tpm @joshtpm You need to correct false suggestion that Twitchy spread this dumb conspiracy when we DEBUNKED 2hrs before you.

— Michelle Malkin (@michellemalkin) December 17, 2012

Sarlin reflexively denied any wrongdoing:

@michellemalkin We absolutely did not suggest you spread it. I was citing your post for showing evidence of its spread, which it did

— Benjy Sarlin (@BenjySarlin) December 17, 2012

No, Benjy. Citing a post does not mean tossing it in as a vague hyperlink and twisting its intent. When Malkin reiterated that Sarlin had merely piggybacked on Twitchy’s post before insulting us:

2hrs before @tpm @benjysarlin @joshtpm==> Post-Newtown insanity: LIBOR-Newtown-Aurora conspiracy theory spreads ==> twitchy.com/2012/12/17/pos…

— Michelle Malkin (@michellemalkin) December 17, 2012

Sarlin doubled down on the denial and even suggested that Twitchy be grateful for the attention:

@michellemalkin Yeah, you chronicled its spread. We gave you a link. At no point do we say “twitchy fanned the flames” or somethign

— Benjy Sarlin (@BenjySarlin) December 17, 2012

He didn’t need to say it explicitly, though he may as well have. His column clearly implied that Twitchy was responsible for “fanning the flames.”

.@douglasjtaylor @joshtpm @tpm Oh, yes it did. “quickly spread across social media” links to us & is sandwiched in graf w/pro-conspiracists.

— Michelle Malkin (@michellemalkin) December 17, 2012

@michellemalkin Anyone who clicks on the link can see you guys weren’t encouraging it, it’s the point of your post from the start

— Benjy Sarlin (@BenjySarlin) December 17, 2012

Then why didn’t Sarlin just say so in his post, rather than attribute the hoax’s spread to Twitchy?

.@benjysarlin Bull. Look at context. Completely dishonest.I expect more from @joshtpm.@tpm

— Michelle Malkin (@michellemalkin) December 17, 2012

.@benjysarlin @tpm @joshtpm Make it explicit. @twitchyteam is a conservative website & we debunked this conspiracy nuttery before you did.

— Michelle Malkin (@michellemalkin) December 17, 2012

Sarlin refused to admit that he’d made a mistake, so Malkin hoped that Josh Marshall would at least step up to the plate:

.@joshtpm Come on, Josh. Read it. Sarlin’s defense is lame. @benjysarlin @tpm

— Michelle Malkin (@michellemalkin) December 17, 2012

She was met with radio silence. For his part, Sarlin took the low road:

@michellemalkin I think you’re paranoid. But if it bothers you, happy to make it clearer in post.

— Benjy Sarlin (@BenjySarlin) December 17, 2012

Ah, yes. When backed into a corner, hurl insults. That may fly in liberal circles, but not around here. Malkin took him straight to the woodshed, where he belongs:

.@benjysarlin @joshtpm @tpm You’re going to insult me after ripping us off & then falsely insinuating that we’re part of conspiracy insanit.

— Michelle Malkin (@michellemalkin) December 17, 2012

Journo integrity ==> RT @benjysarlin @michellemalkin I think you’re paranoid. But if it bothers you, happy to make it clearer in post.

— Michelle Malkin (@michellemalkin) December 17, 2012

.@benjysarlin You STILL won’t acknowledge false insinuation, dishonest context. @tpm @joshtpm #arrogance

— Michelle Malkin (@michellemalkin) December 17, 2012

Sarlin couldn’t handle it:

@michellemalkin Yeah, this conversation is over. “Thanks for the link!” is also appropriate response.

— Benjy Sarlin (@BenjySarlin) December 17, 2012

Again — he believes that we at Twitchy should get down on our knees and give thanks that he deigned to acknowledge our lowly presence. Unbelievable.

.@joshtpm I KNOW you’re better than what your staffer just displayed. @tpm @benjysarlin

— Michelle Malkin (@michellemalkin) December 17, 2012

Let’s hope so. Sarlin’s certainly set the bar quite low.

RT @shariromine: .@benjysarlin @michellemalkin It isn’t paranoia when your line starting with “The fringe” ends with a link to her blog. …

— Michelle Malkin (@michellemalkin) December 17, 2012

Sarlin has yet to alter his post to reflect the truth. We have a feeling we’ll be waiting a while.

Read more: http://twitchy.com/2012/12/17/real-journalism-talking-points-memos-benjy-sarlin-falsely-lumps-twitchy-with-conspiracists/

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