Be Slow, Be Wrong, Be The Washington Post

June 4th, 2006 1:59 PM

It's old news now: In the election to replace Randy Cunningham, Democrat congressional candidate Francine Busby appears to have told a crowd of supporters that illegal aliens could vote and otherwise aid her campaign against Republican Brian Bilbray.("You don't need papers for voting," she said. "You don't need to be a registered voter to help.") The Washington Post apparently found this too boring to mention in Sunday's Election in California a Cliffhanger by Chris Cillizza on A4.

Busby's comments, circulated in San Diego by radio talk show host Roger Hedgecock, have been widely reported around the blogosphere. Expose the Left posted the news and an audio file on Friday, June 2, as did Michelle Malkin. Many righty blogs linked and commented thereafter, including Wizbang, Powerline, Stop the ACLU and others June 3. The San Diego Union Leader reported the story June 3, including Busby's entertaining explanation that she intended only to say that the under-18 set could work in her campaign. But the Post? Nada. Its story used some of that room instead to falsely describe the Minutemen, in the classic Post Style, as "anti-immigrant." As the old Hertz rent-a-car ads used to say, Not exactly:

A Minuteman knows well America is a nation of immigrants, and realization of our national promise has always relied upon those who come to America from other countries to participate fully, with their children and descendants, as loyal and law-abiding U.S. citizens....A Minuteman believes in a strong, safe and secure America that begins with borders open only to those who have a legal right to enter, and who have met all the lawful criteria to cross into our territory established by the sovereign American people....

So Cillizza and the Post failed to report a gaffe that could decide the outcome of a cliffhanger election, and misreported the core beliefs of a prominent citizen's group. Nice work. Perhaps if Busby's comments filter widely enough into the liberal blogosophere, the Post will be able to explain Busby's otherwise mysterious loss of support.

Cross-posted in PostWatch