BREAKING: Max Baucus Mumbles Occasionally
So, which respectable media outlets actually ran with the completely baseless, Drudge-driven “Max Baucus was drunk” smear? I count the Los Angeles Times (whose blogger Andrew Malcolm is basically a funnel for Drudge), The Charleston Daily Mail, The Palm Beach Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Atlantic, and, inevitably, Fox Nation. I see that the National Legal and Public Policy Center got in on the fun; “promoting ethics in public life” includes, apparently, accusing people of public drunkenness without solid evidence.
This seems like a slow-news-week joke story to most people, but I find it truly bizarre that this “story” took off. It’s like one of those photos that catches a celebrity at a bad angle and is run in the National Enquirer as proof that So-and-So has ballooned to 200 pounds. Actually, it’s sillier than that, because Baucus talks like this all the time. Here’s a December 2008 interview with Baucus in which he discusses “mil’income tax cuts.”
And here’s a lengthy interview in which he describes someone he “saw’er in person yest’day.”
My point is that Baucus mumbles occasionally. OK, a lot. Accusing him of being drunk on the job, without evidence, is shameful, and I’m flabbergasted at the number of journalists who are doing it.