Confederate flag flap hurts blogging credibility at-largePolitics

And we wonder why blogs have the reputation of being cavalier and reckless.

One need only look at a highly sensationalistic post on Ben Tribbett’s blog “Not Larry Sabato.”

Tribbett wrote:

MCDONNELL CAMPAIGN BOOTH RAISES A CONFEDERATE FLAG

HOLY CRAP. THE OFFICIAL MCDONNELL BOOTH AT A GUN SHOW IN RICHMOND HAS A CONFEDERATE FLAG UP!

Now we know what the Republicans mean this year with their “states rights” focus!

Of course, Tribbett did not fact-check before posting. He succumbed to speed and partisanship, by buying into the information he was provided without a bit of skepticism.

Unfortunately for Mr. Tribbett, he was duped.

The flag was in the booth next to the McDonnell campaign’s…not in it.

The Washington Post blog, which does do reporting, unlike Tribbett, asked questions.

The Post reports:

Hugh Crittenden, the founder and manager of the Virginia Outdoor Sportsman Show, is backing up McDonnell.

Crittenden said he invited both campaigns to staff a booth at the show, which draws 20,000 people each year. McDonnell’s campaign decided to show, but came late, so Crittenden assigned them the only booth left open: Number 43.

It happened to be next another vendor who also signed up late, Down Home T-Shirts, which got Number 44. According to material submitted to the show, Down Home T-Shirts sells “Confederate T-shirts and more.”

He said even if McDonnell’s staffers had asked for a move, the show was so crowded that they could not have been accommodated.

“I don’t want Bob McDonnell to get a bad rap from my show. He was there trying to be there for the outdoors people and the hunters,” Crittenden said.

Tribbett was quick on the draw because someone wanted him to be. Could it have been the Deeds campaign?

Signs point to that possibility because Deeds’ campaign manager, Joe Abbey, was quick to perpetuate the myth with a link to the post in this tweet:

“BREAKING NEWS: MCDONNELL HAS CONFEDERATE FLAG POSTED IN HIS BOOTH AT GUN SHOW IN RICHMOND”

No one will remember this blatant lie (the second for the Deeds campaign in as many weeks), but what they will remember is how reckless and irresponsible bloggers bring down the entire medium through their flagrant narcissism…and how desperate candidates are quick to go negative and spread falsehoods, ruining the nobility of public service.

Today’s joint failure by Tribbett and Abbey is shameful and should be condemned by all bloggers, regardless of their political stripes. And Sen. Deeds should take his campaign staff to the woodshed, in particular Joe Abbey, for his actions today too…unless, of course, he condones this sort of behavior.