***UPDATE: More than 14 hours after both of its anti-Walker stories were debunked, the Daily Beast finally issued a full retraction of one and updated and rewrote another. A tweet spreading the anti-Walker smear has not yet been deleted by The Daily Beast.
No one expects anything approaching a standard of journalism from the shallow, snark-site Jezebel. The Daily Beast, however, does pose as an objective journalism outlet and now has another disaster on its hands.
Likely motivated by partisan too-good-to-check zeal, the Daily Beast blindly believed Jezebel and went on to falsely repeat and report as fact that “Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has proposed that universities no longer be required to report the number of sexual assaults on campus to the Department of Justice.”
The Daily Beast ends its report with, “No explanation for the deletions is given.”
And that is just one report. The Daily Beast is so excited by this dramatic Anti-Walker Rape Narrative, it has so far published two reports, the second by Brian Weidy:
Walker’s AG and Undergrads Hate His Sex Assault Cut: The 2016 Hopeful Just Made a Bunch of Enemies
Scott Walker’s budget proposal to delete the requirement that universities report sexual assault cases has not only turned students against him, but also his Republican attorney general.
Incredibly, via Twitter, Weidy appeared to brag Friday about how quickly he was able to produce his phony Walker hit. Apparently, a quick Google search was too much for him.
Big news, right? And a perfect boost to the Democrats’ tired War On Women narrative. This is the kind of reporting that could tie a conservative presidential candidate up in knots until his poll numbers fall through the floor.
There is just one problem.
The reporting is not true.
Not even close.
While The Daily Beast was happy to leave things at there is “no explanation for the deletion,” Draw and Strike blogger Brian Cates put his Magic Google Machine to work for about, oh, 20 seconds and found the explanation:
As it so happens, this Jezebel writer, Natasha Vargas-Cooper, either didn’t do any research at all on this piece or she deliberately left out the whole story.
There is a pretty damn good reason Scott Walker deleted these reporting requirements.
He did it because – get this! – the University of Wisconsin *asked* him to.
No less than the Associated Press reported Friday:
The University of Wisconsin requested that Gov. Scott Walker remove a requirement that all 26 campuses report allegations of sexual assaults to the state every year because it already submits similar information to the federal government, a UW spokesman said Friday.
Rape reporting wasn’t deleted. A redundancy was deleted. Rapes will still be reported.
Although Draw and Strike completely debunked The Daily Beast hit-piece more than 13 hours ago, as of this writing, The Beast still hasn’t corrected, deleted, or updated its dual “Walker Would End Rape Reports” lies.
In fact, just two hours ago, 10 full hours after the story was debunked, The Daily Beast used Twitter to promote what has been proven a lie:
Scott Walker’s proposal to delete the requirement that universities report sexual assault is causing him big trouble: http://t.co/x1P1jlhijh
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) February 28, 2015
This is the fourth major journalistic embarrassment for The Daily Beast in less than a year.
Just last month, Daily Beast editor Justin Miller used his Twitter account to scream “Fuck You!” at Republican Senator Rand Paul.
In August, Paul was singled by the Beast, this time with the use of violent imagery the Beast itself had previously defined as unacceptable and dangerous.
In January, The Daily Beast suffered a monumental embarrassment after loudly and falsely reporting that Mitt Romney would run for president in 2016. The exact opposite ended up being true.
In what is probably the worst indictment against The Daily Beast, Jezebel has at least “updated” its false, lazy, and irresponsible reporting. As of now, The Daily Beast has not. When Jezebel shows you up in journalistic integrity, you have hit bottom.
The Daily Beast did not immediately return an email request for comment.
John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC