Here's a lesson in Beltway journalism, by way of an unwitting Washington Post
: always check your source's background.
On Sunday, the Post ran
an article on GOP power broker Grover Norquist, and how his influence is waning as a result of his ties to the Abramoff scandal. "Powerful GOP Activist Sees His Influence Slip Over Abramoff Dealings," the headline announced.
To balance the piece, the Post'
s Jonathan Weisman quoted Cesar Conda, a lobbyist who disagreed with the article's thesis:
"I don't think he's lost one iota of influence in conservative circles," said Cesar Conda, a Republican lobbyist and a former top aide to Vice President Cheney.
Great, but. . about that Conda fellow. Just the day before, Weisman's own paper reported that Conda himself had ties to Abramoff. Newly released Secret Service records showed that Conda was one of a handful of White House aides who had been scheduled to meet with Abramoff.
As the Post reported
Among those with whom Abramoff met in the spring of 2001 was Cesar Conda, then assistant to the vice president for domestic policy....
Conda, now a lobbyist, said in an interview that he invited Abramoff to a "casual social lunch" at the White House mess. "It was so long ago I don't remember anything about it," Conda said. "He was just a guy that I knew from the Hill. I invited folks from around town, K Street, think tanks, to chitchat."
Next up: the Post
writes a piece on Conda's waning influence, featuring a quote from Norquist sticking up for the guy?