This afternoon, Dylan Baddour at the Houston Chronicle comically interpreted a remark made by 2016 GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz as meaning that Texas’s junior senator is worried that same-sex “marriage” proponents are “trying to force all Americans into same-sex unions.”
The only open question is whether Baddour is so dense that he really believes what he wrote, or if he was trying to spread an obvious lie about a GOP candidate’s statement so that some people would actually believe his nonsense, thereby partially poisoning the electoral well.
Here is the part of what Baddour originally which was later changed, as captured by Caleb Howe at Truth Revolt:
Cruz apparently believes that efforts to let same-sex couples marry in the United States would force him to wed a man.
Here is how it currently looks at the comical Chronicle:
Cruz recently made comments on a conservative radio show that suggest “mandatory gay marriage” may be on the way.
But to be clear, there is still serious fever-swamp paranoia in Baddour’s write just a couple of paragraphs later in the revised story:
In an interview with conservative talk radio host Eric Metaxas on Friday, Cruz apparently alleged his political opponents were trying to force all Americans into same-sex unions.
For heaven’s sake, no one believes that. “Mandatory gay marriage” is about force, but “only” about forcing states to allow same-sex marriages to occur and forcing the states to recognize them.
The Chronicle can’t possibly allow that sentence to stand.
Baddour’s blather is reminiscent of Natasha Vargas-Cooper’s crude, ignorant attempt to smear Wisconsin Governor and potential 2016 presidential candidate Scott Walker in late February at Jezebel. Vargas-Cooper originally claimed that Walker wanted colleges to stop reporting sexual assaults. Three months later, her post still carries that dishonest headline (“Scott Walker Wants Colleges to Stop Reporting Sexual Assaults”), which will conveniently give any readers who stumble upon her post and don’t read on the impression that the headline’s claim is still true.
It isn’t. Vargas-Cooper ultimately, but only after a great deal of online drama-queen agony, apologized on Twitter. That’s nice, but the Jezebel “correction” at the original post only apologizes for not providing “full context” and for presenting “an unfair and misleading picture.”
That’s utterly inadequate. In reality, Vargas-Cooper’s story is utter horse manure. Scott Walker doesn’t “want colleges to stop reporting sexual assaults.” Instead, he was asked by the University of Wisconsin system to delete redundant reporting requirements.
That’s it. There was no story.
We’re supposed to believe that the Houston Chronicle is not like Jezebel. It’s supposedly a reputable news organization which cares about the ultimate accuracy of what it publishes.
If that’s really the case, it’s not showing in the current instance.
What’s more, the Jezebel incident was clearly journalistic negligence. The proper characterization of the origins of the Chronicle’s lie about Ted Cruz, as noted in this post’s introduction, remains an open question.
Given the only two possibilities — breathtaking ignorance or maliciously lying — I don’t see how the Chronicle can defend continuing Dylan Baddour’s employment — and it obviously still owes its readers and the general public a correction, and an apology.