Monday, October 15, 2007

Howard Kurtz on Graeme Frost Controversy

I'm glad Josh Marshall reads those boring Washington Post chat transcripts so I don't have to. Howard Kurtz shows his compassionate conservatism for Graeme Frost. Short answer: the wingnut bloggers did nothing wrong going after the teen. Even though their facts were wrong.

Rockville Md.: I have a question that has been bugging me for some time and I hope you can address it. I have folloewd the recent stories about Graeme Frost, the child who gave the Democratic response about SCHIP, and what some commentators are calling the "Swift Boating" of Frost by right-wing groups. Realizing that the jury may still be out about Frost: It is one thing when politicians slam each other, but when someone goes after a private citizen, don't libel and slander laws ever come into play?

Howard Kurtz: Libel and slander laws only come into play when you say something that is both inaccurate and damaging about someone. Whether or not the Frost family should be considered too well-off to qualify for federal health benefits doesn't seem to fall in that category. When the parents agreed to make their son available to the Democratic Party as a spokesman for the program, surely they must have expected that their financial situation would become part of the debate. I am not, for the record, in favor of beating up on 12-year-old boys, but the family did willingly step into the political arena.

Kurtz does the Glenn Reynolds-style defense of the Right and then adds the disclaimer on the end.

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