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WaPo’s Limp Citation for Roll Call

A memo to WaPo: Next time you want to give credit to a paper for breaking a story, how about doing it in the first couple of graphs? How about doing it at all?

On Friday morning at 9:58 a.m., Paul Farhi wrote about the flap over Politico yanking a video on its “about” page because Sen. Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-Ky.) office got its knickers in a twist about the potential lack of ethics involving a video of his staffer on a page where they’re selling Politico.

The story is well-written and cites Politico Chief Operating Officer Kim Kingsley. But why does it take Farhi eight flippin’ graphs to mention the story and publication that broke it in the first place, which was Roll Call on Thursday at 4:58 p.m.? He writes,

“Roll Call, a Politico competitor, reported Thursday that senate ethics rules prohibit senators and their staff from making endorsements. The publication reports Holmes said he didn’t realize that the video would be used as an ad. He received a written request for a video interview from Politico’s director of marketing, who said the video would be ‘a profile of you first — and how you use Politico second.’”

Farhi told FishbowlDC by email: “I was not aware that Roll Call had broken the story until I got your email (I’m assuming you’re correct, btw). I was first alerted to the story yesterday by a colleague, who didn’t mention where he’d seen or heard about it. I reported it out and filed something short about it late last night. I DID notice that Roll Call had done some fine reporting on this and credited them accordingly.”

Psst…Farhi! Google is your friend.

We also reached out to Roll Call‘s Meredith Shiner, who broke the story, for comment.

UPDATE: WaPo‘s Erik Wemple also writes about the Politico-McConnell debacle — because why shouldn’t two media reporters from the same publication delve into the same story? He cites Shiner by name five graphs into a pretty lengthy post.

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