Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Well, at least Howard Kurtz relays some of the blog criticisms of the ABC and Washington Post "Talking Poings Memo" story. It shows the danger of passive verbs. ABC can say they have credible evidence that the memo "was distributed" to Republican senators.
"ABC News had very reliable, multiple sources who indicated the memo was distributed to Republicans on the floor of the Senate, and that is what we reported," network spokesman Jeffrey Schneider said yesterday. "We have no doubt it was distributed to Republicans."
This is why writers should avoid passive verbs if at all possible. It's particularly invidious in an incident like this where the subject of that verb is key to the whole story.