When the column appeared Monday, Mr. Durbin's office clarified that "Judge Roberts said repeatedly that he would follow the rule of law."So someone is still lying here. Either Shoemaker approved Turley's description of the conversation or he didn't. Whom do you put your money on? Personally, I don't see Turley making up an entire conversation and the characterization of Roberts' response out of whole cloth.
Spokesman Joe Shoemaker also said he did not know who Mr. Turley's source was, although only a handful of people were in the room at the time.
"Whoever the source was either got it wrong or Jonathan Turley got it wrong," Mr. Shoemaker said Monday.
Yesterday, Mr. Shoemaker said the source was Mr. Durbin.
"He and Turley were in the green room of the NBC studios," he said. "Turley was getting makeup put on, and Durbin was taking it off.
"They talked for about a minute, and I'm being generous," Mr. Shoemaker added. "Durbin said Turley didn't identify himself as a journalist but introduced himself as a law professor."
Both Mr. Shoemaker and Mr. Turley said large parts of the conversation concerned the writer's previous column.
Mr. Turley said that after he wrote the Judge Roberts column, he read back portions of it to Mr. Shoemaker, whom, he said, verified the account. Mr. Shoemaker declined to comment further.
Turley is both a law professor and a media personality. He appears all over the place as a legal expert. He met Durbin in the green room while he was getting ready to go on some show on NBC. His column appeared in the Los Angeles Times. I'd say that he qualified as media in this context.It sure sounds like Durbin told him a story that might not have been, shall we say, consistent with the truth, about what specifically Durbin asked Roberts and how Roberts responded. Then when Turley wrote it up, Durbin lied about the conversation and they pretended that someone else was the source. Now they've come partially clean. Doesn't it bother the same media that had conniptions for days when they thought that Scott McClellan and Karl Rove had misled the media that the Minority Whip in the Senate is lying about asking a question that touched on a Supreme Court nominee's religion and what that nominee responded? Admittedly, there is no potential crime here, but it is not clear yet that there is a crime involved in the Rove mess. I just think that the media ought to be a bit more upset about this story, both the thought that a senator would ask a question touching on a nominee's religious beliefs and that the senator and his spokesman would then lie about it to the media.
UPDATE: Notice how few hits there are for a Google search of Durbin and Turley. The media just doesn't care that the Minority Whip in the Senate has either lied about a Supreme Court nominee or lied about his conversation with a media personality.