The mendacious postings of Instapundit

I have a number or friends who trust Instapundit as reliable and non-partisan source of information on the web.
Just due the prodigious number of link and the vast number of subjects they cover his site is a valuable site as a jumping off point to the wild and wooly web.
However, he is not a non-partisan source of information when it comes to things political. Here’s a classic example of how his post can be tilted in their wording.

IT’S ONLY WRONG WHEN BUSINESSES DO IT: VA workers given millions in bonuses as vets await checks. “While hundreds of thousands of disability claims lay backlogged at the Department of Veterans Affairs, thousands of technology employees at the department received $24 million in bonuses, a new report says.”

If you just read the post – and given the number of posts per day at his site people will rarely if ever follow each and every link — you get the impression that someone is defending the bonuses given out at the VA. After all it’s only wrong when businesses do it. I suspected that there was more to the story than his quip and one quote. (My guess would have been just a large number of employee bonuses over the course of a year.)

If you click through to the story — which I recommend — on, you’ll find the that the tone of the story is very different than the tone presented by Instapundit.

A report issued by the VA’s Office of Inspector General said the department issued millions of dollars in awards over a two-year period in 2007 and 2008.
“The frequent and large dollar amount awards given to employees were unusual and often absurd,” the report stated.
The reports also called the payments “not fiscally responsible.”


The VA said it is pursuing a thorough review of the situation and it “does not condone misconduct by its employees and will take the appropriate corrective actions for those who violate VA policy,” according to a statement provided to CNN.

So while Instapundit posts it with the tone that Liberals and Democrats and other outraged by the huge bonuses recently given out on Wall Street are being hypocritical when it comes to government bonuses, the story itself is about how these abuses have been discovered by the inspector general and are being investigated and reviewed for action.

Instapundit is a cool site to visit and he presents lots and lots in link and information, but he is far from a non-partisan unbiased source.


8 thoughts on “The mendacious postings of Instapundit”

  1. Touching back on one point of your thread – I don’t think anyone minds when businesses give out bonuses when the business is doing well. I think they mind it very much when bonuses are given out and the business had to be bailed out with our tax dollars. The people receiving the bonunses ran their companies into the ground and then took bonuses for it from our tax dollars. If you want “market forces” to work, then let them work. Let the companies go down and the people that ran it poorly get the nothing they so richly derserved.

    I mind our tax dollars being given out in bonuses to employees when the government is so far in the red. The only way this should happen is if the bonuses were promised in writing before the recent financial crisis and if the bonuses are critical to keeping key personnel from leaving government service for the private sector.

  2. No.
    I was posting about Instapundit – who claims to be nonpartisan but really isn’t and not about instaputz. When I post about instaputz I’ll be than happy to get into that then.

  3. “As to Instaputz — I have never claimed or defended them as nonpartisan … the site is childish, but it is also sometimes entertaining and sometimes [they] have interesting links to follow.”

    Well after that I just had to go take another peek at Instaputz. Here’s one example of the wit to be found there…

    “On a side note, we really should commend the Secret Service for controlling the incidents in both New Hampshire and Arizona. If I were an agent and I saw a guy approach an Obama event wearing a pistol and the t-shirt Timothy McVeigh was arrested in, I’d drop him long before he had a chance to explain his idiotic self. As TS noted in the previous post, that’s probably going to happen at some point as the “protestors” grow bigger balls.”

    Yeah, good stuff that. Why, who doesn’t find amusement from fantasizing about — shooting your political enemies!

    And another…

    Why, who doesn’t find amusement from fantasizing about — having your political enemies rounded up and herded into a concentration camp! Good times.

    Okay, I’ve really hit the snark hard. So in all fairness to you, would you please link to an example from Instaputz that you do approve of? I’m very curious.

  4. No calling, Instapunit “mendacious” is not wildly over the top. The post was false. It was written and posted to create a false impression about an investigation into fraud and abuse at the VA. It’s not the first time nor will it be the last time he does this.

    As to Instaputz — I have never claimed or defended them as nonpartisan as you have with Instapundit. the site is childish, but it is also sometimes entertaining and sometimes that have interesting links to follow. The links in my blogroll do not mean I think everything there is correct or I agree with everything linked to at site I read. (How could that be when I link to both Instapundit and Instaputz.) It merely means that have content of interest.
    Should you ever launch your blog it will be interesting to see who if anyone makes your blog roll.

  5. I didn’t say he failed at impartiality but rather that he was a partisan when people often claimed him to be non-partisan. He favors one party over the other, that party being the Republican party.
    That statement is not saying that the different stories are getting disparate levels of treatment or coverage. That statement is clearly implying that someone – unnamed persons of course — think it wring when business give out big bonuses and not when government gives out big bonuses. The story that it linked to said nothing of the sort, nor did anyone in the story say anything of the sort. the whole point of the post was to draw a false equivalency between this bonuses situation and the ones with the megabucks on wall street.

  6. And isn’t calling instanpundit “mendacious” a wildly over the top headline?

    men·da·cious (mn-dshs)
    1. Lying; untruthful: a mendacious child.
    2. False; untrue: a mendacious statement. See Synonyms at dishonest.

    Now if anything contains mendacious postings, it’s the site you link to titled “Instaputz”

    One time when I followed the link over to the site, I wasn’t impressed with the juvenile name calling and ultra-hostile tone. And I was truly amazed when they approvingly posted the recent rumor that the Palin’s were getting a divorce, and that divorce was the reason Sarah Palin resigned from the governorship. Within almost 24 hours the news proving the rumor was false came out, but Instaputz had no reaction to it, let alone a correction or retraction. That’s mendacious.

  7. I don’t think anyone who is a fan of instapundit confuses him with a so-called professional journalist, the ranks of which infamously claim they practice professional standards of unbiased and objective reporting. Fans of instapundit know he’s libertarian leaning and that he tries to promote what he believes in.

    And I think you are reading too much into the example you use. Yes, he is accusing leftoids of hypocrisy but I took it as such because of the disparity of criticism, not because any leftoids defended what the VA did.

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