Sunday, December 22, 2013

Setting The Record Straight: The Washington Examiner Was NOT The First To Reveal Pajama Boy's Real Name

December 22, 2013 - The Internet exploded last week with laughter when it "discovered" a plaid clad flannel failure dubbed "PajamaBoy" by conservative bloggers. His real name was not known to more than a few of those bloggers.

In a post on November 1, titled "Creepy: OFA encourages parents to have ‘the talk’ with their children this holiday," published PajamaBoy's real name:
Now OFA is urging parents this holiday season to have “the talk” with their children — you know, the talk about buying health insurance from the Obamacare exchange....Is it just us, or does that kid (actually Ethan Krupp, OFA’s content writer) look young enough to still be covered under his parents’ plan? And will the video help families #GetTalking?
Charlie Spiering, Washington Examiner
Charlie Spiering
Was the very first to publish his name? I don't know, but it was the earliest one I found. In any case, it was well before the Washington Examiner's post by Charlie Spiering on December 19, which was headlined "Meet Ethan Krupp: Pajamacare boy and Organizing for Action employee."

That headline is misleading because it makes it seem as though the Washington Examiner was the first to reveal that Pajama Boy as Ethan Krupp. Was Charlie Spiering really unaware of previously published references to Ethan Krupp?

Charlie Spiering as Pajama Boy
Charlie Spiering probably likes hot cocoa, too.
Click to enlarge
Spiering never did tell us how he came to learn PajamaBoy's real name, which is a bit suspicious. Hard journalistic investigation? Diligent scouring of the Internet? Or did he learn it by reading or some other website that named Krupp weeks before he "revealed" it?

As happens too often, other bloggers lazily reposted the Examiner piece without digging a little deeper. That spread the false impression that Krupp's name was not known until Dec. 19.

Guy Benson
A notable example of this is the immensely popular blog "Hot Air," which is often guilty of lackadaisical journalistic slop. Guy Benson penned a post for Hot Air titled "Revealed: ‘Pajama boy’ is an OFA employee who attended UW-Madison." His post was based entirely on excerpts from Washington Examiner.

Benson, the poor Guy, began his post by saying "The Washington Examiner’s Charlie Spiering lands, er, 'the scoop:'" Trouble is, as pointed out above, he didn't, and it wasn't a "scoop." Benson obviously didn't bother to spend a few minutes researching the subject at hand. He swallowed the Examiner piece whole and pooped it out with minimal digestion.

After about 30 seconds of searching Twitter for "Ethan Krupp" I found a reference to him from well before Spiering's post on Washington Examiner. On Dec. 20, I tweeted this:
Will this alter any bloggers' references to the Washington Examiner's false "scoop?" Will anybody set the record straight? Is anybody trying? Do they care? No, no, no and no. Are too many bloggers just lazy copy-and-past hacks? Yes.