I find John Carlson the least professional, least reliable, not to mention least readable, of all the Des Moines Register's in-house columnists. However in a column in The Sunday Des Moines Register, "Biden takes a hit by funding vehicle that saved Iowans," October 21, 2007, Carlson hits a new low in journalistic sloppiness.
At one point in his column, an homage to Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) military vehicles and Delaware Senator Joe Biden, Carlson states as fact, Iowa City antiwar activists confronted the Democratic presidential candidate with placards reading "Impeach Joe Biden." Yet in doing a cursory Google search to prove, or not, Carlson's allegation, the only Web page with the requisite criteria was Carlson's own column!
Carlson implies that only Biden, out of the Senatorial Democrats running for the White House, supports the troops in Iraq. Had Carlson merely cross-checked to Register blogger David Goodner's October 10 entry he would learn that Biden, like the other Democratic presidential candidates, did not vote on the full National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 to which the Biden MRAP amendment is attached. A further check is found at the Web site which shows that not only did Biden skip the defense funding vote but so did Hillary Clinton, Barak Obama, Christopher Dodds and Iraq war supporter John McCain.
In this age of Internet connectivity and Google searches Carlson has no excuse for playing fast and loose with facts.
Carlson, like all Americans, is guaranteed the right to address his opinions. However, the use of half-truths, implications and innuendoes in the guise of fact, placing editorial opinion on the border of propaganda, has no place in the arsenal of the responsible journalist.