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National Journal falls victim to Marco Rubio Derangement Syndrome

Four days after noting the spread of Marco Rubio Derangement Syndrome (which "stokes conspiracy theories, distorts facts and feeds the political machine of a 24-hour, blog-induced news cycle"), the National Journal printed this whopper about the freshman Senator:

"He skated into office without much of his past being vetted in the media. That would change in a hurry if he's tapped for the vice presidency, and coming four years after Sarah Palin...."

Tampa Bay Times colleague Adam C. Smith points out, our former colleague Beth Reinhard, who's now National Journal's political correspondent, probably didn't write the piece. "After all, she covered the Rubio campaign for the Miami Herald in 2010, when the Rubio campaign barred her from their campaign bus."

If nothing else, National Journal's sloppiness is somewhat predictable because it reflects a Beltway sentiment that feeds of prevailing narratives with a short half life. As Monday's column about Marco Rubio Derangement Syndrome noted:

"Armed with all these doubts about Rubio, the left-wing blogosphere is now wondering: why did the Florida press fail to vet the former House Speaker?

"The question ignores the tough press Rubio has endured just from the Herald alone: using a secret budget maneuver to help a friend bid on a lucrative Florida Turnpike contract; failing to disclose a generous home loan tied to supporters; campaigning against budget earmarks while earmarking $250 billion million in the Florida Legislature; striking up pricey consulting contracts with hospitals he helped steer money toward; big spending on a Republican Party of Florida credit card that drew the interest of federal investigators; railing against debt while borrowing heavily in his private life; or allowing his Tallahassee home to go into foreclosure during a bank dispute.....

"Though MRDS is showing no sign of letting up this election season, there is an antidote. It’s called 'Google' and, for reporters with an account, 'Nexis.'"

Maybe the Internets were broken at the ole National Journal. Or perhaps they just feel entitled to their own facts.

In case anyone wonders why the Rubio-family-exile inaccuracy wasn't caught by us during the campaign, it's because it became an issue after he won the election (background here) when his Senate website incorrectly said his parents fled Castro's Cuba, instead of Batista's Cuba. Albeit, Rubio did cut a campaign ad that suggested his parents fled Castro's Cuba.

As for the other big Rubio story this year -- that his brother-in-law 24 years ago was busted in a cocaine ring -- The Herald, under the direction of the current National Journal's current political correspondent, held off on writing the story during the campaign because the issue wasn't germane. After all, we discovered the relative's drug bust while backgrounding Rubio's family amid one of our stories on his use of an RPOF credit card.