Shadow Puppets

Covering the recent blogger convention in Sin City, New York Times’ Maureen Dowd and Adam Nagourney shared more than the same masthead.

Both offered detailed accounts of the event, chronicling the interactions between Old Media and New, but there were some other striking similarities in their stories.

Nagourney’s 6/9 piece quoted Daily Kos founder Markos Moulitsas as stating, “Both parties have failed us. … Republicans have failed us because they can’t govern. Democrats failed us because they can’t get elected.”

Dowd’s 6/10 piece quoted Moulitas as stating, “Republicans have failed us because they can’t govern; Democrats have failed us because they can’t get elected.”

One semicolon makes a world of difference. But there is more.

Nagourney: “‘Warner?’ Mr. Richardson responded with a hint of a smile. ‘Is he here?'”

Dowd, quoting NM Governor Bill Richardson: “Warner, is he here? I don’t care.”

Why did Dowd get to use the punch line of the Richardson quote? Or more importantly, who got there first?