UPDATE. Taranato thinks I have a reading comprehension problem. I guess I'm supposed to pay closer attention to his more-in-sorrow-than-anger, both-sides-do-it tone than to his argument, such as it is:
The difference is that whereas the Fox joke [Fallows fell for] could easily be confirmed as a joke merely by checking out the Zombie Rainbow page that was its source, the "Friends of Hamas" joke [Shapiro fell for] came from a reporter for a major newspaper--that is, somebody whose job involves trading on his own reputation for credibility.Except Shapiro himself disputes this in his bizarre, belligerent response to being caught out, in which he claims his real source says he has other sources for the story besides the reporter ("Our Senate source denies that Friedman is the source of this information. 'I have received this information from three separate sources, none of whom was Friedman,' the source said"). Talk about an uncooperative client!
Taranto spends the rest of his item explaining that, while Mistakes Were Made, Shapiro made a harmless slip that merely led to the uncorrected smearing of Hagel, whereas Fallows thought a joke about Fox News was real, which is why such errors will henceforth be known by people who talk rightwing code to one another as "the Fallows Principle." What am I missing?