When There Is Nothing Instead of Something

Seriously, Politico, what's the deal with this? The facts, as best I can tell, are this:

  • Klaus Scharioth, Germany's ambassador to the United States, is trying to meet the major presidential candidates.
  • A guy named Frank Loy who's active in US-German issues and the Obama campaign, arranged for Scharioth to attend an Obama fundraiser without contributing to his campaign.
  • Politico's Kenneth Vogel heard about this, decided he smelled smoke, and thought he'd poke around for fire.

At this point, Vogel came up with absolutely nothing. But instead of not writing the story, he wrote an exhaustive account of a dozen different things that might have been improper or politically damaging about this. None of these things, however, are actually true. But rather than admit that he has no story, Vogel chose to write it up as if he's unconvered something and then -- bam! -- his story becomes the lede item on the site further implying there's something here.