Posted by Curt on 18 May, 2009 at 9:09 am. 5 comments already!

UPDATE MAY 19th, 2009

Mata here… sub’bing in for our hardworking, Founding FA Father, Curt, with a courtesy update. The saga of Anita Moncrief (ACORN whistleblower) and their NYTs coverup story (as with add’l background from my post back on March 30th) continues with yet another side battle between two journalists – Stephanie Strom (NYTs journalist who’s Moncrief story was killed) and Bethany Stotts of Accuracy in Media/Accuracy in Acadamia.

In an article today by Ms. Stotts, she details NYTs Strom’s attempts to get Stott’s to change her Oct 22nd story about ACORN corruption. Ms. Stotts today’s post is meant to emphasize that Strom deliberately mislead AIM just days after cutting off her relationship with Moncrief.

Last October this correspondent criticized Strom for two of her October articles on ACORN, the second of which seemed to ignore possible connections between the group and Obama’s voter registration efforts. In fact, the October 22 article in question casts the Obama-ACORN link as a matter of opinion, and simply reiterates the campaign’s assertion that they had no connection to ACORN’s GOTV (get out the vote) efforts.

Strom wrote at the time that

“Republicans have tried to make an issue of Senator Barack Obama’s ties to the group, which he represented in a lawsuit in 1995. The Obama campaign has denied any connection with Acorn’s voter registration drives.”

Given that the article was about ACORN corruption, not Obama, what need was there for this comment in the first place? As it was, the attempted absolution of this candidate came before the actual charges against ACORN were discussed.


This is especially notable in light of the recent revelation that Strom actually knew there was possible contradictory evidence at the time this was written. In my October 28 column, I called attention to her whitewashing,

“In an October 22 story, New York Times writer Stephanie Strom actually contradicts her previous article in order to minimize the association between Obama and an arguably corrupt ACORN. She now characterizes the ACORN investigation as a partisan attempt to discredit Obama.”

This correspondent later added, “Not only is it misleading for Strom to claim that the Obama campaign has ‘denied any connection with ACORN’s voter registration drives’ if Obama himself has said that ACORN was ‘smack dab in the middle of’ such efforts, but ACORN itself has acknowledged a long-standing relationship between Obama and themselves.”

Following the release of this story, Strom actually attempted to get AIM to change its record; she claimed that my story “inaccurately characterizes two articles I have written.”

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She then emphasized that her October 22 article had merely repeated the claim that there was no connection between Obama and ACORN’s voter registration efforts.

“Ms. Stott [sic] then claims that I contradicted that reporting in an article on Oct. 22, ‘Acorn Report Raises Issue of Legality.’ In that second article, I wrote that [sic] “denied any connection with Acorn’s voter registration drives.’” (italics original).

Accuracy in Acadamia (sister organization to AIM) offered to publish Strom’s protests to Ms. Stott’s “contradictory” reporting with side-by-side page exposure via republishing the text of her emails and appropriate links…. an offer that the NYTs reporter refused.

Strom insisted that we not republish the text of the emails, and—this time using her NY Times email account—wrote that “As I did not intend the email I sent AIM’s p.r. person as a letter of any sort but as a request for correction, I respectfully decline to have it printed electronically or otherwise, in part because I do not wish to get into a public exchange with the author of the article to which I objected.” Nonetheless, she concluded that “I also continue to believe that Ms. Stott [sic] erred in claiming a contradiction between the two articles but understand from your and her perspectives, that may be open to debate.”

Ms. Stotts’ response to Stroms is here. Her article with full links and story between the warring journalists can be found at Campus Report Online.

According to an Editor’s note at the bottom of the above linked Stott’s piece, AIA honored the request that email text not be published… unless that same email was voluntarily provided by Ms. Moncrief herself, and republished in the campus Report Online article.

END UPDATE

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Do you know Stephanie Strom? You should if you don’t. She lies in the middle of a controversy involving the New York Times and a story they killed just prior to the election. Killed because it would hurt Obama.

Strom had a source inside ACORN who fed her plenty of tips. Enough to break the story about the brother of ACORN founder Wade Rathke, Dale Rathke, who embezzled a million bucks. She reported about the embezzlement and the cover-up by ACORN management for eight years. In subsequent stories she reported how Drummond Pike, the founder of the Tides Foundation and a pal of George Soros, had paid back the million bucks (or close to it, whatever Rathke had not paid back yet) to keep the story quiet, and also how a couple ACORN board members had sued ACORN to force them to provide documents detailing the embezzlement.

A month later she reported about ACORN severing its ties with Dale Rathke and about a internal memo that was written by a lawyer inside ACORN that warned of legal problems due to its organizational style.

She had a source so good Strom looked like a superstar. Breaking ACORN story after ACORN story. Now we know that source was Anita Moncrief and that source gave her one other tidbit of information:

On Sept. 7, Moncrief wrote to Strom that she had donor lists from the campaigns of Obama and Hillary Clinton and that there had been “constant contact” between the campaigns and Project Vote, an Acorn affiliate whose tax-exempt status forbids it to engage in partisan politics. Moncrief said she had withheld that information earlier but was disclosing it now that the conservative columnist Michelle Malkin was “all over it.”

“I am sorry,” she wrote, “but I believe in Obama and did not want to help the Republicans.”

Now what would a unbiased news organization do with that information? They would run with it…
But not the New York Times. Apparently the big wigs thought it was a “game changer” and they didn’t want to help out McCain.

Now the public editor of the Times, Clark Hoyt, has admitted he killed the story on the coordination between ACORN and Obama’s pals at Project Vote. John Hinderaker takes the story from there:

A key part of Moncrief’s story was that the Obama campaign had furnished ACORN with lists of maxed-out donors so that ACORN could mine them for contributions. In fact, Moncrief provided the Times reporter, Strom, with such a list that ACORN allegedly obtained from the Obama campaign. Hoyt does not dispute that this story, if true, was evidence of violation of the campaign finance laws.

So why did the Times pull the plug on Strom’s ongoing investigation? The story became public because a Republican lawyer named Heather Heidelbaugh testified, apparently based on information she got from Anita Moncrief, that the Times had been working on an Obama-ACORN story but that “Ms. Strom reported to Ms. Moncrief that her editors at The New York Times wanted her to kill the story because, and I quote, ‘it was a game-changer.’” Hoyt undertakes to show that this charge was false.

He admits, though, that Strom’s editor, Suzanne Daley, “called a halt to Strom’s pursuit of the Obama angle.” So the Times did kill the investigation and any further reporting.

~~~

But the facts as related by Hoyt don’t rebut the charge; they support it.

Apparently the editor felt that they had nothing:

“We had worked on that story for a while and had come up empty-handed,” Daley said. “You have to cut bait after a while.” She said she never thought of the story as a game-changer and never used that term with Strom.

Bull…..

Hoyt writes that just before Daley killed the story Moncrief agreed to go on the record and Strom had scheduled a sit down. Apparently when the story was killed Strom called Moncrief to cancel the meeting and told Moncrief it was because they didn’t want to hurt Obama.

…Obviously, if Strom was about to hit pay-dirt with an on-the-record witness, Daley’s assertion that she killed the story because Strom “had come up empty-handed” is false.

Hoyt doesn’t appear to notice the contradiction. He does, however, labor manfully to defend the Times. He goes to great lengths to refute the claim that Strom told Moncrief the Times killed the story because it was a “game-changer,” as though that particular phrase had some talismanic significance. Yet, if you read Hoyt’s column to the end, you find that in an email to Hoyt Moncrief attributed exactly that statement to Strom:

She said Strom told her “it was their policy not to print a game-changer for either side that close to the election.”

Hoyt also argues that the story about Obama and ACORN would not have been a “game-changer” in that it would not have swung the election to John McCain. I agree. But since when is that the standard? Is Hoyt telling us that the Times’ policy is only to print stories that have the potential to change the result of a Presidential election? Of course, if the story did have the potential to change the outcome of the election, that, too, would have been offered as a reason not to print it.

Moncrief supplied a great amount of insider information to Strom over the summer but now….suddenly….her information wasn’t good. That’s the excuse anyways. But we now know that it was done to protect their buddy and pal, Barack Obama.

Michelle Malkin reposts a quote from Bill Keller, editor at the Times:

…we are agnostic as to where a story may lead; we do not go into a story with an agenda or a pre-conceived notion. We do not manipulate or hide facts to advance an agenda. We strive to preserve our independence from political and economic interests, including our own advertisers. We do not work in the service of a party, or an industry, or even a country. When there are competing views of a situation, we aim to reflect them as clearly and fairly as we can.”

My question….When will a Special Prosecutor be appointed to investigate this illegal collaboration?

Answer….never. It involves Democrats.

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