Friday, October 14, 2005

E-Mail Trail

I will include the whole e-mail trail of this remarkable exchange with the public editor of the regional paper here in Raleigh, the N&O. Remember, this guy is hired to represent the readers and root out problems at the paper like political bias. The public editor's email is The news editor is Let's just render an F to their work on the following:

Mr. Vaden and Ms. Sill,

I am still waiting for the promised explanation for the lack of coverage in the N&O of the FBI investigation into the actions of the staffers of Sen. Schumer.

I am also interested in the lack of coverage of Louis Freeh's remarkable revelations (from MSNBC): Freeh charges that, rather than pressure Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah for access to the (Khobar) bombing suspects, Mr. Clinton asked the kingdom for a contribution to his presidential library.

Finally, I read today's story about Frank Ballance but found no reference to his party affiliation. You always seem able to slip in the party affiliation of a Republican (see your Carrington stories) convicted of misdeeds, so why not label Ballance?

Scott Pierce

Reply from Ted Vaden:

Dear Mr. Pierce:

Our news editor has not been able to find any stories regarding Shumer's staff.

As regards the Freeh allegations, the only reference he can find is a Washington Post column (not a story) last week by media columnist Howard Kurtz. In it, Kurtz quoted a Clinton spokesman as saying that Freeh was not present for any meeting between Clinton and Crown Prince Abdullah, and a former Clinton counterterrorism official, Daniel Benjamin, as saying that Freeh is “factually wrong” and that the former president “pushed the crown prince quite hard,” and eventually won Saudi cooperation that led to indictments in the Khobar Towers case.

I agree with you that we should have included Ballance's party affiliation.

Thanks for inquiring.

Ted Vaden

And my reply to Vaden:

Mr. Vaden,

It took me 5 minutes to find a story on Schumer's staff
here from a Baltimore paper, and here from Newsday and here from The Hill "The Newspaper for and about the U.S. Congress". There is a difference between "not being able to find any stories" and not wanting to find any stories.

Two more minutes on Freeh took me
here to CNN and here to the NY Sun. If your editors do not think it is newsworthy that the former head of the FBI is claiming the president of the U.S. failed to ask the Saudis for access to the Khobar bombers but did ask for a financial contribution for his library, then they should be fired. It would certainly be appropriate to run an article quoting Freeh's allegations and also including refutations from the Clinton associates you note, but failing to report anything is negligent.

Also, I would like to ask your permission to post your response to my last question on a blog.

Scott Pierce

Feel free to fire away at this if you have the time.