Thursday, November 06, 2008

I Can't Believe It took This Long

One of the nodes of SorosNet is getting sued for libel:

Leaders at The Michigan Messenger said today that a story published about Election Day voter challenges was accurate and that they're fighting a defamation suit filed by a GOP official.

Oh, they're calling them "leaders" now? Have they finally dropped the "journalist" / "reporter" / "editor" conceit? This reporter wants to know!

The Web site quoted Macomb County Republican Chairman James Carabelli in a Sept. 10 article as saying that Republicans "will have a list of foreclosed homes and will make sure people aren't voting from those addresses."

Carabelli said in a lawsuit filed last week in Macomb County Circuit Court that he never made the comment. He's asking for monetary damages and attorney fees

Wonder if that interview was taken via e-mail.


Jefferson Morley, editorial director of The Michigan Messenger and its parent organization, the Washington-based Center for Independent Media ["CIM" -ed.], said today in a conference call with reporters that the article was accurate and that the Web publication is standing behind reporter Eartha Jane Melzer.

"We've reviewed Eartha's phone records and e-mails to recreate what Eartha reported and how she did it," Morley said. "This review of the record leaves no doubt that the conversation with Mr. Carabelli took place, that the question of voter challenges was discussed, that Mr. Carabelli said what he said, that Eartha reported those comments immediately and accurately to her editors, and then to readers."

Michigan Republican Party spokesman Bill Nowling said the two may have spoken about foreclosures, but Carabelli never said the words that Melzer reported.

"It's not a question of, 'Well, he kind of wavered on whether he said it or not,'" Nowling said. "He's been vociferous ... (that) he didn't say it, that it was the reporter who kept trying to angle this story with leading questions, and that the quote attributed to him was pieced together or fabricated."

Here's a teachable moment all you activists, party officials, politicians and right-leaning human beings. Nota bene: never - NEVER - talk to these people. Ever. They are pushing an agenda, not news stories. If these trolls actually contact you, you can rest assured that you will only be quoted accurately once your quote has been sanitized of its context and wedged into whatever template serves their political ends. Period. End of story. Besides, responding to these hatchet jobbers lends them a certain credibility they do not merit.

Nowling added that there "never has been, never will be" a plan by the state GOP or county GOP leaders to use foreclosure lists to challenge voters on Nov. 4.

The Michigan Messenger story drew national attention and outrage from some bloggers and political commentators.

It also prompted the campaign of Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, the Democratic National Committee and several Macomb County voters to file a lawsuit in federal court in Detroit asking for an injunction prohibiting the Macomb County GOP, the Michigan Republican Party, the Republican National Committee or anyone connected with them from challenging Michigan voters whose homes are on foreclosure lists.

Which is the whole purpose of CIM's being.

It'd be sweet if this suit yielded a big verdict. But even if it isn't successful (libel suits rarely are), I hope it at least results in a long, protracted and extremely expensive process. Hey- the CIM is funded largely by liberals with deep pockets. Spread the wealth baby!

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