September 8, 2008

HuffPo’s Sam Stein Has Not Changed Falsehoods in ‘No Archive’ Story

I sent the e-mail that follows to Sam Stein of the Huffington Post on Saturday evening, and followed up by resending it on Sunday morning.

I originally promised to call him out in public this morning if he did not respond, but other business matters intervened. I noted this morning that my call-out would occur this afternoon.

Stein has still not responded, so here we are.


Here is the original e-mail sent Saturday:

Mr. Stein,

The following assertions about the Mat-Su Valley Frontiersman (the VF) that you made in your August 31 report are untrue, and should be corrected:

- “The paper’s (massive) archives are not online.”
- “….. there have been hundreds of stories on Palin by the Frontiersman dating back over 15 years, only a handful of which are posted online.”

A column I wrote at Pajamas Media and mirrored at my own blog shows, step-by-step, how anyone can access the archive online:
- Pajamas Media

Such a search leads to “hundreds of stories” on Palin dating back to as early as 1998.

I have further confirmed with Greg Johnson, Managing Editor at the VF, that the archive has been available for years.

Consequently, both the headline of your report and the key assertion that underlies it, have not been proven:

- (headline) McCain Camp Didn’t Search Palin’s Hometown Paper Archives
- (assertion) “….. as of this weekend, the McCain campaign had not gone through old newspaper articles from the Valley Frontiersman, Palin’s hometown newspaper.”

Since the VF archive is online and has been for years, you cannot possibly know whether McCain’s vetters did or did not access it in the course of vetting Sarah Palin.

It may be that all VF articles are not online. But even if you can show that to be the case, the first and second assertions previously noted will remain demonstrably false, and your headline and underlying assertion will remain demonstrably not yet provable as stated.

At least two HuffPo commenters have even pointed out your errors (here and here), yet you have failed to act. I find your non-reaction appalling.

A copy of this e-mail will be posted at BizzyBlog and NewsBusters Monday afternoon, along with any response you might provide in the intervening time period. I will gladly post any reaction I receive from you after the post goes up if you happen not to read this e-mail in the meantime. But ultimately, failure to react to this request and to correct your clear errors will justifiably cause me and my readers at the three online publications I have identified to not only doubt the reliability of any future work you might publish, but also to question the validity of the work you have produced at your prior places of employment.

I would appreciate prompt notification as to your intentions and follow-through.


Thomas Blumer

Here is a picture of the two comments at HuffPo that I referred to above:


Mr. Stein’s lack of response speaks volumes, both in failing to correct his report and failing to respond to repeated requests to correct.

It is not unreasonable to believe that Mr. Stein finds the presence of untruth promulgated under his name to be acceptable as long as it supports his cause of the moment.

Cross-posted at

Note to Huffington Post ‘Reporter’ Sam Stein

Filed under: General — Tom @ 8:18 am

To Mr. Stein: I said that I would post the e-mail I sent to you twice this weekend on your failure to correct errors yours truly and certain of your commenters have brought to your attention in this “report” you filed on August 31 (“McCain Camp Didn’t Search Palin’s Hometown Paper Archives”) — whether or not you respond.

Lucky you. I can’t get to it until late this afternoon. I look forward to, but don’t expect, your on the record e-mail response. You, however, CAN look forward to my post.

Note to readers: Mr. Stein’s article and the errors it contained have been covered at Pajamas Media here, and at BizzyBlog here and here.

O-Busted: Selective Service Requirement Did Not Exist When Obama Says He Registered

Filed under: MSM Biz/Other Bias,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 7:41 am

Note: I posted this at NewsBusters last night, and thought I had mirrored it here before turning in.

Oops — so it’s going up now.


It remains whether this turns out to be Barack Obama’s “Christmas in Cambodia” untruth, his Dukakis-in-tank hilarity — or both.

Regardless, what follows is a pretty obvious “misstatement” that would not possibly be ignored if it were uttered by a conservative or a Republican.

In his hilariously titled post (“Mighta Joined If He Coulda Capped Some Cong”) on Barack Obama’s interview in a barn this morning (not kidding) on This Week with Georage Stephanopoulos, fellow NewsBuster Mark Finkelstein reported on Obama’s answer to a viewer’s question about whether he ever considered military service. You can read Mark’s post for his overall thoughts, but I want to focus on something the Illinois senator said that several commenters at the post took exception to:

You know, I had to sign up for Selective Service when I graduated from high school. …. But keep in mind: I graduated in 1979.

There are only two “little” problems:

  1. Selective Service Registration was not possible in 1979.
  2. Bob Owens at Pajamas Media noted that Obama registered with the Selective Service with an effective date of September 4, 1980.

The Wikipedia entry on Obama’s early life agrees with the candidate’s memory of when he graduated (other verification will be obtained after this post goes up):

Obama returned to Honolulu to live with his maternal grandparents while attending Punahou School, a private college preparatory school, from the fifth grade until his graduation in 1979.

Wiki’s Selective Service entry says the following about the registration requirements at the time:

On March 25, 1975, Pres. Gerald Ford signed Proclamation 4360, Terminating Registration Procedures Under Military Selective Service Act, eliminating the registration requirement for all 18-25 year old male citizens. Then on July 2, 1980, President Jimmy Carter signed Proclamation 4771, Registration Under the Military Selective Service Act, retroactively re-establishing the Selective Service registration requirement for all 18-26 year old male citizens born on or after January 1, 1960. Only men born between March 29, 1957, and December 31, 1959, were completely exempt from Selective Service registration. The first registrations after Proclamation 4771 took place on Monday, July 21, 1980, for those men born in January, February and March 1960 at U.S. Post Offices. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays were reserved for men born in the later quarters of the year, and registration for men born in 1961 began the following week.


UPDATE, 11:55 P.M. – The full text of Gerald Ford’s Proclamation 4360, dated March 29, 1975 (not March 25, as Wiki claims), is here. The full text of Jimmy Carter’s Proclamation 4771, dated July 2, 1980, is here.


Obama could not have registered “when I graduated from high school,” as he claimed.

He actually registered roughly 45 days after the first post-Proclamation 4771 registrations took place in 1980.

Obama’s statement, that “I had to sign up for Selective Service when I graduated from high school,” is inarguably false.

Further, the correct timeline casts serious doubt on what Obama said between the ellipsed segments of the first excerpt above:

And I was growing up in Hawaii, and I had friend whose parents were in the military, there were a lot of Army, military bases there. And I always actually thought of the military as some ennobling and honorable option.

More likely: He signed up when he did because he had to. Nothing more, nothing less.

This would appear to be yet another example of resume enhancement.

Cross-posted at

Positivity: Missing Boy, Father Found Miles From Shore

Filed under: Positivity — Tom @ 5:56 am

From Ponce de Leon Inlet, Florida:

POSTED: 1:07 pm EDT September 7, 2008
UPDATED: 6:48 pm EDT September 7, 2008

A father and son survived a night in the waters off Volusia County after treading water for more than 12 hours.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, Walter Marino, 46, and his son Chris Marino, 13, both of Winter Park, Fla., went swimming Saturday night when they were caught in an outgoing current and swept out to sea. Coast Guard searchers were looking about 50 feet north of the south jetty by 11 p.m. Saturday.

The Coast Guard searched until the early Sunday morning hours and resumed searching at first light Sunday morning.

“We had a lot of strong currents,” U.S. Coast Guard Senior Chief Newman Cantrell said. “We’ve had a lot of water pushing into the inlet. So, you’re going to have stronger tides going out.”

The Open Range, a good Samaritan boater in the area, located Walter Marino at about 7:30 a.m. Sunday about 8 miles east of Ponce Inlet. He was then transferred to a Coast Guard boat for transport. He was dehydrated, but OK.

“The Coast Guard rocks,” Walter Marino said. God bless the Coast Guard.” …..

Go here for the rest of the story.