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:
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.”
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.
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.
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 NewsBusters.org.