Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Sacramento Bee's misleading, sloppy hit piece on Republican Meg Whitman

Hugh Hewitt has been following up on Bee reporter Andrew McIntosh's hit piece on Meg Whitman published in the Bee September 24.

Hewitt has uncovered some glaring problems with the piece. The Bee claimed Whitman failed to register to vote while she lived in Hamilton County, Ohio (1979-1981) but Hewitt obtained a document from the Board of Elections in that county, confirming she was registered to vote in the county during that time.

More -- the Bee claimed that the San Francisco County elections office "no longer retains records prior to 1992, but said that had she been registered and voting, her registration information would have been transferred to the current system." The official who supposedly made that statement was not identified in the Bee article. Hewitt managed to obtain a statement from Jocelyn Wong -- “Campaign Services Coordinator” for the elections office —who previously responded to a request for registration information on such high profile politicians as Dianne Feinstein and Nancy Pelosi with a letter stating that “there is no registration records kept prior to 1992 kept by the Department."

Hewitt includes this quote from Wong: "Please also keep in mind that our database can only account for the voting history of voters from 1992 to the present since the Department switched databases that year.”

Hewitt spoke with Bee political editor Amy Chance on his show, but she was defensive and implied Hewitt's information was coming from the Whitman campaign.

Hewitt wrote about the Bee hit piece -- and his interview with Amy Chance -- here. (It's worth reading Hewitt's piece to see who the Bee quoted as an expert.)

Hewitt concludes:

"I am certain, however, that Republican voters ought not to trust reporting from the Sacramento Bee when making the decision on which is the best candidate... When a newspaper screws up this badly on what it trumpets as an important story, you shouldn’t trust a word it writes on the candidate it attempted to smear for the duration of the race."


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5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Never heard of Hugh Hewitt, but after reading his report, I've got him bookmarked. I have a feeling we haven't heard the last of this story.

McClatchy Watch said...

1:38 there are a lot of angles to this story that haven't come out yet.

Anonymous said...

Yep. Journalism at its finest. Why would an advertiser want to put their product next to a pos story like this one? Some of the stink and slime from the reporter's hit piece would inevitably transfer to the advertiser's product.

Anonymous said...

The power to spin the truth.

Anonymous said...

Bee had a another Whitman story this morning to correct the oversights and update the voting record.