Thursday, September 6, 2007

Wash. Post's Solomon blamed editor for deletion about GOP fundraiser

During his September 5 "Post Politics" discussion, Washington Post money and politics reporter John Solomon was asked why a September 3 Post article he co-wrote with staff writer Matthew Mosk -- which discussed "a growing number of fundraisers in the 2008 presidential campaign whose backgrounds have prompted questions" -- did not mention that "[Republican presidential candidate] Mitt Romney's national finance co-chairman, Alan B. Fabian, recently was indicted on 23 counts of money laundering, fraud, perjury, and obstruction of justice, among other crimes." The version of the article published by the Post mentioned only scandals involving supporters of Democratic candidates. Solomon responded by claiming that "my colleague Matt Mosk and I reported on the Romney matter." But rather than discuss Fabian, Solomon proceeded to claim that they had included a paragraph about another Romney fundraiser in their draft of the article: "Likewise, Republican Mitt Romney faced questions about one of his Utah finance chairmen, Robert Lichfield, because of lawsuits he is facing alleging abusive treatment at boarding schools he founded to handle troubled youths." Solomon added: "Unfortunately, it was edited out. That sometimes happen when stories get trimmed to make room for late-breaking news."

Solomon did not specify what late-breaking news caused the 33-word passage's deletion from an article totaling 1,364 words as published, nor did he indicate which editor excised it.

While Solomon did not discuss Fabian in his response, provided a link to an August 14 "Annapolis Notebook" brief by Post staff writer John Wagner, who reported that Fabian "was a leading fundraiser for former [Maryland] lieutenant governor [and 2006 Senate candidate] Michael S. Steele (R)" and "has also been a prolific donor to Republicans nationally," but did not note Fabian's ties to Romney. Indeed, a Media Matters for America search of the Nexis database for "Mitt Romney" and "Alan Fabian" or "Alan B. Fabian" found no articles published in the Post mentioning the two in the same story. Moreover, a Nexis search for "Alan Fabian" or "Alan B. Fabian" and either "Mosk" or "Solomon" also yielded zero results.

As Media Matters has noted, several networks have devoted extensive coverage to Norman Hsu, who The Wall Street Journal suggested may have funneled illegal campaign contributions to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY), while ignoring Fabian's indictment and connection to Romney. Fabian resigned from Romney's finance committee shortly after he was indicted, and the Romney campaign said it would return his $2,300 contribution, but not, however, "contributions from donors who were recruited by or have ties to Fabian," according to The Boston Globe.

No comments: