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Washington Post Crashed-and-Burned Watch (Yet Another Deborah Howell Edition)

New York Times Crashed-and-Burned Watch (Minnesota Election Edition)

Why hasn't the New York Times taken any action to save its credibility in re Christina Capecci?

Chris Steller:

Minnesota Independent: ‘Ordinary voter’ in New York Times recount story has strong GOP ties: A man presented as an “ordinary voter” in a New York Times article today about the impending recount in Minnesota’s U.S. Senate race has strong ties to the Republican Party and conservative causes that the article does not reveal.... [R]eporter Christina Capecchi (who also writes for MinnPost), identifies Noah Rouen only as a 34-year-old who “swore off political talk on a pheasant hunt last weekend.” When he and his buddies heard of the now-legendary (and debunked) 32-ballots-in-a-car-trunk story, Capecchi writes, “They could not help but hatch a conspiracy theory.”

One reason Rouen might be given to such theories about votes favoring Democrat Al Franken is that Democrats accused him of participating in a conspiracy to distribute false campaign materials against Franken last summer.... The complaint says Rouen was a delegate to this year’s Republican National Convention (RNC) and for two years a staff member for former U.S. Sen. Rod Grams (R-Minn.)... In an interview with the Minnesota Independent, Rouen said that he worked for Grams’ campaign as well from 1999 to 2000. He said while that level of partisan activity is in his past — he called work for the “Vote Yes Minnesota” referendum campaign his most partisan activity this year — he “makes no bones” about being a Republican or having voted for Coleman.

Rouen said he gave Capecchi, who found him via a Facebook group called “Looking for Coleman Ballots,” his whole background during a 30-minute interview two days ago. He said he was surprised to be identified only as a pheasant hunter in the Times article, and in fact was somewhat surprised to be included at all, given how the ballots-in-the-trunk story has since “evolved.” (On Minnesota Public Radio today, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie reiterated that the story was false, calling for those who started the rumor to speak up).

Capecchi did not return phone messages and e-mails from the Minnesota Independent...

Why oh why can't we have a better press corps?

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