Tribune Editor defends refusal to publish police report, as story explodes.
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Fact: The name of the investigating detectives, C.M. Waddell, Rich Austria and Molly Daul. Indeed, Detective Sergeant Austria, whose initials are on this report — another fact — is described — factually — as “Sexual Assault Detail Sergeant.”
Fact: The report says that the United States Secret Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Oregon State Police were contacted “in an attempt to have a larger law enforcement agency investigate this case. All above agencies declined and referred him [presumably the lawyer] to the agency of jurisdiction where the alleged crime occurred.”
Fact: The police spoke with the accuser’s attorney, who said the incident occurred “at a local upscale hotel on October 24, 2006.” Arrangements were made to interview the accuser on December 21, 2006 in the lawyer’s office.
Fact: On December 21, 2006 “at 0700 hours” a call came in to police saying the appointment could not be kept “due to personal reasons” and was rescheduled for December 26, 2006 “at 1500 hours.”
Fact: That appointment was canceled and rescheduled for January 4, 2006 [sic] at “1500 hours.”
Fact: On January 4, 2007 that appointment was canceled and the officer reported that he was told “the case was going to be handled civilly and they (accuser and lawyer) would no longer require the services of the Portland Police Bureau.”
Fact: An important last line: “This case is exceptionally cleared as (redacted) refuses to cooperate with the investigation or even report a crime.”
Again, it is a fact that every single item listed above is written in an official document of the Portland Police Bureau.
Is this woman telling the truth? We have no idea. Did the above facts get presented to The Tribune? Yes.
Do people “make wacky accusations about public figures every day” as Mr. Garber says? Absolutely yes. Are they backed up with the filing of a police report that requires an individual to seriously put themselves in the line of legal fire if they are not telling the truth? Rarely. Why? Let’s take the case at issue.
The case exists, it has a specific, factual name — Case. No. 07-9568 of the Portland Police Bureau. While Al Gore is a public figure and therefore has some problems with libel laws per the Supreme Court’s Sullivan decision (which greatly narrows the ability of a public figure to sue for libel), this is not somebody hurling political invective by saying, for example, “Al Gore conspired to lie on global warming and make millions.”
This person has filed through her lawyer a police report — Fact #1. An actual police report — labeled by the police themselves as a “CONFIDENTIAL SPECIAL REPORT” in which a quite specific allegation of sexual assault is made. If Mr. Gore believes himself to be innocent and defamed, the former Vice President could easily sue this woman into oblivion if he chose to do so. And I might add, that if she is lying and he does this and proves his case, one doesn’t have to be a political wizard to understand the wave of sympathy that will wash his way. Mr. Gore is a very astute man.
That’s politics, however, and what we are dealing with here are journalism and facts. Facts 1 through 13 and all the rest.
But there is another fact in all of this that has at once nothing and everything to do with the Gore case and the Portland Tribune’s handling of it.
At this moment in American history — for reasons that have as much to do with journalism and politics as technology — this country is going through a media revolution. Gone for good is the monopoly once enjoyed by Establishment media. At the national and global level this means once sturdy institutions such as the New York Times, Washington Post, CBS, ABC, NBC, PBS, Time and Newsweek. And at the local level in cities all over America this includes the newspapers, television and radio stations.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?