Statesman: Still no transparency

May 29, 2008

The Statesman was complaining about transparency last week and we still haven’t seen them come clean on their lies. WP2 is still waiting for them to admit the Hank Brown interviews were purposely left out to mislead readers with their “lies of omission.”

WP2 predicted back in December that Popkey’s two-year witch hunt on Larry Craig was all about trying to win a Pulitzer. They didn’t win it (the fact that they were even a finalist makes the Pulitzer Committee suspect), but they have been trying to use it as a promotion gimmick in their masthead. It has been to little avail since they admitted their circulation is down to 62,000. It was over 68,000 four years ago. With circulation dropping like a rock in what has been one of the fastest growing markets in the U.S. we can see why they are panicked in their house of cards.

Stapilus, Boise Guardian and the Pulitzer committee should all investigate our previous post. WP2 did the work for you, now let others know…unless you agree with this kind of shabby journalism.

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Statesman, Popkey “lie by omission” in Craig story

April 19, 2008

Last year, Executive Editor Vicki Gowler told Statesman readers that an important part of their Larry Craig coverage was whether or not he was “lying by omission.” Implicit in this charge is the suggestion that the Idaho Statesman never does such a thing, that the paper always gives its readers all the facts.

WorkingPressToo has been saying for months that he truth about the Statesman will come out. That time has come.

wp2 just completed an interview with a key source in Dan Popkey’s investigation about Senator Craig. Those of us who have read Popkey for the last 20 years aren’t surprised he stretched the truth, but now we find out he actually lied about — or left out — key, firsthand information that would have proved his stories false.

wp2 interviewed former congressman and current Colorado University President, Hank Brown, and he had some great insight on two separate interviews he did with Popkey. What does Hank Brown know? Brown was on the House Ethics Committee during the 1982 page scandal.

In the first interview, wp2 finds out that Popkey and the Statesman lied to readers. Popkey and his editors repeatedly said they worked on the Craig story for six months. So when Popkey talked with Hank Brown two years prior to running the story, must have about something else, no? No. Brown tells wp2 that Popkey’s questions were very leading, and the reporter had clearly talked to many other people before his interview with Brown in 2005.

It seems strange they would fudge on dates like this but perhaps the Statesman didn’t want to look like it was engaged in a witch hunt. In the absence of an explanation, wp2 is left to guess. But if Popkey and Statesman can’t even be honest about the length of time they worked on a story (something they stated over and over again when they ran their distortions), how can we believe anything else they wrote or will ever write again?

The second item in the Hank Brown interview that sheds tremendous doubt on the Popkey articles is another apparently deliberate omission. Brown told Popkey that Craig was never under investigation by the House Ethics Committee. Never.

That bears repeating. On the record, Brown told Popkey that Craig was never under investigation. But Popkey’s artfully worded stories and the weak defenses by his editor, Vicki Gowler, led us to believe that Craig was under investigation by the Ethics Committee. The Statesman is quoted in their December 2, 2007 story saying “The Statesman reached five of the six living members of the 1982 committee; they all said they cannot recall whether or not Williams named Craig.”

While Hank Brown isn’t the most famous guy on earth, we do know several things about him which are indisputable: 1) he is alive; and 2) he spoke with Dan Popkey. So the quote that five of six members of the 1982 ethics committee “cannot recall” is…puzzling.

Popkey interviewed Hank Brown again on February 1, 2007 and Brown gave Popkey the same information. Again, Popkey had the facts, but lied or failed to share key information with readers. With a firsthand account from a member of the House Ethics Committee, vs. innuendo from sources with axes to grind against Craig, the choice would seem easy. Stick with what you can prove, right? Nope. Instead, what we got from the Statesman was a cop-out. The paper “couldn’t disprove the allegations against Craig. That was good enough for them.

Popkey also knows from the Califano report, which was commissioned by Democrat and Republican leadership in the House, that the allegations made by House pages were false. Popkey and his editors also know that John Feruggia, the CBS reporter who broke the story, put words in their mouths and was accused of reckless reporting by his colleagues.

Besides ignoring facts and lying to readers, Popkey is disingenuous with his sympathies for Craig in a Howard Kurtz piece that ran in the Washington Post on August 30, 2007. “This is a horrible thing, says Popkey who has written about Craig since 1984. “It’s a tragedy for Idaho, and I feel for him.”

He evidently felt so horrible that he didn’t stop to consider whether it’s wrong to destroy someone’s career by selectively presenting readers with distorted facts. And insiders and former reporters at the Statesman call B.S. on Popkey too. Not only was Popkey jumping for joy, but his editors plastered the coverage all over the paper and the website for months in a blatant attempt to get the Pulitzer that Publisher Mi-Ai Prrish had been seeking since her first day.

The information that Popkey has in his files cannot remain secret for long. There are many he interviewed and many trips he took that will eventually surface. Popkey and the Statesman have files full of material that prove their stories false. Fortuantely, someone on the Pulitzer Committee had the good sense to recognize yellow journalism when they saw it. The Pulitzer Committee should actually remove Popkey from the finalist list like they have others when they caught reporters falsifying information. They should also publicly sanction Popkey and the Statesman for their false reporting.

The person who should be investigated is Popkey for his unethical approach to journalism and his outright lies to readers. He should at least tell us why Statesman reporters can’t even live up to the paper’s own standards. They preached to us that lies by omission should not be tolerated. Unless you buy ink by the barrel.

Statesman Even Misleads With Pulitzer Announcement

April 10, 2008

While the Statesman and their fellow liberals in the local area were patting themselves on the back for Pulitzer nomination on the Craig story, most of the rest of the Treasure Valley yawned.

The Statesman on the website prior to the front page top-of-the-fold story on the Pulitzer suggests to readers that they are a finalist. They don’t bother to mention in the early coverage that it was already known that they were not a winner.

wp2 predicted the Craig tabloid material was just an attempt to attract a Pulitzer in our post dated December 19, 2007.

Blogger Adam Graham said it all in his blog “Adam’s Blog” this week when he pointed out “the Statesman’s methods were disreputable. The Statesman’s Dan Popkey reportedly went so far as going into a gay bar in Washington DC and showing a picture of the Senator to patrons in the hope of turning up leads.” You can read Adam’s full piece at this link: http://www.adamsweb.us/blog/say-it-aint-so-joe-pulitzer/

People are asking something of more substance rather than pointing out Statesman errors and left leanings. They’ll get it this week when we publish our interview with a key person on record with Dan Popkey concerning the Craig story. But Popkey and the Statesman wouldn’t use this highly credible source because it would have disproved much of their stories. The Statesman calls the “lies by omission.”

wp2 wonders if the local liberals in Boise and the Pulitzer committee will feel so good about this story after they read our next post.

Statesman: Observations

March 31, 2008

Since apologists for the Statesman have injured sensibilities when they see their precious paper criticized wp2 shall label the following observations for the week.

Three stories jump out at us with the first from the front page on appropriations from Congress. Prior to their rants about Senator Craig they use to praise appropriations for Idaho’s universities. Now they call it “pork” in their headline.

A story this week on Idaho’s economy also took a negative turn rather than report it as the good news is is for the state. While Idaho had the third fastest growing state economy and increased income by $2000 a year the Statesman still reported it as bad news.

Finally, rather than report university fees in relative terms they chose to portray fee increases as
something that would stop students from attending….at least the headline. They finally did point out in the jump that Idaho is below the Western state average in cost and the third lowest in the West.

Statesman: More of the Same Garbage

March 25, 2008

How low can the Statesman go? On Easter Sunday when every other media outlet is focusing on this Christian Holiday, the Statesman does a front page story on Claude Dallas.

When they do a story about Bill Sali’s opponents they only talk to four people who are critical of Sali and neglect to talk to the hundreds of thousands of Idahoans who support him.

When they do a story on Obama, they only talk to people who are supportive of Obama and not a single Idahoan who might disagree with his flimsy campaign.

When they do an editorial about disclosure in government they only mean disclosure for Republicans because they ignore the the revolving door of Kate Kelly and the questionable behavior of Bieter’s boys.

And when is Popkey going to come clean on the Craig story. Not to worry. wp2 will be sharing some exclusive interviews with you this week that will show what a sham the Statesman’s reporting has really been.

Statesman: What About Full Disclosure?

March 10, 2008

Kevin Richert, one of the most liberal people in journalism, couldn’t even come clean on his editorial Sunday, March 9. wp2 found out that Richert the propaganda from none other than Walt Minnick.

Why wasn’t that in your story, Kevin?

And why don’t you give the Knowlegis, LLC non-partisan, private thing a rest? If it is so non-partisan why are you and Minnick jumping on it?

And oh by the way, why haven’t your really done your homework on why the ED of the Democrat party was fired? It wouldn’t be because Minnick and his wife are involved?

Let wp2 guess who you are going to endorse for the Dem 1st CD primary: Minnick perhaps?

And if he wins the primary are you going to endorse him for the general?

Your left wing newspaper still hasn’t done anything on Kate Kelly and her own revolving door. When are you going to look into what she has been doing?

You are constantly badgering Republicans to have open meeting laws and have full disclosure when you can’t even disclose where you got a simple piece of information.

How can readers believe anything you write?

How about that McClatchy stock? Still dropping I see.

Democrat Statesman Ignores Key Stories

February 26, 2008

While the Democrat Party was enjoying two of the biggest events they’ve had in Idaho over the last two decades, their Executive Director was not having any fun at all. With a new Democrat Party Chairman in place and other turnover you’d think the Statesman would examine why their Executive Director was fired.

It couldn’t be because Walter Minnick’s wife is reinvolved in the party and wanted her person in position to help Walter become a Congressman. If you’d like to see what you would get with Minnick just check out the Sun Valley online publication and your eyes will pop out. By the way, is Sun Valley in the 1st Congressional District?

On Otter and McGwartney:

Don’t think this story is over. One of the Statesman staffers who has seen Dan Popkey’s file on this story tells wp2 that the file is several inches thick. I have no doubt that we’ll see more stories about the “trophy wives” and anything else distasteful Dan can bring up.

Greg Hahn:

What happened to Greg Hahn. Statesman insiders say he was pushed to an editor’s position to save his job. A pitty. One of the few decent writers left at the Statesman.

D vs R coverage:

Just look at how the Statesman covered the Democrat events vs one of the biggest Republican events in Ada county this year with one of the most well know columnists in the world. How embarrassing for the Statesman.

Kevin Richert-Coward

While he’ll post other blogs on his website he won’t mention ours even though we get more hits in a week than he gets in a month. Come on, Kevin, let readers see what others really think about your newspaper.

Follow the money

How are those stock prices Statesman, circulation, etc? I’ve noticed that your circulation giveaway people are still hauling stacks of papers away every day because they can’t even give your paper away.

Statesman: Give it a rest

February 15, 2008

The Statesman couldn’t report fairly on Larry Craig if they wanted to. Every other media outlet in Boise gave fair and balanced coverage to the Senate Ethics story except the Statesman. Even Jim Weatherby, a Democrat, said the Senate Ethics letter was a slap on the wrist. Statesman editors tried to turn it into a big story. Fortunately for Treasure Valley residents the only thing these stories do is drive circulation down.

Has the Statesman yet done anything on their declining stock. It is now down to about $9.50 a share and at the the same time one of their favorite targets, Micron, has stock heading back up.

Staffers inside the Statesman tell wp2 that Popkey and his editors have been sitting on substantial facts and interviews that reflect favorably on Senator Craig. Don’t worry. wp2 is getting access to these files and we will be reporting on them in the very near future.

And what about that piece of yellow journalism Popkey wrote on the Governor and his friend. Calling the first lady a “trophy wife.” No wonder Popkey has to to rely on secondary and third-hand sources for his stories.

What about the Kate Kelly story Statesman editors? Are you going to continue to give her a pass on her revolving door with DEQ, her law practice and her Senate seat? Can your newspaper get any more blatantly liberal and Democrat?

If you are an advertiser in the Statesman, you might want to ask them why you are paying higher line rates when their circulation is declining.

Statesman Gives Dems a Pass On Security

February 10, 2008

The Statesman has pounded Republicans when high profile GOP leaders visit the Gem State as it relates to security.  The Statesman always wants to know if the GOP will pay.  Now that Obama (The Statesman’s new favorite Democrat) has visited Idaho did they ask the same questions?

No.  They give the Ds a free pass and fawn over Obama while continuing to beat up on Republicans.

The Statesman couldn’t even give the new GOP Executive Director a clean story this week.  They had to drag the Larry Craig material in just to poke Republicans in the eye.

Is it any wonder Statesman circulation continues to plummet, McClatchy stock drops below $10 a share for the first time and they still can’t get the Micron story right.

What is it with the Statesman?  Do they want to chase the last fortune 500 company out of Boise?

There will be much more in coming days and weeks.

Statesman: Come Clean on your Stories, Kate Kelly

January 30, 2008

Sorry we’ve been out for awhile at wp2, but we continue to be amazed at the arrogance of the Statesman. We appreciate the more than 5000 visits to our site.
Besides the fact that they lied in the Larry Craig stories (and we will have plenty of sources to back up our story unlike the Statesman) they continue to hide their losses and the way they push newspapers on local Idahoans. This weekend wp2 witnessed several instances where Statesman paper peddlers were almost tackling people to take the paper. Circulation isn’t looking good. Neither is readership. How about coverage? Does that sound like a better word Statesman leadership?

The Kate Kelly story is becoming a joke. Dan Popkey’s apparent love affair with her legislation on government transparency is shared with many in the print media. Why don’t you check on her revolving door with DEQ? She used to work for DEQ. She is an attorney representing clients before or that are regulated by DEQ, but there is not mention of this revolving door.

When is the Statesman going to come clean on the Larry Craig story? wp2 will give them a little more time, but there is so much info they did not tell their readers that would have changed the story dramatically.

We also saw a story this week on the shortage of power for the Treasure Valley. Isn’t anyone else going to call the Statesman on the fact that they want more energy in the Treasure Valley, but they continue to call for breaching of dams?

Again, thanks to those inside the Statesman that continue to provide us with details of the stories inside the daily grind.