Caught on Voicemail: Alaska TV Station's Reporters Planning Smear of Joe Miller

The audio and transcript are at BigGovernment.com.

Here's the story, as relayed by Big Gov's Publius (HT Dan Riehl):

... (A) voice mail message was inadvertently left on the cell phone of Joe Miller campaign spokesperson Randy DeSoto.

 

The voices are believed to be those of the news director for CBS Anchorage affiliate KTVA, along with assignment editor Nick McDermott, and other reporters, openly discussing creating, if not fabricating, two stories about Republican nominee for U.S. Senate, Joe Miller.

 

... The call failed to disconnect properly. It was later authenticated by McDermott, who sent a text to Randy DeSoto stating, “Damn iPhone… I left you a long message. I thought I hung up. Sorry.”

I think McDermott means, "Sorry I got caught."

This isn't bias. It's direct activist opposition.

Here's a portion of the transcript:

FEMALE REPORTER: That’s up to you because you have the experience but that’s what I would do...I’d wait until you see who shows up because that indicates we already know something...

 

[Laughter]

 

[INAUDIBLE]

 

FEMALE REPORTER: Child molesters...

 

MALE REPORTER: Oh yes...Joe Miller’s...uh...get a list of people/campaign workers which one's the molester

 

[INAUDIBLE]

 

FEMALE VOICE: You know that of all the people that will show up tonight, at least one of them will be a registered sex offender.

 

[Laughter]

The rest of the recorded conversation involves finding (creating?) an incident similar to one involving a Rand Paul campaigner and a MoveOn.org protester in Kentucky "so we can put out a twitter/facebook alert."

There's no word as to whether any similar conversations discussing possible "gotchas" relating to the campaigns of Lisa Murkowski or Scott McAdams were held (/sarcasm).

Riehl juxtaposes the KTVA reporters' conspiracy discussions with the station's report on "dozens (who) filled the University Of Alaska Anchorage's quad Saturday" (must be a pretty small "quad") to "calling on their fellow voters to restore civil discourse." You can't make this stuff up.

You also can't make up this piece of utter incoherence also found at the report:

The Anchorage Rally to Restore Sanity was not supposed to be about political lines, however, the event appeared to be mostly attended by Democrats.

 

About 100 potential voters toting sing supporting US Senate candidate Scott McAdams and showing messages like, "Think outside the Fox News Extreme Media," filled the campus.

 

UAA student Alex Maslow co-sponsored the rally, along with the UAA College Democrats and the UAA Political Science Association.

It wasn't supposed to be along political lines, but it had Democrat-supporting signs and Democrat sponsorship. Do these people even read their own copy?

Instapundit asks: "Has the press changed, or is it just easier to get caught now?"

Well, let's see. Here's something big from the 1960s that didn't get caught:

... (in) the 1960s, there was the complete silence by then (Newsweek) Washington Bureau Chief Ben Bradlee on the discovery that his own sister-in-law, Mary Meyer, had left behind after her murder a diary detailing an affair with Bradlee friend, the then-late President John F. Kennedy. The story emerged in the National Enquirer (where else? Not Newsweek) in the 1970s, with Bradlee finally 'fessing up that the story was true, he had read the diary, it was destroyed, and he had no intention of ever publishing the story -- and was indeed angry that the Enquirer had unearthed it.

Here's something big from 2004 that did get caught partially when it occurred and completely thereafter, via Bernard Goldberg in 2009:

Until now, the controversy over the Rather/Mapes story has centered almost entirely on one issue: the legitimacy of the documents – a very important issue, indeed. But it turns out that there was another very important issue, one that goes to the very heart of what the story was about – and one that has gone virtually unnoticed. This is it: Mary Mapes knew before she put the story on the air that George W. Bush, the alleged slacker, had in fact volunteered to go to Vietnam.

To answer Reynolds's question: It's easier to get caught. What we still don't know is how much or how little of it is actually getting caught.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.