Republican state senate candidate Owen Hill was blindsided yesterday by a Colorado Springs Gazette story with fabricated claims that Hill plagiarized statements off his Libertarian opponent’s website. A friend of mine, quoted in the story, does his job of defending his Party’s position and candidate, but issued his quote carefully:
“My understanding is, from Doug, that Doug had written the stuff, and he noticed it was on his opponent’s website and was not pleased with that discovery,” said David K. Williams Jr., chairman of the Libertarian Party of Colorado. [emphasis added]
Unfortunately, the Gazette opted for a sensational he said / he said story rather than perform a little basic investigation. Owen Hill’s campaign did the homework for the reporter showing that Hill’s statements were posted on his blog in January, months before the Libertarian even had declared as a candidate or put up a website.
But not before the Lefty propagandists at Colorado Pols honed in on the story like a pack of wild hyenas pouncing on vulnerable prey. Red meat for the True Believers! I’m sure you would be shocked — shocked! — to learn that the Pols wildly assumed that Owen Hill was in the wrong and seized the opportunity to attack the Republican candidate in one of the key races to determine next year’s control of the state legislature. (Smelling salts available for those with a fresh case of the vapors.)
The Lefty blog’s argument basically boils down to this: That the Republican candidate must have been in the wrong because he was insufficiently indignant about the accusations of a third-party candidate with no money and no presence on the campaign trail. (Well, it wasn’t a case of the vapors, but that sure was one good, soul-cleansing, knee-slapping laugh riot!)
Because the Gazette is a professional journalistic enterprise, I fully expect Colorado Springs’ daily newspaper to follow up with a well-placed story featuring this new evidence and a clear correction. No such expectation for the political hacks over at the Pols. But I always could be pleasantly surprised.
On a side note, Libertarian candidate Doug claimed in the Gazette that he’s been “honing some of the political phrases since 1979″ (and I thought I knew some slow writers!), but that probably doesn’t include his website’s statement on education, which reads in part:
In recent years our freedom to choose what is best for our children has increased through the creation of magnet and charter schools, and resurgence in home schooling.
For the record, there were roughly zero charter schools in existence in 1979.