Andy Martin follows up on the Obama campaign's latest dirty tricks and disinformation. Why did the Washington Post omit a crucial part of the story about an Obama campaign oppositional research operative? How did Matt Mosk of the Post encounter a hitherto unknown "razor sharp" Obama "supporter?" Is Obama abusing tax-exempt Princeton University facilities to conduct secret spying on Internet commentators?
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Andy Martin, J. D.
Professor of Law (Adj.)
June 29, 2008
Ms. Deborah Howell
Re: Matt Mosk, "An Attack That Came Out of the Ether"
Dear Ms. Howell:
I would like to ask you to look into Mast Mosk's article "An Attack That Came Out of the Ether."
I am quoted in the article, extensively, and generally accurately. In so far as it applies to me, I have no problems with the story.
But the article itself has serious deficiencies. I will list just a couple:
1. In my news conference yesterday I raised the question of Ms. Allen using a tax-exempt facility to do partisan political research when she was presumably hired to pursue more meaningful activity at the Princeton IAS. Some of the many posts on your web site raised the same topic. Is Allen's "e-mail" project something Allen is claiming as an academic pursuit under the IAS? People would want to know. I am surprised that Mr. Mosk did not question why a tax-exempt facility is being used as a political opposition research operation, or whether Allen applied to be funded to pursue this activity.
2. Closely associated with the first question is the more critical question of how Mr. Mosk identified Ms. Allen to do a full-page article on an unknown person.
A simple Google search will confirm that Ms. Allen's name has never been liked to Obama politically; no one has ever suggested she is a "political expert" as we understand the term in common English. In short there was no public track for Mr. Mosk to pursue. So how did Mr. Mosk find Ms. Allen?
It appears that Mosk was steered to Allen by the Obama campaign. A reasonable journalist (and I am merely an author and opinion columnist, see ContrarianCommentary.blogspot.com and ContrarianCommentary.com) would ask, how did the Post learn about Allen and what does the Post know about what Allen has shared with the Obama campaign concerning her "research?" My news conference release from yesterday is posted on the net and you can see it for yourself. (A copy is available on request.)
In other words, the biggest part of the story, and part that would undermine Ms. Allen's independence and credibility as "razor sharp" and all of the other nonsensical adjectives that were applied to her, is that she is nothing more than an Obama campaign operative, albeit one violating federal tax laws by operating out of a tax-exempt operation. Ms. Allen did not just appear on Mosk's doorstep. The story of how he found this hitherto unknown "political" expert was an essential part of his story, and he completely omitted it. We expect partisans to be partisan; Mosk tried to suggest Allen just woke up one morning and spent the next year "researching" something, having no contact or coordination with the Obama campaign. That is simply not believable.
Since Mr. Mosk generally treated me fairly and accurately, I have no cavil with him. Nevertheless, I think he treated the Post's readers unfairly and cavalierly by not telling them the whole truth about Ms. Allen and how he came to encounter her. How he found her, when she had no public track record, is an obvious question of foundational interest to any reader. Clearly, the reasonable inference is that he was directed to her by the Obama campaign. That part of the story was essential to assessing and evaluating Allen's credibility and Mosk omitted those facts. I think a little "full disclosure" is due your readers, particularly inasmuch as for Saturday it became the most circulated article in the paper.
I know the Post strives for high standards; but high standards are meaningless if they are not accompanied by candor and full disclosure. The "how" of Mosk's encounter with Allen leaves a gaping whole in the "story."
Please feel free to contact me.
I hope the Post will not discriminate against my new book by refusing to review it because of my opposition to Mr. Obama and his fairy tales.
Obama: The Man Behind The Mask
Publication: June 2008