For months supporters and critics alike have been requesting that Clint Curtis take a polygraph test to help shore up (or debunk) the veracity of his explosive sworn allegations that then-Florida State Senator (and Speaker of the House) Tom Feeney, now a U.S. Congressman from Florida's 24th District, asked Curtis to create an electronic vote-rigging software prototype back in 2000 when Curtis worked at Yang Enterprises Inc. (YEI) where Feeney was also the corporate counsel and registered lobbyist in his "non-conflicting" day job while working as Florida's Speaker of the House.
Curtis has now taken --- and passed --- the much requested lie-detector test as discussed here Saturday and as broken in a one-sided, unbalanced and unfortunate story by Lucy Morgan, the Pulitzer Prize winning investigative Tallahassee Bureau Chief for The St. Petersburg Times.
While Morgan was handed this rather hot and exclusive scoop over a month ago, just after Curtis took and passed the test on March 3rd, her investigative work since then on this admittedly complicated and very broad case --- stretching back through at least four years of public and private paper trails --- resulted in an astonishingly amateurish piece which serves as a fine piece of pro-Feeney propoganda, a smackdown of the courageous and so-far verified claims of Clint Curtis and --- finally, though less importantly --- a slap in the face to the hard work we've toiled at here for over five months.
Her article, inappropriately and condescendingly headlined "Blogs spin tale of computers, conspiracies" is loaded with countless points of misleading information, crucial omissions and out and out inaccuracies.
Given our (apparently overly generous) offer to fact-check and/or advise and/or supply Morgan with any and all of the copious documentation and public records and hard evidence we've amassed over our past six months of reporting on this matter coupled with Morgan's impressive credentials and experience, we were somewhat stunned to read the fruits of her efforts on Saturday when the story finally appeared in The SP Times.
As we are still somewhat at a disadvantage by being on the road for the moment (still in Nashville at the National Election Reform Conference), we'll have to do our best to speak to Morgan's many unfortunate errors and lack of apparent journalistic standards without access to our complete file of evidence. Nonetheless, we'll do our best to point out what we would have pointed out to Morgan had she bothered to run any of this by us before going to press.
Given also that she found it necessary to include us in the story for inexplicable reasons --- other than perhaps to try and discredit the entire affair as a "conspiracy theory" of some sort --- it seems as though it would have been appropriate to check many of these facts with us and/or at least give us the opportunity to comment on several of the unsupported charges she makes in her piece.
But alas, that seems to be the way of the Mainstream Media these days; Belittle and discredit the stories that they should have been reporting in the first place by suggesting that a story presented on a web log couldn't possibly hold the veracity of something reported by the MSM.
On that note, we'll simply mention that after over six months of investigating and reporting on the Clint Curtis story, we've not once had to issue a notable retraction or correction to any of our work. Whereas one single article from Morgan includes enough misinformation for an entire column's worth of retractions, corrections and clarifications.
We had hoped to extend the courtesy to Morgan that she didn't feel necessary to extend to either Curtis or us in order to give her the opportunity to explain herself and her many omissions, misleads and apparent lack of both "balance" and fact-checking in her story.
Morgan's response to our invitation to comment today: "I have no interest in commenting on your story, you can publish that I have two heads if you want."
We have no interest in publishing that Morgan has two heads, since that would be misleading and untruthful as far as we can tell. We do have an interest in publishing facts however, in a fair way, while correcting those who seem to display a problem in doing so themselves.
So to that end, let's take a look at a few of the most egregious distortions, errors, misleads and omissions in Morgan's unfortunate article...