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"And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." - John 8:32
WEBCommentary Contributor
Author:  Michael J. Gaynor
Bio: Michael J. Gaynor
Date:  May 21, 2009
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Topic category:  Government/Politics

It's NOT Easy Being Times Public Editor Clark Hoyt or National Correspondent Stephanie Strom Now

In the interest of truth and transparency, the ACORN 8 should also post the Kingsley report in its entirety, without redacting the names of those who reportedly knew of the embezzlement of nearly $1,000,000 that was concealed for many years, and let Bill O'Reilly and Glenn Beck of Fox News do the same on their websites.

I doubt that New York Times Public Editor Clark Hoyt literally hid under his desk instead of appeared to be interviewed on "The O'Reilly Factor," but, figuratively speaking, I think that's a fair description.

Mr. Hoyt's dismissal as "nonsense" of the accusation that an ACORN/Obama expose was spiked soon before Election Day 2008 is neither credible nor correct. It's IMpure nonsense.

It surprises some, but I sympathize with New York Times national correspondent Stephanie Strom, because she wanted to "stand up."

On October 20, 2008, Ms. Strom emailed Ms. MonCrief: ""I'm still planning on heading for D.C. on Wednesday. Does that still work for you? Please let me know the logistics. I'm looking forward to meeting you in person."

Ms. Strom's impulse was to reveal, not to conceal.

But I can't respect Ms. Strom's decision to stand down instead of stand up (or Hoyt's to be an apologist and to disparage brave ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief as nonsensical and not credible).

Fortunately for America, Ms. Strom was so upset when she was told to stand down that she left ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief a candid voicemail and Ms. MonCrief kept it.

The truth is that Ms. MonCrief was an ardent Obama supporter who later voted for him and never pretended to be otherwise.

kausfiles.com (http://slate.com/blogs/blogs/kausfiles/archive/2009/05/18/undernews-the-game-changer-question.aspx) was unpersuaded by the Hoyt whitewash: "Clark Hoyt's Sunday pooh-poohing of the 'game changer' affair (the accusation that the NYT killed a story on illegal ties between Obama and ACORN because it might have affected the election) fails to satisfy in several respects: 1) The explanation for why the Times killed its reporters 'pursuit of the Obama angle' is a bit squishy. According to Hoyt, the publication of an October, 2008 Times article on 'impermissible political activity by Acorn,' filled the paper's need. But that story, as Powerline points out, didn't tackle the highly-charged Obama connection; 2) Hoyt tells us what the Times reporter, Stephanie Strom, says she didn't tell her source--'she does not believe she ever used the term "game-changer."' But he never gives Strom's account of what she did say."

kausfiles.com also asked an important question: "Are you really confident that the NYT wouldn't spike an anti-Obama story in the waning days of the election out of fear--conscious or semi-subconscious--that it might badly hurt him?"

Kausfiles.com continued:

"I had a revealing argument with a politically sophisticated friend--call him 'Max'-- when the 'game changer"'charge first surfaced. Max's argument: Suppose it were a scandal sufficiently big to sink Obama. Any red-blooded Times reporter would be proud to publish it and tack Obama's scalp to the wall. To have taken down a presidential nominee--that would be a professional achievement, maybe a Pulitzer. They'd be high-fiving in the newsroom.

"I think my friend is right about the culture of the newsroom--about 45 years ago. As for today, I think he's living in a dreamworld. Even if the Times had published such a story, Times reporters would certainly not have high-fived the colleague who'd cost Obama the election. Not after two terms of Bush. And I have no faith the paper would even have published it (before allowing the reporter to slink out of the building). In part, that's because I have no faith that I'd publish it. The old adversarial ethic--I play my role and let the system take care of the moral consequences--rightly went mostly out the window with the ascension of the Sixties cohort.

"In part it's because, if there's one major change Pinch Sulzberger has presided over at the Times, it's the end of the pretense that his reporters have to be ashamed of their strong political beliefs. And we know, in the case of the Times, what those beliefs mostly are. ..."

Message to kausfiles.com: At The New York Times, reporters don't run the show. Ms. Strom had to "stand down" and stay or stand up and go.

I do believe that Ms. Strom would have reported the whole story if her editors would have permitted it, despite her personal political views, but Mr. Hoyt's report that she carefully concealed them is wrong.

Hoyt, in "The Tip That Didn't Pan Out," published May 16, 2009:

"On Sept. 7, [2008] Moncrief wrote to Strom that she had donor lists from the campaigns of Obama and Hillary Clinton and that there had been 'constant contact' between the campaigns and Project Vote, an Acorn affiliate whose tax-exempt status forbids it to engage in partisan politics. Moncrief said she had withheld that information earlier but was disclosing it now that the conservative columnist Michelle Malkin was 'all over it.' 'I am sorry,' she wrote, 'but I believe in Obama and did not want to help the Republicans.'

"Strom wrote back: 'Am also onto the Obama connection, sadly. Would love the donor lists. As for helping the Repubs, they’re already onto this like white on rice. SIGH!' Was Strom betraying her own political leanings, even as she asked for the lists that could make the story? Or was she expressing sympathy for Moncrief, who was unhappy about possibly hurting her own candidate? Strom said she does not know what was on her mind eight months ago, but that she is careful to keep her political views private.' I tended to be sympathetic to her throughout,' she said. She was also trying to get information."

Hoyt was absolutely right about Obama being Ms. MonCrief's "candidate"!

If not, our President might well be named John Sidney McCain.

Ms. Strom's email to Ms. MonCrief of October 26, 2008 (four days AFTER I had reported that The New York Times had killed an ACORN/Obama campaign expose on which Ms. Strom was working with Ms. MonCrief in an article that another Strom email to Ms. MonCrief she read the same day) is not as an example of keeping personal political views private.

Ms. Strom:

"So good to hear from you. I am sorry that you've become a tool for the far right, but in this partisan climate, I'm not surprised. I'm sure MG [My Note: a reference to me] did not think you were after the NYT but given his feelings about the paper, he used you that way.

"I myself am in the amusing position of being the darling of the right wing as well. I get email all the time from conservatives angry that the paper they love to hate has actually made the best case against Acorn. They are furious that we've been ahead of the story of the scandal, as well as the enormous--I mean, come on, 66 percent of registrations flawed???--problems with voter registration, and not their darling Fox. I get reams of email saying, well, O.K., you get the scandal, you nailed down the Obama connections, but why haven't you written that he's Muslim, has drug dealer, stayed at the Waldorf, etc. We can never do enough.

"Keep me posted. I'm a fan, and I want to know what you are doing. = )"

Email between Ms. Strom and Ms. MonCrief continued in November 2008.

Ironically, Ms. Strom complained to Ms. MonCrief that she had reported some uncomfortable truth but evidence supporting it was being withheld!

In a email to Ms. MonCrief on November 2, 2008, Ms. Strom wrote: "The Oct. 22 story apparently roused the funders, who got a totally parsed response from Beth Kingsley charging me with distortion, misrepresentation and outright error. That said, neither Acorn not she has asked for any correction from us, and they continue to refuse to release the report--which would, of course, confirm my reporting."

Ms. MonCrief says that it would do much more than that!

This is the same report that Ms. MonCrief referred to twice on "The O'Reilly Factor" last Monday and to which the ACORN 8 referred the United States Justice Department in their complaint against the group currently controlling ACORN submitted last January.

Ms. MonCrief also publicly stated that she has seen the report.

The ACORN 8 have posted a copy of their lengthy complaint to the Justice Department on their website (www.acorn-8.net).

In the interest of truth and transparency, the ACORN 8 should also post the much shorter Kingsley report in its entirety, without redacting the names of those who reportedly knew of the embezzlement of nearly $1,000,000 that was concealed for many years, and let Bill O'Reilly and Glenn Beck of Fox News do the same on their websites.

On the need for truth and transparency, we all should agree.

On Ms. MonCrief, the evidence shows that Ms. Strom and I agree: We're Anita MonCrief fans.

Ms. MonCrief's the one practicing truth and transparency, so all Americans should be!

Michael J. Gaynor

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Biography - Michael J. Gaynor

Michael J. Gaynor has been practicing law in New York since 1973. A former partner at Fulton, Duncombe & Rowe and Gaynor & Bass, he is a solo practitioner admitted to practice in New York state and federal courts and an Association of the Bar of the City of New York member.

Gaynor graduated magna cum laude, with Honors in Social Science, from Hofstra University's New College, and received his J.D. degree from St. John's Law School, where he won the American Jurisprudence Award in Evidence and served as an editor of the Law Review and the St. Thomas More Institute for Legal Research. He wrote on the Pentagon Papers case for the Review and obscenity law for The Catholic Lawyer and edited the Law Review's commentary on significant developments in New York law.

The day after graduating, Gaynor joined the Fulton firm, where he focused on litigation and corporate law. In 1997 Gaynor and Emily Bass formed Gaynor & Bass and then conducted a general legal practice, emphasizing litigation, and represented corporations, individuals and a New York City labor union. Notably, Gaynor & Bass prevailed in the Second Circuit in a seminal copyright infringement case, Tasini v. New York Times, against newspaper and magazine publishers and Lexis-Nexis. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed, 7 to 2, holding that the copyrights of freelance writers had been infringed when their work was put online without permission or compensation.

Gaynor currently contributes regularly to www.MichNews.com, www.RenewAmerica.com, www.WebCommentary.com, www.PostChronicle.com and www.therealitycheck.org and has contributed to many other websites. He has written extensively on political and religious issues, notably the Terry Schiavo case, the Duke "no rape" case, ACORN and canon law, and appeared as a guest on television and radio. He was acknowledged in Until Proven Innocent, by Stuart Taylor and KC Johnson, and Culture of Corruption, by Michelle Malkin. He appeared on "Your World With Cavuto" to promote an eBay boycott that he initiated and "The World Over With Raymond Arroyo" (EWTN) to discuss the legal implications of the Schiavo case. On October 22, 2008, Gaynor was the first to report that The New York Times had killed an Obama/ACORN expose on which a Times reporter had been working with ACORN whistleblower Anita MonCrief.

Gaynor's email address is gaynormike@aol.com.


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