The Alabama Media

and

Jill Simpson's

Affidavit

 

The Alabama Media

and

Jill Simpson's Affidavit

                                                                                                                               

Dana Beyerle

Dana Beyerle has covered Alabama state government for the New York Times-owned

papers in Alabama for decades, and probably knows as much about Alabama politics

as anyone. His byline has appeared many times over the years in the parent paper. Had Times' editors and reporters read some of the stories by their man in Alabama, they could not be excused for still hopping on the Jill Simpson bandwagon. The second possiblity -- that they read them -- raises questions best left answered by the Times.

                                                                                            

 

         "Of all people, Siegelman would know if he conceded the 2002 election for the reasons sworn to by Simpson. But he told Beyerle he dropped his recount challenge because he was facing 'what Al Gore had just gone through – this painful experience in Florida and the U.S. Supreme Court.'

       Siegelman didn’t recall the first thing about a KKK meeting but deployed his elasticity with the truth by declaring in the same interview that Jill Simpson was a 'great American citizen' who had placed Karl Rove 'at the scene of a crime.'

              -- From, "The Governor of Goat Hill."

           

   What follows is also from the book:

             

              In June 2007, after Time and the Times bit on Canary’s “his girls” quote and the Rove tale, the Alabama media had no choice but to report on Simpson’s

affidavit.

              Unlike the Times and Time, numerous state reporters – including Bob Johnson with AP; several at the Birmingham News; and Dana Beyerle, the Montgomery

bureau reporter for the three New York Times-owned Alabama papers -- took the trouble to examine the KKK tale.

              The tenor of their stories reflected a degree of skepticism not to be found in the national reports, to say nothing of basic fact checking.

              “Two of three Republicans who reportedly took part in a 2002 telephone conference call to plot against former Gov. Don Siegelman said Friday the phone

call never took place and the third called reports of the conversation an ‘outrageous allegation,’” began Bob Johnson’s wire story the day after Time and the Times

introduced Simpson to the world.

              One of Bob’s stories concluded with commentary from Bill Stewart, the longtime political science professor at the University of Alabama and a favorite go-to

guy for reporters seeking pungent analysis on state politics. Stewart said it would be most improbable for a veteran politician like Siegelman to have conceded

under the terms described by Simpson.

              “I can’t imagine someone dropping out for something like this,” he said. “Those sorts of things happen in campaigns. It’s not something to be proud of,

but on the scale of things that have happened in Alabama campaigns, I don’t find it to be very important.”......

             

              Several weeks later Beyerle gave his readers the most thorough examination yet of the KKK farce. He interviewed Simpson, Butts, Rob Riley and, most

importantly, Siegelman.

              Of all people, Siegelman would know if he conceded the 2002 election for the reasons sworn to by Simpson. But he told Beyerle he dropped his recount challenge because he was facing “what Al Gore had just gone through – this painful experience in Florida and the U.S. Supreme Court.”

              Siegelman didn’t recall the first thing about a KKK meeting but deployed his elasticity with the truth by declaring in the same interview that Jill Simpson was a

“great American citizen” who had placed Karl Rove “at the scene of a crime.”

              Another AP story by Johnson remarked that “even the Siegelman camp discounts” the KKK pics deal.

              Joe Espy and Bobby Segall, Siegelman’s lawyers during the recount battle, rejected the KKK story with a certainty equal to that of Riley’s people. “I never heard that. I was never around any talk like that,” Espy told Johnson.

              Siegelman conceded for a number of reasons, Espy said. He was worried about putting the state through a protracted, Gore-Bush type battle; didn’t know where

he’d get the money to pay for an ongoing legal challenge; and recognized that the final say belonged to the Republican-dominated Alabama Supreme Court.

              In October 2007, following release of Simpson’s congressional testimony, it was again left up to the Alabama media to provide a reality check on Simpson’s new

story – that in addition to making the KKK pictures vanish, Butts also pledged to make the joint state and federal criminal investigation into the Siegelman

administration go away if Siegelman would concede.

              .....“Siegelman, who conceded the narrow loss in November 2002 but continued to be investigated and prosecuted by the Justice Department, has never made any

comment indicating such an offer was made,” noted the AP’s Johnson.

              Walter Braswell, in 2002 a partner of David Cromwell Johnson’s and an active participant in Siegelman’s defense, told the News he’d never heard that the

investigation was to evaporate upon Siegelman’s concession of the election.

              To summarize: Siegelman, his election lawyers and criminal attorneys – top tier Democrats all -- said they had never heard of the KKK deal or the vanishing

investigation offer...

              The stories by state reporters vaporizing Simpson’s tales about the two-pronged offer to make the KKK pictures and the investigation go away should have been

the end of it. Those in the national media who had based stories on Simpson’s allegations should have come back and informed their readers that her credibility

was shattered and that her claims against the Canarys, the Rileys, Rove and others should accordingly be reconsidered as almost certainly false.

              That’s not what happened.

              The reporting by the Alabama media, to say nothing of the facts upon which it was based, was ignored by the Times, Time, CBS News, the Judiciary Committee,

and many others as well.

              Congressional Democrats and those in the national media who swallowed Simpson’s story had become too invested in the fantasy placing Karl Rove “at the

scene of the crime.”

 

 

A KKK meeting, similar, perhaps, to the

one that Jill Simpson DID NOT attend.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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