The Washington Post Misreports "Troopergate" Again
11:32 PM, Sep 8, 2008 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
In his latest story on the so-called "Troopergate" scandal (background here), the Washington Post's James V. Grimaldi reports a false statement made by state trooper Mike Wooten, Sarah Palin's ex-brother-in-law, as if it were a fact. Grimaldi writes that Wooten "contradicted Palin's statement that she overheard him in 2005 threaten her father during an argument with Palin's younger sister, Molly McCann, Wooten's wife at the time. Wooten noted that an internal investigation failed to sustain the death-threat allegation."
But according to the Anchorage Daily News, the internal investigation did sustain the death-threat allegation:
Wooten released to the ADN all 482 pages of documents compiled from this investigation. Here is the section of the state troopers' "memorandum of findings" in which the death threat charge is found to be "sustained":
The state troopers interviewed Palin, her son, and her sister separately and came to the conclusion that the death threat charge was "sustained". The Anchorage Daily News's Lisa Demer reported:
So why did the Washington Post's Grimaldi report that "Wooten noted that an internal investigation failed to sustain the death-threat allegation"? Shouldn't Grimaldi - a Pulitzer winning reporter - independently evaluate the accuracy of Wooten's statements?
This isn't the first time that Grimaldi has reported untrue statements under the cover of quoting Palin's opponents. On August 30, he and and a co-author wrote that Wooten's union boss, John Cyr, "said Wooten has 'a spotless record' and no allegations in his file other than those filed by the governor's family." But according to the Anchorage Daily News, "Beyond the investigation sparked by the family, trooper commanders saw cause to discipline or give written instructions to correct Wooten seven times since he joined the force."