Sunday, September 11, 2011

The NY Daily News Waited Three Days To Report Weprin flub

Is the NY-9 special election a fixed race? Suspect reporting favoring the Republican candidate infects media and even liberal blog coverage

Update Tuesday 1:00 PM:

As I noted yesterday, The New York Times didn't publish one article on the special election in the NY-9 district for Rep. Weiner's seat since Friday. Apparently there wasn't enough space in the Saturday, Sunday and Monday editions of The New York Times to mention an election set for Tuesday.

Finally, Tuesday, "as voters went to the polls," The New York Times reported on an election in which the candidate they endorsed was losing after leading all non-GOP polls since the day he entered the race.

In the very first sentence, Thomas Kaplan and Kate Taylor report that in the "closely watched special election" which The New York Times ignored for three crucial days "the Republican candidate expressed confidence that an upset was within reach, while his Democratic opponent played down the anxiety in his party and predicted that a strong turnout effort would propel him to victory."

Kaplan and Taylor immediately dash on Weprin's hopes in paragraph six: "Jerry Skurnik, a political consultant who is not involved in the race, projected that only about 10 percent of the district’s 343,000 registered voters would participate in the election."

Later, the Times reporters write, assumingly unironically for a paper that seemed to forget there was an election after the weekend: "In interviews on Monday, many people in the district said they were unaware of the special election."

Consultant Jerry Skurnik may not be specifically involved in the race, but he has long ties to former Mayor Ed Koch who has famously backed Republican Bob Turner, which The New York Times does not report.

From bio for Skurnik's firm Prime New York firm: "Skurnik was the first paid employee of the Ed Koch for Mayor campaign in December of 1976 and then served for eight years as an assistant to Mayor Koch until leaving to start his firm in 1986. . In City Hall he served as liaison to elected officials throughout New York State and also played a key role in all of Koch's subsequent campaigns."

On September 7, Skurnik and "Democratic" consultant Hank Sheinkopf - who worked for Bloomberg in 2009 and still defends him now even though he has spent the entire summer trashing Weiner, President Obama and Weprin who he worked for on multiple campaigns in the past - told Capital New York's Dana Rubinstein that the district was turning rightward and the endorsement by Democratic Assemblyman Dov Hikind would help Turner win.

The district has inched rightward accordingly.

“In the last three presidential elections, the Republican presidential vote has gone up, which is an indication that some of the voters in the district are getting more conservative,” Skurnik said. “Most people think it’s that the Jewish voters are getting more conservative.”

On August 23rd - before the phony Irene controversy - Weprin still led in all the non-GOP polls and the world didn't know that he thought the national debt was $10 trillion less than it was, but Koch associate Skurnik hyped up Turner in an interview with independent Jewish journal Forward:

Now, with the race tightening in its final weeks, the question of whether Bob Turner, Weprin’s Republican opponent, a Catholic who has been to Israel only once, can make a dent in the district’s Jewish vote looms large.

“Stranger things have happened,” political consultant Jerry Skurnik told the Forward. “Jewish candidates have lost the Jewish vote. Turner doesn’t have to win it, he just has to be competitive.”

On July 26, the day after Koch endorsed Turner, New York Times reporter Ashley Parker included Skurnik in a story about how "the race to replace Weiner in House may turn on Israel policy," but didn't mention his longtime ties to the former NYC mayor.

And Jewish voters are expected to be particularly important in the special election, which is likely to have low turnout, said Jerry Skurnik, a partner at Prime New York, a political consulting firm. Mr. Skurnik said that Jewish voters tended to vote in higher percentages than the general population, and he estimated that Jewish voters made up 30 percent to 35 percent of active voters in the district.

“You definitely can’t get wiped out in the Jewish vote and expect to win a district like this,” Mr. Skurnik said.

Parker mysteriously interviewed Rep. Anthony Weiner on May 18 - a "sunny morning" at Coffee Shop, in Union Square - for a story that The New York Times never mentioned or quoted from until it was published after the underwear tweet, but before Weiner resigned on June 7.

May 18 was the same exact day that fake teenager Starchild111 claimed she was unfollowed by Rep. Weiner after asking him to the prom; the same day one #BornFreeCrew member asked another, "Did that thing ever surface? I gotta go to work;" the same day that Meagan Broussard allegedly talked on the phone to Weiner and was sent two photos, including the one showing an erect penis; and the same day that a Republican contacted Drudge and Andrew Breitbart on Broussard's behalf: See Greg Beato's Soundbitten for May 18 dateline, but there are other Weinergate-related events I've noted at my Twitter account that happened that day such as the real teenager who followed Weiner calling the fake teenager a "psycho."

In one of over thirty tweets Andrew Breitbart sent to me on August 10 in response to Weinergate questions, he told me that he personally called Broussard's intermediary and left a voice message, but he didn't specify if it was on May 18, the same day he was contacted.

At Soundbitten, Beato blogged:

In Twitter exchanges with Ron Brynaert on 08/10/11, Breitbart says that Broussard's intermediary contacted Breitbart "by email 1 week-plus before infamous RT. Then I called & left VM. He called next day. Took week to get to Megyn." (Source: Twitter).

Then he expands on his response and answers additional questions from Brynaert with this series of tweets: Tweet: "I've never met Megyn or her friend in person. Megyn doesn't seem political. Her friend may be. I didnt/dont care if he is or not." Tweet:: "Always said 'friend' of Meagan emailed in advance & we followed up. I don't know his name. But Meagan said she's friends w him." Tweet: "Don't remember his name. Once I was in contact with Meagan, he was disposable! Hope he doesn't take that personally!" Tweet: "I have no idea if he contacted me on May 18 because she asked him to. Didn't ask." Tweet: "1st time spoke to MB was FriJune3. Spoke to him SatMay28 for brief moment then on TuesMay31. Thats it. Never met either in person." Tweet: "He contacted me on 18th. We followed up but didnt take too seriously. Then @patriotusa76 RT triggered frantic calling of the guy." Tweet:"Limited resources. One of my trusted associates had convo. If he had delivered goods woulda been different story." Tweet: "No, just wrote to you we had contact between then. Not me. And was put in 'low priority' bin. Conspiracy that!"

After the New York Times finally published Parker's interview with Weiner, conservative pundit Michelle Malkin Tweeted, "NYTimes reporter: Hey, look, I sat on an intvu w/Rep. #skeevy for 3 wks. Guess it's safe to run now!"

New York Times reporter Jennifer Preston - who I worked on the fake Weinergate teen story with but who has ignored me since late June after she asked me to defend our work on Twitter and I was subsequently targeted by hackers - tweeted, "Before @repweiner was publicly caught sending "the photo" @ashleyparker caught him here."

The New York Times should explain why they sat on the interview for so long.

Parker has ignored multiple questions I have asked her on Twitter about May 18, including the time she last saw Weiner, which is crucial since he reportedly called Broussard that afternoon from his New York office. If Weiner was hacked by political tricksters, it would be advantageous to have a reporter be able to vouch that he was in the city on the same day he was sending nude photos.

Update Monday at 4:23 PM:

The New York Times has not published one word on Tuesday's congressional election since September 9: LINK.

Low turnout, generally, tends to favor the Republican candidate. Someone should get fired at The New York Times for ignoring the race, especially since the polls went southward for the Democrat since Friday, which was the last report on the special election they published. The Times only published a handful of stories all summer but they improved in September. Too bad they don't listen or care, even though everyone at the paper is on Twitter.

The only positive news that Weprin received all summer long was a NY Times endorsement...and then when the campaign - oddly - sent out a magician to capitalize on it the kiss of support somehow was spun into a bad thing.

Less than 24 hours before polls open, Daily Kos is pretty damn quiet, too: link.

Apparently, David Nir threw in the towel on 9/11 in this Daily Kos diary called "NY-09: Republican Bob Turner on verge of major upset."

Nir writing for Daily Kos Elections concludes in his diary with 342+ comments, "It's not necessarily over for Weprin, but if one-time Obama voters are now showing up to vote Republican, that's a pretty brutal sign. Coming on top of Siena's poll which also had Turner up by six, it's hard to see much cause for optimism."

But if the Republican wins an "upset" tomorrow, both outlets - not so very different these days, sadly - will probably make Turner a star so that the New York Democratic Party can fire up supporters for Obama 2012.

Also, I'm waiting to hear from Ben Smith at Politico about the source of his story based on leaked court documents. We had an argument on Twitter this morning about his story and his past. The best part was probably when he accused me of an ad homenim attack for pointing out that he has a history of publishing smears from campaigns without scruples and usually without fact-checking.

Here's a sample, see the rest at @ronbryn and @benpolitico:

From Smith's article:

As the unexpectedly heated race for Anthony Weiner’s old seat draws to a close, POLITICO has obtained a 25-year old child custody ruling that paints Democratic candidate David Weprin in a searingly negative light.

The November, 1986 document, provided by a source who asked not to be identified in any way, comes from a sealed case file in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan.


POLITICO was separately given access to a 1989 ruling by Judge Burton Sherman, the main jurist handling the case.

Smith responded to many of my tweets but went quiet after I asked, "@benpolitico Hank Sheinkopf used to consult for Weprin - & probably knew about that - but is bashing him now. Did his firm leak it to you?"

Sheinkopf worked for Weprin in multiple races and yet not one of the many, many journalists he dumped on Dem chances in NY-9 to apparently asked why he's not consulting for the Democrat in the biggest campaign of his political career.

On Sunday, Chris Cillizza at The Washington Post gave the Democratic Party's worst 2011 promoter paragraph four: "'Obama wins no popularity contests here,'" said Hank Sheinkopf, a Democratic consultant in New York."

Weprin is actually the first client listed on Sheinkopf's firm's clients page, so it's not hard information to access:

Sheinkopf has bashed Weiner directly and Weprin indirectly to every single New York newspaper all summer long. It's too bad hack journalists won't even admit if Sheinkopf calls them or they call him.

A few weeks before Weiner's underwear tweet, The New York Post reported on May 14 that Sheinkopf was considering working for his mayoral campaign:

Is it 2013 already? Mayoral politics are heating up with a war of words between allies of Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and Rep. Anthony Weiner. After de Blasio ally and Democratic donor Bill Samuels trashed Weiner as "too shrill" and "ridiculous," Democratic consultant Hank Sheinkopf, who helped Mayor Bloomberg push Weiner out of the race in 2009, is coming to Weiner's side and will consult for his campaign, insiders say. Sheinkopf told us, "It was an unfair attack [by Samuels], an attempt to demean someone from the outer boroughs." But is he working with Weiner? "I never discuss what I'm doing. I presume I'll be employed."

That same week, Azi Paybarah reported Sheinkopf sent him an email in "defense of the congressman" after Weiner was attacked by a De Blasio backer.

But then after initially backing Weiner over the potentially hacked tweet, Sheinkopf suddenly flipped and said that Weiner should resign as congressman and count the mayor race out, too.

"There will be no Mayor Weiner in 2013," Sheinkopf told McClatchey on June 10. "That's out."

Another question for journalists who keep referring to Sheinkopf as a Democratic consultant: Is he still on Bloomberg's payroll?

It's bad enough Ben Smith ran a character assassination story that added nothing just a few days before an election but to just say that a possibly illegally leaked document was "
provided by a source who asked not to be identified in any way" is being a willing accomplice to a political dirty trick.

It's inexcusable that Politico editors let Smith's sources dictate their descriptions in his smear article. Readers have a right to know something about either source...and I assume both sources are Democrats, not Republican or from the Turner campaign.

I also tweeted, "@benpolitico @harrispolitico Does @Politico have guidelines on 'why the source wants anonymity' like most media orgs?"

I included a link to a google search but this is from a New York Times memo that Gawker published in 2010:

Pat, formulaic expressions of why an anonymous source wants to be anonymous are probably worse than no explanation at all. They are uninformative and give readers the impression that our anonymity rules are on autopilot.

Saying that a source insisted on anonymity because he was "not authorized" to speak is usually stating the obvious, and is of little or no help to a reader. Yet we've used that formulation nearly 300 times in the past year.

Let's stop using such rote formulas as "because he/she was not authorized to speak ..." or "because of the sensitivity of the issue."

In lieu of such boilerplate, reporters and editors should in all cases discuss why the source wants anonymity, and consider seriously whether we can say something informative or interesting.

But this is the part of The New York Times "Reminder on Anonymous Sources" that Ben Smith and his editors at Politico should focus on: "A final reminder, on the most basic point. While anonymous sources are sometimes crucial to our journalism, every time we rely on anonymity, we put some strain on our credibility with readers. As all our guidelines emphasize, we should resort to anonymous sources only for newsworthy information that we can't report any other way. Anonymity should not be invoked for trivial, obvious or tangential information, or for quotes that add little of substance. And it should not be used as a mask for personal attacks."

Original article:

Over the last three months, since I worked with Jennifer Preston on a New York Times article about how fake identities were used on Twitter to get information on former Rep. Weiner (D-NY), I have been reporting at this blog and at my Twitter account on how the media neglected to properly vet the social network "evidence" and the Weinergate "victims" (Even though I scoffed at the notion in June, evidence strongly suggests that Weiner's Twitter and Facebook accounts were hacked, see this post, especially).

I've also been chronicling how liberal blogs and New York newspapers have been pushing propaganda to oddly make the Democratic candidate look bad in the special election to replace Weiner scheduled for this coming Tuesday, September 13.

Instead of doing real reporting, liberal bloggers and "professional" reporters at The New York Times and at NYC tabloids seem to be passing on smears from sources in the Turner campaign and New York City Democratic consultants who seem hellbent on losing.

Why would Democrats - and especially liberal Netroots activists and their friendly reporters from JournoList - want to lose? A few reasons.

Due to the last census, NY-9 will most likely be eliminated in two years and it will be easier for senior Democrats to jettison a Republican neophyte than a potential party rival. Even the Turner-endorsing NY Daily News reported that "[a] win by GOPer Bob Turner in the traditionally Democratic Brooklyn-Queens district...would just about guarantee the seat was rubbed out by state legislators as part of the mandated census redistricting."

Also, if Turner wins it could help wake up local Democrats, and drum support for GOTV - Get Out The Vote - and fundraising events for Obama's 2012 reelection campaign since "gay marriage" is a great wedge issue for activists to exploit.

The fact that Weprin was chosen even though he doesn't live inside the district, his ineffective online presence - Weprin isn't using Twitter and his website won't win any awards - and his mostly quiet reaction to the drummed up Irene controversy are just a few reasons that suggest his possible acquiescence in the charade.

Also, while left-leaning media outlets such as The Huffington Post make waves about how Turner "put Rush Limbaugh on television" no one notes Netroots ties to his other TV production: The Jerry Springer show.

As the Ohio Voter blog noted in 2005 via the Columbus Dispatch, "With all the discussion lately on Kosgate and Kos being paid by the Dean campaign, this nugget was casually dropped in an editorial entitled Springer's blog gives him edge in the new world of politics by Michael Meckler in the Columbus Dispatch today."

What Dean managed to accomplish was not lost on Springer, whose longtime friend and political consultant Mike Ford worked on Dean’s campaign. Springer hired two of the masterminds behind Dean’s Internet strategy, Jerome Armstrong and Markos Moulitsas, to devise his site. Moulitsas is extremely well-known in the blogosphere — the worldwide community of bloggers — for his own Web log, The Daily Kos, which averages more than 250,000 visits each day.

The Ohio Voter blog added,

A search of the Kos's site reveals no discloser that he is being paid by Springer. Clearly this is one of those "other clients" that he is "helping win elections." There is also no indication of whether Kos was paid a one time fee for "technical consulting" or whether he continues to be on Springer's payroll.

The next question, of course is what is meant by "what Dean managed to accomplish was not lost on Springer?"

What does Springer expect to get from Kos in return for his consulting? And what impact has that had on Kos's coverage of Springer to date, and in the future, as he considers a campaign for Ohio's governor.

The New York Daily News endorsed Republican Bob Turner in the NY-9 race, and have published many suspect, one-sided stories that probably should be investigated by federal election authorities, including their Weprin "flub" exclusive.

Even though Irene turned into a tropical storm by the time it hit New York City two weekends ago, there were still parts of Queens affected by massive flooding, trees blocking roads, and countless other related issues, yet the New York media and liberal blogosphere ran with a ridiculous story that Weprin ducked a debate because he flubbed a question and was running scared. If it was the last scheduled debate then the smear story might have made sense, but it wasn't.

Normally, one would expect one side to attack the other for using a hurricane/tropical storm to smear a candidate, but instead the legend was accepted as truth.

The New York Daily News has led the charge practically since day one of Weinergate. Instead of doing a real story on the Seattle college student who was sent the infamous underwear tweet, the paper ran a press release the journalism major issued as an article bearing her byline. A story that accompanied the press release claimed that she was interviewed, but only one sentence contained new information.

On August 25, The New York Daily News posted the article "Democrat David Weprin and GOPer Bob Turner show little knowledge of district facts" online. Mysteriously, the article has a 8/27 date listed for publication but the first comments were left on the 25th and that date is in the html code. The article discussed how after being "[g]rilled by the Daily News Editorial board this week about the ins-and-outs of the Queens-Brooklyn district, both [candidates] bombed."

That story didn't attract much attention, but a question directed at Weprin "soon after" that grilling pretty much dominated all post-Irene coverage in New York City after the weekend, even though it should have been reported days earlier.

The New York Daily News waited until Sunday, August 28 to report their exclusive that the Democratic congressional candidate had made an enormous - almost unforgivable - flub.

And instead of publishing it in a proper article, the tabloid ran it as an editorial:

Soon after, the following exchange took place:

Daily News: "Right now, how big is the debt?"

Weprin: (Pause) "Trillions."

News: "But how many?"

Weprin: (Deer in headlights look.) "I got caught up on this once before," referring to his inability while running unsuccessfully for city controller in 2009 to state that office's budget.

News: "This is central to what is going on in Washington."

Weprin: "About 4 trillion."

News: "Four trillion is the debt?"

Weprin: "Right."

Well, he was off only by a $10 trillion order of magnitude. As has been reported far, wide and ad nauseam, the U.S. is burdened by a debt of roughly $14 trillion.

If Turner made any flubs "soon after" the grilling, the paper didn't quote him on it.

When the article was published, Irene was still a hurricane and subway and bus transportation was canceled for the first time ever in New York City and hundreds of thousands of people were warned by Mayor Bloomberg to evacuate their homes.

New York City was closer to normal by Monday, August 29th, but the New York media instead whipped up a tsunami to replace the hurricane.

The New York Post reported, "Queens civic leaders blasted Democratic congressional candidate David Weprin for blowing off a scheduled debate tonight before the Sept. 13 special election to replace disgraced ex-Rep. Anthony Weiner. Weprin – citing Hurricane Irene — declined the Middle Village debate invitation from the Juniper Civic Association and the Times Newsweekly."

Angry debate sponsors unleashed a storm of criticism at Weprin — dismissing his Irene excuse as all wet.

“This is a kick in the head. It’s a slap in the face to the residents of this area. It shows the character of David Weprin,” Juniper president Bob Holden said of the snub.

Maureen Walthers, publisher of the Queens weekly, called Weprin a “coward” and a “worm” for being a no-show.

At The New York Times, Michael Barbaro reported, "David I. Weprin, a Democrat in the State Assembly, pulled out of the event at the last minute, saying that Tropical Storm Irene, which had long since dissipated, had disrupted his schedule. It was an eyebrow-raising explanation, especially given that his Republican opponent, Bob Turner, had been evacuated from his home in the Rockaways during the storm, yet still planned to make the debate."

"Last minute" became a buzzword for the drummed up controversy. The Weprin campaign had actually officially pulled out of the debate earlier that day, before the trains in Manhattan were even on full schedule, but all the media outlets claimed it was a "last minute" pullout.

In fact, the debate organizers admitted to one publication that the Weprin campaign had canceled the night before the debate, but that information went practically unnoticed in the whipped up tsunami, despite my efforts to raise awareness:

WNYC reported,

Apparently the Times Newsweekly called late last night to say Weprin was canceling. When Holden confronted the campaign, he was told “logistics” would keep the assemblyman from attending, partly because campaign staff had “too much going on.”

“When didn’t David call me himself,” Holden asked. He said that, instead of preparing for the hurricane, he’d been working on the details of the debate since last week. “I’m not spending time with my family, doing what I should be doing protecting my house,” he said.

Parts of the district were flooded and allegedly half of Weprin staff couldn't show up the morning after Irene, but no one publicly backed Weprin, who also had to attend to Irene-related issues as an Assemblyman.

And no one in the liberal blogosphere or NYC media probed into Weprin's outspoken critics, who were being characterized as hardcore Democratic supporters who were turning against the party.

Juniper president Robert Holden led rallies to get Weiner to resign in June.

On June 16, the Queens Chronicle reported,

“We certainly at this point feel Anthony Weiner cannot be an effective leader,” JPCA President Bob Holden, a registered Democrat, said through a megaphone Sunday afternoon. “That’s our seat, not his seat. If he wants to get well, and come back in a year and a half and run, let him do that.”

More than 50 people were involved in the demonstration, but not all were demanding Weiner relinquish the leadership of the 9th Congressional District, a position he has held for the last 12 years.

Chants of “Hey! Ho! Weiner must go!” and “Resign today, rehab tomorrow!” were met by messages such as “We support Weiner!” Emotions ran high, and as more people sought to express their opinions, the event became heated at times, replete with face-to-face exchanges and finger-pointing.


Last week, according to a NY1-Marist poll, 56 percent of registered voters in the 9th district did not think Weiner should resign. Approximately one-third believed he should, and 12 percent were unsure.

“That was baloney,” Holden said of the poll numbers. “I haven’t run into one person who supports him. Weiner, resign now; you’ve disgraced the office.”

At her Daily Politics blog at the New York Daily News, Celeste Katz reported, "Bob Holden, head of the Association -- which has 1,750 paying member families -- says he's "beyond angry" that Weprin pulled out at the last minute: 'All the work we did -- Weprin certainly lost my vote. I'm a prime Democratic voter, [but] if that's the kind of elected official he would be, we don't want any part of him.'"

However, Bob Holden has a blog called Queens Crap and it only linked to anti-Weprin articles before the debate, so it's doubtful that he had just changed his vote that weekend.

The New York Times linked to an article on the group's website which carried the headline "Juniper Weprin to Middle Village, Maspeth, Glendale & Ridgewood – DROP DEAD!" on the same weekend people actually were killed by Irene. New York Times reporter Barbero didn't even note that the attack didn't mention Weprin's excuse or Irene at all, although I tweeted him about that information.

"Weprin canceled with weak excuses of pre-arranged dates conflicting with August 29th" the Juniper website falsely claimed, when the campaign offically said "the weekend weather had forced him to push back several crucial meetings that would have to be held on Monday night."

In 2005, the Juniper Park website completely eviscerated Rep. Weiner as "despicable", "not to be trusted" and "untrustworthy": link.

Even though she hasn't ever really focused on politics, longtime Queens publisher Maureen Walthers took some sharp jabs at Weprin over the storm "no-show". In 2008, the New York Times reported that Walthers attended a farewell party for Republican State Senator Serphin R. Maltese, whose loss "tipped the State Senate to the Democrats for the first time since 1965, setting the stage for a major realignment in state politics."

Maureen E. Walthers, editor of the Ridgewood Times Newsweekly, called Mr. Maltese a master of “bringing home the bacon.” He secured money for dozens of schools and groups. He sponsored bills to address bread-and-butter issues like the scattering of menus on lawns and organized graffiti cleanups.

To the delight of his supporters at the Mario Lanza Sons of Italy lodge, he even helped push through a state law making Columbus Day an official holiday. And no community meeting was too small for him; his picture was in the paper so often, Ms. Walthers said jokingly, that she had considered renaming it The Maltese Times.

“If there are three people in a room, he’s one of them,” said the paper’s managing editor, Bill Mitchell. All that translated into votes.

The New York Daily News waited three days - until a hurricane reached New York City - to report the Weprin flub but no one is questioning why.

On August 31, a New York Daily News editorial took credit for the "no-show."

Hmmmm. On Sunday, the Daily News reports that appearing before the paper's Editorial Board, Democratic congressional candidate David Weprin had underestimated the size of the national debt by, oh, $10 trillion.

Hmmmm. On Monday night, Weprin bugs out of debating his Republican rival, Bob Turner, in front of a Queens civic group where his $10 trillion deficit of knowledge was surely to be front and center.

Cause and effect?

You make the call.

The connection seems obvious, not least because Weprin offered the most preposterous excuse for canceling the appearance since the first child told a teacher that a dog ate his homework.

The next line - "Weprin asked the debate sponsors to believe that Hurricane Irene, long since passed from this region and already petering out in Canada, had made his appearance logistically impossible" - is particularly noteworthy. Weprin canceled at least eight hours before the debate and it's characterized as "last minute" and claiming Irene had "long since passed from this region," is yet another partisan exaggeration of the timeline.

On September 1, in an article co-written by Reuven Blau - one of two orthodox Jews who have ran sketchy stories on Weinergate for the NYC tabloids - the New York Daily News reported that "the Jewish Voice crossed religious lines to endorse Catholic GOP candidate Bob Turner. The small Jewish weekly said it was pushed into Turner's camp by Weprin's Assembly vote in favor of gay marriage - and the need to challenge President Obama's Israel policy."

But the paper ignored the fact that the Jewish Voice is a conservative weekly that wants to do a lot more than just "challenge President Obama's Israel policy." In a Facebook post previewing their anti-Weprin editorial, the group used the headline "DEFEATING OBAMA AT THE POLLS IN 2012: BOB TURNER FOR CONGRESS" adding, "Just contemplating the notion of President Barack Obama at the helm of our country for another term in 2012 causes many of us to recoil in horror for a plethora of good reasons."

The cover story for the latest issue at the time was "GLENN BECK AND THOUSANDS OF SUPPORTERS RALLY IN ISRAEL."

Yet, the New York Daily News claimed that the conservative-leaning Jewish Voice New York was crossing religious lines to endorse Turner.

That same day, the New York Daily News endorsed Turner, noting,

"Appearing before the Daily News Editorial Board, he said he would have voted against the deficit deal that saved America from defaulting. Then he said he'd have voted for the deal if his vote had been necessary for passage. Where he really stands is any voter's guess.

Most famously, in the same Editorial Board session, Weprin proved clueless as to the size of the national debt. He pegged the amount at $4 trillion - a mere $10 trillion less than it actually is."

Perhaps only a media watchdog would quibble about how The New York Daily News alternate between "soon after" and "same Editorial Board session" in editorials about the Weprin flub.

The New York Daily News also seem to be helping the GOP inflate the number of Orthodox Jewish voters in NY-9.

"To the extent that discussion of same-sex marriage has come up in the special election to succeed Anthony Weiner, it has been driven by the notion that it's a losing proposition for Weprin among the district's Orthodox Jews," Azi Paybarah reported for Capital New York on September 2nd.

You never know in a special election, of course. It has been noted that "GOP pollsters have estimated about 100,000 of the district's roughly 300,000 registered voters are Orthodox Jews."

But Jerry Skurnik, a political consultant with a particular expertise in demographic analysis, told me, "100,000 seems way, way too high. Most speculation is that the total Jewish vote is less than one-third [of the district's voters], so how can the Orthodox Jewish vote be one-third?"

Paybarah linked to - but didn't name - a July 12 New York Daily News article written by Celeste Katz which uncritically reported the GOP pollsters' "estimate."

Liberal journalists like Greg Sargent at the Washington Post and Alex Pareene at Salon have pushed propaganda about Weprin instead of doing real reporting. Why? (Read this tweet for one potential reason:!/ronbryn/status/108607112933941249 )

On September 5, I tweeted, "Democrats may lose Weiner seat next week yet in the last 30 days only 2 diaries @DailyKos even mention Weprin in title:"

The strangest non-reported story about NY-9 election has to be that in 2010 when he ran against Weiner, Turner raised $378,000 but against Weprin in a more winnable race, he only reportedly raised $203,000 (see Open Secrets links at & Although, The Hill did report in August, "The National Republican Congressional Committee has given Turner a five-figure sum in the race, although it has not disclosed whether that is $10,000 or closer to $100,000."

Since Turner spent $204,000 of his own money against Weiner in 2010, why is he only reportedly spending less than 1/3rd in a tighter race: $65,500?

by Ron Brynaert

(See my twitter account at for much more on this race...including tweets about Democratic consultant Hank Sheinkopf who consulted for David Weprin MANY TIMES in the past, but is practically bashing him now. A few weeks before the Weiner underwear tweet, the New York Post reported Sheinkopf might go to work for Weiner, but he ended up calling for him to resign instead.

Sheinkopf will be the subject of a future article; he seems to have a history of planting stories in the press about working for campaigns that he never officially joins.

I'll update this article with more highlights over the next few days.

Disclosure: I live just outside NY-9, but as I tweeted the other day, I didn't like Weiner, I sure don't like Turner, and Weprin is probably the worst candidate since he's another party hack in an incestuous Democratic machine. Also, although I think voting is an important duty and responsibility I stopped voting after I became Executive Editor at because I feel like it robs me of my objectivity as a journalist. I'm no longer at Raw Story - and would have voted this year - but then Weinergate came along...)