The Politico reports that the Oregonian today printed a police report about a masseuse who accused Al Gore of sexual harassment in 2006. I don’t really care about the story mainly because I don’t know what did or didn’t happen at the massage parlor. But the newspaper The Portland Oregonian admits to having the police report for two years and doing nothing with it.
Portland’s Oregonian today printed a police report echoing a National Enquirer story that a masseuse accused Al Gore of sexual harassment in 2006.
The woman did not wind up pursuing her complaint, for reasons unclear. It’s also worth noting that the Portland Tribune had the story two years ago, and writes that it “chose at that time not to publish a story.”
UPDATE: Portland Tribune executive editor Mark Garber declined to discuss the story in detail, but did shed a bit more light on why his paper had chosen not to run with it, based on what he called “many of the test points that we would normally have to determine whether there was sufficient evidence that something inappropriate had occurred.”
“We weren’t able to meet our own test,” he said.
Can we just compare this treatment to the Oregonian’s treatment of gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley who was accused by a blogger with an assault record of marital infidelity. The blogger offered ZERO proof yet it made national headlines and lead the cable news for a few nights. Where were the “test points” for the Haley story?
For the story about Gore they had a police report. They didn’t have to judge anything. They could simply report the fact that there was a police report. But Nikki Haley didn’t get that. There was no police report. Nothing. But it doesn’t appear they put the Nikki Haley story to “the test.”
Oregon Live (the paper’s website) still show links to these AP headlines about Haley:
“Sex, scandal again in South Carolina political air”
“Haley weathers tryst accusations in SC gov race”
The newspaper also ran a syndicated column snarkily entitled “Palmetto’s Political Passion.”
Nah. There’s no media bias.
I’m not saying that they should or shouldn’t have covered the Al Gore thing. I understand the hesitancy to destroy a man’s career and family based on accusations. But what I’d like to see is a little consistency. The Oregonian doesn’t seem to care as much for Republican careers and families.