ON-LINE EDITORIAL IMPUGNS INVESTIGATION STORY
by John Charlton
(Sept. 19, 2009) — The oldest newspaper in Keene, NH, The Sentinel, has disputed the story in The Post & Email regarding Rappaport’s request for an investigation of election fraud in 2008.
The Sentinel, which claims to be “one of the oldest news organizations in the country”, “founded by 21-year-old John Prentiss in March, 1799”, makes this charge in an on-line editorial, by Shira Schoenberg. It is not clear at this time, why the charge is made in an editorial, if it is based on factual evidence.
However, the Editorial is notable for its inconsistencies.
1) It seems to imply that Rappaport requested an investigation of “President Obama’s birth status.” But in communications with The Post & Email, Rappaport made no such claim. What Rappaport did claim, is that he requested an investigation of election fraud. Schoenberg admits this in her piece, even though she seems to miss the fine point.
2) It then cites an anonymous phone call, regarding a request dealing with “investigating Obama”, to which Gardner replies in the negative. But Rappaport never requested such an all encompassing investigation, nor does the NH Secretary of State Office (SOS) have such authority. Nor did Rappaport claim the NH SOS was undertaking such.
However the editorial does report that Gardner’s office claims to receive inquiries regarding questions, similar to those sent to Gardner’s office by The Post & Email, to which Gardner did not respond.
The dates in this story seem to explain Schoenberg’s take: The Post & Email reported the story on Saturday, Sept. 12th, by Wednesday the 16th, The Post & Email was reporting that Gardner refered the complaint to the NH Attorney General on Tuesday, Sept. 15th. Schoenberg writes on Sept. 16th, when the NH SOS had already determined he could not undertake an investigation; and thus is denying such responses, which responses, according to the Sentinel came in only on Tuesday, Sept. 15th.
However, the import of The Sentinel Source on-line editorial is to set up a situation where the reader is lead to believe that either Rappaport or Gardner lied; either the former to The Post & Email, or the latter to Rappaport or to the Sentinel.
At this time, The Post & Email is awaiting comment by Gardner and Rappaport on this view of their discussion published on-line by the Sentinel.