Tom DeLay Spokesperson Says Lie Was
“Effort to be Instantaneous”
Along the same lines of Scott’s post at Media Orchard last week about the media being duped into reporting on information based on a hoax press release. It has happened again.
But this time, the press release wasn’t a hoax, just the information in it.
Apparently, Kevin Madden, who is serving as Tom DeLay’s (R-Texas) spokesperson sent out an e-mail with the following information:
“FYI-Breaking news out of Austin, TX. The state Court of Criminal Appeals has agreed to hear Mr. DeLay's habeas motion that was filed at the end of last week. The court has set a one-week deadline for briefs to be filed by the parties involved. The court could essentially decide to end Ronnie Earle's prosecution after hearing this motion and the facts presented.”
Everyone, including the San Antonio Express News (EN), picked up the AP wire report and ran with it. Problem was that it wasn’t true. In fact, the court had agreed to hear the money-laundering charges, but not his criminal appeal.
Yesterday, the EN ran a correction.
Madden apologized and made this unbelieveable quote:
“In an effort to be instantaneous, I wasn't precise. … My understanding (of the decision) was correct. The way I relayed it wasn't,” he said.
Isn’t that called a lie?
As much as this chafes me as a PR practitioner that struggles to defend the profession, I can’t imagine that Madden actually did this on purpose. I mean, the facts are easily verifiable by simply calling the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. Still, his apology is as much a mistake as the original goof.
Since the e-mail was sent after hours, the AP obviously decided to publish without doing their homework either.
Shame on everyone.