AP Helped Webb Win

Matt Lewis
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Posted: Feb 23, 2007 12:35 PM

Let me get this straight.  The AP possibly cost the GOP control of the Senate, and now they are admitting they made a mistake?

"So where does George Allen go to get his reputation back, never mind his job in the Senate?

A month before last year's election, in which Allen was narrowly unseated by Jim Webb, The Associated Press reported that Allen had failed to disclose stock options he earned while serving as a director of Commonwealth Biotechnologies Inc.

The AP also hinted at wrongdoing because the Richmond-based company had done business with the state while Allen was governor. He served on the company's board between his departure as governor and his election to the Senate.

The story seemed sketchy at the time. Allen had reported the options in a 2000 filing and stopped doing so in subsequent reports only after Commonwealth Biotechnologies' stock price plunged, making the options worthless and removing any realistic hope that the senator would ever make a penny from them.

"While we continue to believe that we have disclosed more than is required, we will abide by the formal ruling of the [Ethics] Committee," Allen spokesman John Reid told the AP in October.

The charges were used by the Webb campaign and mentioned in scores of subsequent news stories and broadcast reports. The implication was clear: George Allen, macaca man and stock-option cheat.

Yesterday, the AP reported that a bipartisan Senate Ethics Committee has cleared Allen: He was not required to report the options.

Never mind.

Allen created many problems for himself in last year's campaign. Option-gate was not one of them. It was a manufactured media hit piece, one that may have cost Allen the election -- and Republicans control of the U.S. Senate.

Kudos to the AP for correcting its earlier story. It comes a little late, though."

(Yeah, kudos to the AP for correcting this after Allen lost).

I think they owe Allen a big apology.  The AP (and especially reporter John Solomon) have egg on their face ...