Monday, February 25, 2008

Suprised by This? Update on the Don Siegelman Case

Posted by Warren Street at 2/25/2008 10:14:00 AM

From Think Progress:

60 Minutes Report On Rove’s Dirty Politics Blocked In Parts Of Alabama

Last night, CBS’s 60 Minutes aired its long-awaited report on Alabama’s incarcerated former governor Don Siegelman, featuring allegations that Karl Rove personally told a Republican operative in the state to find evidence that Siegelman was cheating on his wife.

Siegelman, a Democrat, was convicted in 2006 for conspiracy, bribery and fraud. But observers from all sides of the political spectrum are now questioning whether his prosecution “was pursued not because of a crime but because of politics.”

Though the report aired last night, it was not seen by everyone who may have wished to view it. In several Alabama locations, “the show was blocked - black screen - during the Siegelman segment of 60 Minutes only.” Harper’s Scott Horton, who has investigated the Siegelman prosecution and was interviewed for the segment, reports:

I am now hearing from readers all across Northern Alabama–from Decatur to Huntsville and considerably on down–that a mysterious “service interruption” blocked the broadcast of only the Siegelman segment of 60 Minutes this evening. The broadcaster is Channel 19 WHNT, which serves Northern Alabama and Southern Tennessee.

WHNT originally claimed last night that the blocked segment was due to “a techincal(sic) problem with CBS out of New York.” But that claim was contradicted by CBS in New York, who told Horton, that “there is no delicate way to put this: the WHNT claim is not true. There were no transmission difficulties. The problems were peculiar to Channel 19.”

WHNT now has a different explanation on its website:

NewsChannel 19 lost our program feed from CBS. Upon investigation, WHNT has learned that the CBS receiver that allows us to receive programming from CBS failed. WHNT engineers responded as quickly as possible to restore the feed at 6:12 p.m.

WHNT says it “will re-air the broadcast of that segment.”


Man, the corruption is so blatant in this country, they don't even try to disguise it or hide it. What's funny is that, as far as I can tell, WHNT is owned by Local TV LLC, and the CEO is a man named Bobby Lawrence.

Now, why is that relevant? Let's have a look at what Robert Lawrence has given to politicans:

LAWRENCE, ROBERT
CINCINNATI,OH 45243
3/29/2006
$1,000
Chabot, Steve

LAWRENCE, ROBERT
CINCINNATI,OH 45243
SELF-EMPLOYED/BROADCASTER
1/26/2004
$1,000
Portman, Rob

LAWRENCE, ROBERT
CINCINNATI,OH 45243
JACOR COMMUNICATIONS/CO-CHIEF OPERA
1/14/2002
$1,000
Portman, Rob

LAWRENCE, ROBERT
CINCINNATI,OH 45243
JACOR COMMUNICATIONS
5/29/1996
$1,000
Pressler, Larry

LAWRENCE, ROBERT L
CINCINNATI,OH 45243
8/31/2000
$7,000
Republican National Cmte

LAWRENCE, ROBERT L
CINCINNATI,OH 45243
LOCAL TV/CEO
12/21/2007
$1,000
Black, Stephen L [Democrat, running against Jean Schmidt in Ohio]

LAWRENCE, ROBERT L
CINCINNATI,OH 45243
LACOR
6/22/1993
$300
Portman, Rob

LAWRENCE, ROBERT L MR
CINCINNATI,OH 45243
JACOR COMMUNICATIONS/CO-CHIEF OPERA
6/23/2003
$2,000
Bush, George W

LAWRENCE, ROBERT L MR
CINCINNATI,OH 45243
KEATING MUETHING KLEKAMP/ATTORNEY
3/27/2007
$1,000
Romney, Mitt

LAWRENCE, ROBERT L MR
CINCINNATI,OH 45243
INFO REQUESTED
9/3/1999
$1,000
Quayle, Dan

LAWRENCE, ROBERT L MR
CINCINNATI,OH 45243
LACOR
3/5/1993
$500
Portman, Rob


So the CEO of the company that owns WHNT is a big-time donor to Republicans, and his station goes black when it runs a story about corruption carried out by the Republican Party?

What a coinkydink...

UPDATE I

Rove comments on what's going on:

[f]ormer White House political adviser Karl Rove denied allegations made by a former GOP operative on CBS’s 60 Minutes last night that he personally told her to find evidence that former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman (D) was cheating on his wife. Asked if CBS called him for comment, Rove said that he had spoken to them five months ago, but that they didn’t call him for comment when they decided to air the report.


At some point, denying things just doesn't get the job done. We've seen a lot of comments from the good people of Alabama who just aren't going to put up with this kind of thing, and I think it's important to remember that, in all parts of this country, there are bloggers and commenters who work long hours, trying to stay informed and to inform people as to what the issues are, and I'm glad they could come here and weigh in on the matter.