Did the New York Times spike a “game-changing” story about The One?

Yesterday, conservative talk radio hosts and bloggers vigorously discussed a story published by Philadelphia’s Bulletin newspaper entitled “‘New York Times’ Spiked Obama Donor Story“:

A lawyer involved with legal action against Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN) told a House Judiciary subcommittee on March 19 The New York Times had killed a story in October that would have shown a close link between ACORN, Project Vote and the Obama campaign because it would have been a “a game changer.”

Heather Heidelbaugh, who represented the Pennsylvania Republican State Committee in the lawsuit against the group, recounted for the ommittee what she had been told by a former ACORN worker who had worked in the group’s Washington, D.C. office. The former worker, Anita Moncrief, told Ms. Heidelbaugh last October, during the state committee’s litigation against ACORN, she had been a “confidential informant for several months to The New York Times reporter, Stephanie Strom.”

Ms. Moncrief had been providing Ms. Strom with information about ACORN’s election activities. Ms. Strom had written several stories based on information Ms. Moncrief had given her.

During her testimony, Ms. Heidelbaugh said Ms. Moncrief had told her The New York Times articles stopped when she revealed that the Obama presidential campaign had sent its maxed-out donor list to ACORN’s Washington, D.C. office.

Ms. Moncrief told Ms. Heidelbaugh the campaign had asked her and her boss to “reach out to the maxed-out donors and solicit donations from them for Get Out the Vote efforts to be run by ACORN.”

Ms. Heidelbaugh then told the congressional panel:

“Upon learning this information and receiving the list of donors from the Obama campaign, Ms. Strom reported to Ms. Moncrief that her editors at The New York Times wanted her to kill the story because, and I quote, “it was a game changer.”‘

A little Googling turned up the fact that this was not a “new” story; it had been reported a week and a half earlier, as part of the coverage of Ms. Heidelbaugh’s sordid testimony before the House Judiciary Committee. As you may recall, after Ms. Heidelbaugh testified, Rep. John Conyers stated that the Committee should further investigate the allegations that had been leveled against ACORN.

It’s not hard to understand why this detail was overlooked previously. Ms. Heidelbaugh’s testimony contained so many damning points that prioritizing them would be difficult. Included in her testimony was, among other things, the incredible allegation that over half of the voter registrations gathered by ACORN were probably fraudulent, since ACORN was satisfied with only a 40% accuracy level in the voter registration paperwork turned in by its volunteers.

And remember, ACORN has been tapped by the Obama White House to assist with the 2010 census, which it boldly wrestled away from the Commerce Department and now directly controls.

None of this looks good for The Grey Lady, whose editorial staff would have unquestionably rushed into print any story that could have potentially damaged John McCain or any other Republican candidate. Captain Ed Morrissey says:

The Times may claim that they didn’t have enough corroboration to run the story. That didn’t stop them from running a despicable hit piece on John McCain alleging a sexual affair between the Senator and a lobbyist, one which they eventually had to retract after getting sued by Vicki Iseman. They sent reporters to Wasilla to dig up dirt on Sarah Palin, but somehow neglected to cover her exoneration on ethics charges, as The Bulletin notes.

They also had reporters trying to dig up dirt on Cindy McCain by using Facebook to contact friends of the McCain’s teenage daughter Bridgette. But apparently allegations of blatant election law violations by the Obama campaign and ACORN were too dangerous to report.

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