Wednesday, October 11, 2006

AMERICAblog: Why is AP's Solomon after Reid?

John has a great take-down of the AP reporter's latest lame attack: "John Solomon, ace Associated Press reporter (the guy who makes lots of mistakes and then gets $500 from AP rather than a correction), has come out with another hit piece against Harry Reid, conveniently right before the congressional elections.

But this time, it's a different kind of piece. In addition to being factually wrong - we're kind of used to that at this point from AP - this article simply makes no sense.

I have a law degree. And I'm a professional journalist, I've written for the Economist and other serious publications, and am no dummy. And try as I might, I couldn't make heads or tales of the AP story - it's just thick as hell, indecipherable, and doesn't really say anything.

In a nutshell, here's what I was able to translate from the original Latin.

Harry Reid bought some land in the late 90s, and over a several year period tripled his investment. Okay. Most everyone I know, other than me, did the same over that period. Still, AP calls this a 'windfall.' Apparently, the AP has been asleep the past ten years while land prices have soared. Anyway, Harry Reid transferred his land to an LLC, in which he was still a party, and when time came to sell the LLC, they gave Reid his portion of the return on the land and also gave him back the value of his initial investment (i.e., the value of the land itself when he gave it to the LLC).

You still with me?

Now, you'd think perhaps the AP caught Harry Reid not reporting his holdings to the Senate Ethics Committee? No, he did it. How about not reporting the land sale and his profits to the Ethics Committee? No, he did that too. So what did Harry Reid do wrong? He didn't tell the Ethics Committee he transferred the land to an LLC whi he was still a party in - though he did report to the committee that he still owned the land, which was true. Why does that detail matter? Got me. You'll have to read a four page AP story to try to figure that one out.

The other 'I gotcha' from the AP? They didn't like the way Reid paid his property taxes."

By the way, has the AP reported on Georgia's Republican Governor Sonny Perdue signing a bill his friend introduced that retroactively brought him a $100K windfall on some of his property?


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