During a washingtonpost.com discussion, when John Solomon was asked why a recent article he co-wrote on fundraisers did not mention Alan B. Fabian -- Mitt Romney's recently indicted former national finance co-chairman -- he did not mention Fabian but claimed that the article included a passage on Robert Lichfield, another Romney fundraiser facing several lawsuits, but that "it was edited out," adding that this "sometimes happens ... to make room for late-breaking news."
During his September 5 washingtonpost.com "Post Politics" discussion, Washington Post money and politics reporter John Solomon was asked why a September 3 Post article he co-wrote with staff writer Matthew Mosk -- which discussed "a growing number of fundraisers in the 2008 presidential campaign whose backgrounds have prompted questions" -- did not mention that "[Republican presidential candidate] Mitt Romney's national finance co-chairman, Alan B. Fabian, recently was indicted on 23 counts of money laundering, fraud, perjury, and obstruction of justice, among other crimes." The version of the article published by the Post mentioned only scandals involving supporters of Democratic candidates. Solomon responded by claiming that "my colleague Matt Mosk and I reported on the Romney matter." But rather than discuss Fabian, Solomon proceeded to claim that they had included a paragraph about another Romney fundraiser in their draft of the article: "Likewise, Republican Mitt Romney faced questions about one of his Utah finance chairmen, Robert Lichfield, because of lawsuits he is facing alleging abusive treatment at boarding schools he founded to handle troubled youths." Solomon added: "Unfortunately, it was edited out. That sometimes happen when stories get trimmed to make room for late-breaking news."
Solomon did not specify what late-breaking news caused the 33-word passage's deletion from an article totaling 1,364 words as published, nor did he indicate which editor excised it.
While Solomon did not discuss Fabian in his response, washingtonpost.com provided a link to an August 14 "Annapolis Notebook" brief by Post staff writer John Wagner, who reported that Fabian "was a leading fundraiser for former [Maryland] lieutenant governor [and 2006 Senate candidate] Michael S. Steele (R)" and "has also been a prolific donor to Republicans nationally," but did not note Fabian's ties to Romney. Indeed, a Media Matters for America search of the Nexis database for "Mitt Romney" and "Alan Fabian" or "Alan B. Fabian" found no articles published in the Post mentioning the two in the same story. Moreover, a Nexis search for "Alan Fabian" or "Alan B. Fabian" and either "Mosk" or "Solomon" also yielded zero results.
As Media Matters has noted, several networks have devoted extensive coverage to Norman Hsu, who The Wall Street Journal suggested may have funneled illegal campaign contributions to Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY), while ignoring Fabian's indictment and connection to Romney. Fabian resigned from Romney's finance committee shortly after he was indicted, and the Romney campaign said it would return his $2,300 contribution, but not, however, "contributions from donors who were recruited by or have ties to Fabian," according to The Boston Globe.
From Solomon's September 5 "Post Politics" discussion:
Washington: Your front-page article on Monday detailed scandal-plagued financial supporters of three Democrats -- Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards. But you made no mention of any controversy involving a Republican candidate. Why not? One example that would have fit quite well: Mitt Romney's national finance co-chairman, Alan Fabian, recently was indicted on 23 counts of money laundering, fraud, perjury, and obstruction of justice, among other crimes. The Washington Post has yet to report a single word about this. Why not?
washingtonpost.com: When Controversy Follows Cash: Some Fundraisers With Legal Issues Slip Through Campaigns' Vetting (Post, Sept. 3)
washingtonpost.com: Democrats Denounce Indicted Executive's Fundraising Efforts for GOP (Post, Aug. 14)
John Solomon: Actually, my colleague Matt Mosk and I reported on the Romney matter and included the following passage in our draft of the Monday story. "Likewise, Republican Mitt Romney faced questions about one of his Utah finance chairmen, Robert Lichfield, because of lawsuits he is facing alleging abusive treatment at boarding schools he founded to handle troubled youths." Unfortunately, it was edited out. That sometimes happen when stories get trimmed to make room for late-breaking news. But if you have any doubts about the Post's commitment to vet and examine leaders of both political parties, you only need to examine the front pages of the last few weeks that have included stories by myself and my colleagues exposing Karl Rove's "asset deployment team," the role of Dick Cheney's chief lawyer in pressing anti-terrorism policies that troubled some in government and our extensive coverage of the attorney general and Larry Craig controversies.