On Thursday evening ex-Politico White House Correspondent but still Politico employee Joe Williams finally responded to news that he pled guilty of second degree assault in May against his ex-wife, author Amy Alexander, and is now on probation until late November. We didn’t want to ruin his lies with facts in the moment, as it’s fair to let anyone have his say. But now we’re going to clear up the facts with a good, old-fashioned game of True or False.
1. “On Wednesday a conservative web site published a one-sided account of a dispute between me and my ex-wife, Amy Alexander — an incident that has nothing to do with my journalism career or work with and departure from Politico.” False. As much as Williams would like to lump FishbowlDC in with Breitbart.com and The Daily Caller as a “conservative website” to paint himself as a victim of the right, we are a media site that covers all political persuasions. What’s more, Williams thought we were Free Beacon, which he claimed initially broke the story. For a longtime member of the media to not get the difference between FBDC and Free Beacon means he’s out of touch.
2. “The facts: Amy Alexander, my ex-wife, confronted me in February when I came to pick up our autistic son for a therapy appointment. My wife accosted me in front of him and I defended myself. In retaliation to my protective order against her, she wrongfully filed charges against me — several days after the incident. In the best interest of my children, and Amy, I chose to avoid an acrimonious, embarrassing trial.” True or False, who knows? We’ll give this one to you, Joe, as we have no idea if any of this is true or not. But we do know this: Alexander is 5’7″ and 138 pounds. You are a 6′, 200 pound former football player. The Silver Spring District Court documents report that you pled guilty to second degree assault. We’re going to go ahead and assume that the Silver Spring District Court is not part of a vast right-wing conspiracy. What’s more, wow, we had no idea that Chris Brown and Rihanna had moved to Washington!
3. “…the right-wing noise machine decided to add fuel to the fire by publishing half truths taken out of context.” False. Joe, we reported the facts based on the court docs. And once again, we’re not part of this “right-wing noise machine” defense that you’ve created for yourself.
4. “I was with my children when the FishbowlDC reporter called me; I gave her the personal cell number of my lawyer, Shawn Bartley, and urged her to talk to him. Instead, she went through the motions, leaving a message on his office phone even though it was July 4. The story ran without waiting to hear from him, or without calling me back – a step most responsible journalists would have taken.” True and False. I did call Williams on Wednesday afternoon. I heard him say “son” a few times, indicating he was with a child. The call took several tries to complete as the phone reception was poor and the calls kept getting dropped. Williams did give me Bartley’s cell phone. (True) I called it and the cell would not allow me to leave a message, which is why I looked him up and phoned his office. FBDC waited hours before running the story. If it was important for Bartley to get back to us, which, by the way, he has not given a comment to any reporter who has approached him this week, Williams might have told his lawyer that it was vital for him to do so. And sorry to burst your bubble, Joe, but most reporters, with court docs in hand after contacting all the appropriate players for comment, would run the story. So … False on that assertion.
5. “…the right-wing noise machine will relentlessly bully anyone who publicly disagrees with their narrow world view. With this story, they’ve also crossed the line from questionable reporting into full-blown hack journalism.” False. Yes, conservative publications like Breitbart.com and The Daily Caller have also been covering this story. But no, we’re not part of a “right-wing noise machine” who is “bullying” you. You’re painting yourself as a victim, and you know what? Didn’t work for Hillary Clinton either. There was no “questionable reporting” here and we suggest if you think so that you and your incommunicado lawyer take it up with the Silver Spring District Court.