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Posts Tagged ‘Robert Menendez’

ABC News Praised for Restraint in Menendez Prostitution Reporting

On “Good Morning America” today, Brian Ross explained why the network held off for months in reporting the sex allegations against New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez even as as other news outlets went ahead with the sordid details.

Ross reports Menendez “appears to be the victim of a very dirty trick” after one woman in the Dominican Republic now says she was paid to make up a story that she’d had sex with the Senator. Ross’ story this morning showed Skype interviews done with that woman and two others, months ago. Ross and his producer Rhonda Schwartz wrote on ABCNews.com Tuesday:

Last fall, Republican operatives, who insisted on anonymity, helped arrange the woman’s appearance, along with two additional women, in back-to-back, on-line interviews with ABC News and a conservative news website, the Daily Caller. ABC News did not broadcast or initially report on the claims because of doubts about the women’s veracity and identity.

Both the Columbia Journalism Review and the Washington Post are heaping praise on ABC for their restraint. From Erik Wemple‘s blog:

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Univision Asks Sen. Menendez About ‘Daily Caller’ Reports of Sex Parties: ‘Those Are Lies Intended to Slander Me’

Univison reporter Lourdes Meluzá got a sit-down interview with embattled New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez yesterday.

Menendez is accused of using his influence in a business deal in the Dominican Republic that benefited a longtime friend and donor whose Palm Beach County office was raided by federal agents in January.

More salaciously, the Daily Caller has been reporting on Menendez’s other alleged activities during trips to the Domincan Republic. And so, toward the end of the three-minute interview (more of which will air on Al Punto on Sunday) Meluzá asked Menendez about it. The original interview was in Spanish. This is Univision’s English translation:

Meluzá: Please, Senator, briefly, if you could state, on camera, your position regarding the accusations made by The Daily Caller and others that say that you went to the Dominican Republic and attended parties at Casa de Campo where prostitutes were present, minors, even. Could you reiterate your position and respond to this, please?

Menendez: This is the last time I’ll do this, the last time I do it. Because it’s gotten to a level where the press, the legitimate press, not the leftist or the right wing press, from the left, from the right or the left, where anonymous faceless and nameless people can make an accusation and the press will ask you this question. I could say something about you and say, “Hey, they’re saying this or that anonymously.” Those are lies intended to slander me, and they’re completely… not only absurd, but completely false.