August 15, 2005


Durbin offered proof of column (Charles Hurt, 8/15/05, THE WASHINGTON TIMES)

A law professor who used Senate Minority Whip Richard J. Durbin as a source for a column last month about federal Judge John G. Roberts Jr. -- a column that Mr. Durbin later disputed -- has a taped phone message that he says proves the accuracy of his reporting. [...]

"I don't know who was his source," Joe Shoemaker, Mr. Durbin's spokesman, said the day the column ran. "Whoever the source was either got it wrong or Jonathan Turley got it wrong."

After Mr. Turley named Mr. Durbin as his source and Mr. Shoemaker as the second, confirming source, Mr. Durbin's office acknowledged Mr. Durbin's involvement. But still, the Durbin office maintained that Mr. Turley had gotten his facts wrong even though he was taking notes as the senator spoke.

In an Aug. 4 letter to Mr. Durbin, Mr. Turley laid out his detailed recollection of the situation and quoted extensively from a taped telephone message from Mr. Shoemaker.

"While speculation continues as to what was said in your meeting, I wanted to establish that everything said in my article was taken directly from my notes, confirmed by your staff, and never questioned on any point on accuracy," Mr. Turley wrote. "I stayed out of this controversy for over two weeks as your staff has insisted that the account was inaccurate. However, it is grossly unfair to present this matter as an error on our part when we specifically confirmed the account with your staff and never heard a single objection on accuracy until the story ran."

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 15, 2005 7:37 AM

Politicians are such slime.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at August 15, 2005 9:06 AM

Patty Murray should be overjoyed that her title of "Dumbest Senator" is about to be transfered to Durbin.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at August 15, 2005 10:52 AM

I am pretty sure that Barbara Boxer-Shorts is dumbest of them all. Ted Kennedy doesn't count as a stuffed animal is not in the competition.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at August 15, 2005 3:36 PM

First Theory of Political Stupidity: The less contested a political district is (or, to put it another way, the "more safe" it is) the more likely its representatives will be dumb. The easiest explanation for this: if a politician wins every race by, say, a 65% vote or better, chances are good that none of his statements will be much challenged (by public OR press), and thus the savvy needed by all politicians is underdeveloped in such people. The only thing that makes a Maxine Waters or a B-1 Bob possible is a populace willing to elect them.

Posted by: John Barrett Jr. at August 15, 2005 4:22 PM