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Sunday, January 21, 2007
NewsBusters Spin Stark
Topic: NewsBusters

Tim Graham isn't the only NewsBusters post that can't get past George Allen's loss of his Virginia Senate seat. Its posters are now taken to spinning an incident during that campaign in order to attack an Allen critic.

Mike Stark is an activist blogger who, a few weeks before the November election, tried to confront Allen over rumors of alleged spousal abuse; in doing so, Allen staffers roughly wrestled Stark to the ground. But NewsBusters posters have taken to telling their own version of the story.

In a Jan. 15 post, Noel Sheppard described Stark as "the blogger that pushed a George Allen supporter at a campaign event in late October ... and ended up getting wrestled to the ground as a result." In support of that, Sheppard linked to a YouTube video of a series of photos purportedly showing Stark "shov[ing] an Allen supporter, then asking at one point, "Is he trying to spit?" Sheppard mentions nothing about the circumstances surrounding the incident.

Slantie winner Dan Riehl takes it even farther in a Jan. 20 post, claiming that Stark "physically assaulted a campaign worker only to ask Allen if he had 'spit on his wife,' " linking again to a series of photos purporting to show the "assault" and not noting the context in which Stark asked his question.

Neither Riehl nor Sheppard offer any evidence beyond those photos -- which prove nothing in and of themselves -- that Stark maliciously did anything physical or was trying to do anything more than get past an Allen campaign worker. Further, the newspaper that shot those photos, the Fredricksburg, Va., Free Lance-Star, reported of particlar segment of the incident that "Stark pushed toward the senator, [and Allen staffer] Dan Allen pushed back." Nobody claimed at the time that Stark "assaulted" anyone.

But then, consider the source(s) -- Riehl regularly makes false claims, and Sheppard regularly misrepresents issues (his comment came in a post spinning Melanie Morgan's extremist remarks). 


Posted by Terry K. at 11:15 AM EST

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