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A letter to Carl Limbacher re: U2 and Rick Santorum

The following letter was e-mailed to NewsMax's Carl Limbacher on Oct. 21:

Dear Mr. Limbacher:

On Oct. 17, NewsMax printed an article under the "Carl Limbacher and Staff" byline responding to a New York Times report noting that NewsMax was incorrect in claiming that a U2 concert in Philadelphia was for the benefit of Sen. Rick Santorum's re-election campaign. You wrote: "But here's the rub: NewsMax had never claimed that U2 or Bono were holding their concert for Santorum – though several liberal blogs claimed as much. Apparently, the New York Times has bought into the NewsMax-Santorum-Bono conspiracy theory."

That is false. As you must know, NewsMax did indeed run an article on Oct. 10, also under the "Carl Limbacher and Staff" byline, claiming that the U2 concert was for Santorum's benefit:

Teaming up with the legendary rock group U2 for a one-night only appearance will be Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Penn.).

The thousand-dollar-a-seat concert has been put together by Sean and Ana Wolfington and will take place at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia in support of Santorum’s re-election, reports NewsMax's James Hirsen.

As you also must know, that article has been deleted from the NewsMax website -- presumably after the falsehood contained in it was caught by your readers -- and replaced with a more accurate article. But NewsMax has never notified readers of the alteration, let alone apologize for the false information it originally contained, a situation compounded by the false statement in your Oct. 17 article.

If NewsMax is interested in retaining what journalistic credibility it has, it needs to 1) admit it ran originally ran incorrect information on Santorum and U2; and 2) publicly retract and apologize for its false statement that "NewsMax had never claimed that U2 or Bono were holding their concert for Santorum."

Mr. Limbacher, you recently attacked The New York Times for allegedly "fabricating news," for which the Times did eventually a correction. Will you follow your own advice, and the Times' example, and issue a correction and apology for your own fabrication?


Terry Krepel
Editor, ConWebWatch

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Posted 10/21/2005

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