Not long after TV news outlet KATU ran an inflammatory story about former Rep. Patrick Sheehan filing a complaint with “the FBI” about Cover Oregon, the Oregonian ran what amounted to the same report. It wasn’t until a few days later that reporters from the Associated Press decided to ask Sheehan for his proof (he doesn’t have any) and reveal that he’s working on the gubernatorial campaign of Rep. Dennis Richardson (R-Central Point).
Both of those facts, obviously, greatly damage the credibility of Sheehan and his story. KATU has continued to bury these facts, but at least the Oregonian is, many days later, kind of admitting they screwed up:
From Oregonian reporter Nick Budnick, who wrote the original story:
Obviously, Sheehan’s campaign work would have been good context for readers to know. Alas, Sheehan didn’t mention his campaign affiliation during our interview. That information came from The Associated Press.
Asked why he didn’t mention it, Sheehan says it wasn’t intentional, he just didn’t think of it. He said his recounting the allegation had no connection to his campaign work: he didn’t mention his decision to go public with the allegation to the campaign beforehand, and received no payment in connection with it. The Richardson campaign pays his advertising and website firm $3,500 a month for communications-related work, he said.
For more on this story, check out our Media Watch piece here.