In a May 19 Observer piece Marcia Young and Amy Rainey wrote:
"a grand jury indicted Lay because of questions about whether he had legal residence""Questions?" "Because of questions?" I think most grand juries hand down indictments "because of" evidence.
In that same article Rainey and Young wrote that McHenry
blamed the indictment on his political enemies.And yes, that is a fair representation of our diminutive Congressman's response. However, if you're going to give space to his allegations of political attacks, I think it's only fair (not to mention a key to responsible and ethical journalism) to mention that the prosecuting district attorney Locke Bell is a Republican who donated $250.00 to McHenry's campaign.
It's not like these reporters didn't know. They covered that information in their May 15 piece (while writer Lisa Zagaroli failed to make that point in her May 13th report.)
The Observer's May 19th article ends with a timeline that has not appeared elsewhere in the press.
A look at Lay's steps during late 2003 and 2004.
December 2003: Lay applies to three law schools, including the University of Tennessee.
February 2004: Lay moves to Cherryville and notifies University of Tennessee of Cherryville address.
March 31, 2004: Law school acceptance sent to his Cherryville address.
April 15, 2004: Lay accepts offer to University of Tennessee law school but says he's still waiting to hear from other schools.
May 31, 2004: Lay registers to vote in Gaston County.
July 20, 2004: Lay votes in the Republican primary in Gaston County.
Aug. 17, 2004: Lay votes in second Republican primary in Gaston County.
Aug. 18, 2004: Fall courses at University of Tennessee begin, according to the school's registrar's office.
Oct. 1, 2004: Lay registers to vote in Knox County, Tenn.
Are we supposed to believe these reporters drove over to the University of Tennessee where they were shown documentation of Lay's address changes and law school application dates and reception of acceptance letters? It seems obvious this is Lay's version of the story. The source of all those details had to be from him or someone close to him. And, gee willie wilkins, there seems to be no attribution.
If Lay or his attorney showed them the original letters and their postmarks, I suppose they can report this information as "fact." But does that mean they don't have to cover the prosecutor's timeline? Or the timeline of publicly available evidence like the McHenry campaign's Federal Elections Commissions reports showing Lay to be receiving campaign payments at a Tennessee address?
[Graphic thanks to DonnieYoung2008]
I've been looking over the Hickory, Gaston, Shelby, Lenoir, and Morganton reports and post later this week on their fairness, impartiality or lack thereof.
And we still have no answer to the question: Why does the CBS Evening News New York office break the news on a Friday of a warrant issued the previous Monday? Why do two New York reporters know more about a Gaston County case than any reporter in North Carolina? Does that make sense to you?