Marco Rubio, New York Times, Fabricated Endorsements?

Hey... Trust Me...

Did anyone see the Florida Supreme Court hearing yesterday? The judges kept asking the same question over and over again, are you sure you want either of these guys to be elected? — David Letterman

Politics in Florida helps America laugh. I’m sure it’s no different than Politics anywhere, but our openness and public access laws means that our Political scandals and corruption happen in the Sunshine.

What bothers me most about politics in Florida is when politicians try to either trick or falsely lead the elderly. I remember after the 2000 election, when Florida was ground zero for Political jokes, my grandmother received a phone call about her voting experience. My grandmother, who had voted for Gore, became convinced that she might have been tricked by the butterfly ballot and may have accidentally voted for the wrong candidate.

This angered me. First, the last thing my grandmother needs is stress. My grandmother, who incidentally is amazingly sharp and independent (and 98 years old), is part of “America’s Greatest Generation.” She’s lived through the depression, many wars, economic booms and busts, and political scandals. This is also a generation that likes to vote and have their vote counted. Gore’s campaign making my grandmother worried about her vote sickened me. I had to explain to her how I was certain her vote counted, that she was not tricked by the butterfly ballot, and how now I wish she had voted for someone else — because the butterfly ballot wasn’t even in her county.

But as usual, I digress.

For some reason, I receive a tremendous amount of political mail. Some of them I read, some of them I scan online, and others go directly into the shredder. I feel direct mail political advertisements rarely offers insight into a candidates message — and mostly just tends to feed into fears or hyperbole about an opponent. I still have the “call to grandma” stuck in my brain, so every now and then I read the political advertisements with a “who are they targeting here” kind of mentality. A recent mailing from Marco Rubio received this scrutiny.

Marco Rubio, a native of Miami, served in the Florida House for 8 years. He went to Santa Fe Community College, transferred to the University of Florida for his undergrad, and then received a Law Degree from the University of Miami. Marco Rubio, a republican, is challenging Governor Charlie Crist for a seat in the United States Senate.

I’ve received several mailings about Marco Rubio. A few directly from the Rubio campaign, and one from Mike Huckabee. In March, I received what I’ll call the “New York Times mailing” from the campaign, complete with “I’ve enclosed a must-read New York Times Article… open ASAP” written on the envelope.

The mailing, which I’ve attached, talks consistently about the New York Times article “Analysis; With Election Near, Gov. Crist Changes.” Marco Rubio encourages me to read the article, stating “I’ve enclosed a copy of The New York Times story just to prove it. I hope you take a minute to read it.” The last page of the mailing is a full article, printed underneath  The New York Times logo, and complete with a New York Times copyright.

Here’s the problem: The New York Times has no record of this article ever running in The New York Times. It’s an Associated Press article, not a New York Times article. According to The New York Times, they never ran it.

After reading the article, it just didn’t feel like an article from The New York Times. So, I went online and searched their website for it. Nothing found. I went through archives of the date on the article — nothing found. I reread the mailing and then started to see some items that concerned me…

Marco Rubio says, “Perhaps that’s why on December 12, 2009, The New York Times— traditionally a loyal cheerleader for just about every tax-and-spend politician, especially Republicans — ran a scathing article on Charlie Crist.” That date doesn’t match the date on the printed article. That date, December 7, 2009, does not match the copyright on the article — 2008.

So I checked The New York Times for December 7th (2008 and 2009) and December 12th (2008 and 2009). I simply could not find the article. But I didn’t give up. I called The New York Times and asked to buy a copy of the article. They couldn’t find it. I even emailed them, searching for it, saying I saw it in a political advertisement and just wanted to read it from the source.

I asked them:

  1. Did this article ever run in the New York Times?
  2. If yes, what date did it run?

Their response:

Hi Fred,

No, it does not appear that this article ever ran in The New York Times.

So I called the Marco Rubio campaign and after requesting to speak with a non-intern, talked with Alex Burgos (Communications Director). I asked Mr. Burgos about the article and at first, it seemed that Mr. Bugos thought I was part of another candidate’s campaign. It seemed strange to him that I would be asking about this article.

I was told that the article was part of a mailing put together by the Direct Mail [group] and that they were “pretty good” about fact checking. I told him about the response I received from The New York Times and asked why they would put that in the mailing, and emphasize it heavily, if it weren’t even an article from the The New York Times.

Mr. Bugos told me he would get back to me. So far, the phone hasn’t rang. I’ve left a few messages, but something tells me that there is nothing to say.

I believe that the Rubio campaign fabricated this article to gain support from some of the “northern transplants” living in Florida. The New York Times is a respected newspaper, especially by generations that were living in the North during before retirement. And, if I’m right… if this was just a complete fabrication then Marco Rubio should be removed from the ballot.

Irony aside (he wrote that “the concept I believe in is that you be truthful to the voters and to your principles at all times”), this sickens me. This sickens me as much as the Gore campaign did with a phone call to Grandma. And sadly, I don’t know where to go.

I did like Crist as a Governor. I haven’t been super impressed with him lately, but then again I haven’t been impressed with any politician in a very long time.

There’s a plus if Marco Rubio gets elected. I’ll have very good reason not to believe a single word he says or writes.


More information:

39 Comments

Fred Posner 2010-04-18 Reply

posted a few things on FredPosner.com, including one about Marco Rubio. http://bit.ly/rubioFL

Matt Souden 2010-04-19 Reply

Great post Fred. Awesome investigation and follow-up. You deserve the 15 minutes of internet fame I hope this gets you.

Fred Posner 2010-04-19 Reply

Marco Rubio, New York Times, Fabricated Endorsements? http://bit.ly/rubioFL #rubio

Sharon 2010-04-20 Reply

What a story !!!! You have to get this story into the main line press…. Rubio is not new he is dishonest and the people of Florida need to know

M Byrns 2010-04-20 Reply

Yes please get this info to other media outlets. This needs to be in every newspaper in Florida!!

FG 2010-04-21 Reply

Thank you muchly for your investigative efforts. posted here:
http://www.facebook.com/pages/STOP-JEB-NOW/114481401912866

Nothing personal, but when I went to UF, I got in with a 2.8 HS GPA. Santa Fe was for those with really, really, really bad grades. And this was just a few years before Marco attended.

David Marshall 2010-04-21 Reply

That does not even deleve into the possible indictment over abuse of the GOP credit card. The possible outcome and or effect on the coming Senatorial election may be the last straw for Rubio.

SSAE 16 2010-04-21 Reply

I love it when the Rubio hits keep coming!

Seems like a nice roll out of shit hitting the fan over the last few days as Crist preps his indy bid.

I likes.

Maureen Oberlin 2010-04-21 Reply

I just did a little poking around and it appears the article appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle. It was written by Brendan Farrington for the Associated Press.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2009/12/07/politics/p000111S33.DTL&feed=rss.news

Fred Fnord 2010-04-21 Reply

This may never have run in the NYT, but it doesn’t appear to have been fabricated. It appears to be a real AP article that was distributed on December 7, 2009 and ran on December 7 and 8.

For example:
http://www.theoaklandpress.com/articles/2009/12/08/news/politics/doc4b1e6ef1c2b68327605529.prt
http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/economy/analysis-with-an-election-on-the-way-populist-fla-gov-crist-remakes-himself-x2014-again-78713492.html (different headline, same story)

Google also says that AP has the story on its site, but when I try to visit that URL it is not found.
http://customwire.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_CRIST_CREDIBILITY_ANALYSIS?SITE=TNNPT&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2009-12-07-03-05-18

Most likely, it’s a real AP story but the NYT never ran it. So on the one hand, it’s definitely a lie, but at least they probably didn’t fabricate the story themselves.

-fred

Fred Posner 2010-04-21 Reply

@Fred (great name by the way)…

Yes, it’s an AP article. I posted that part too.

BUT… The New York Times says they did not run this article. There’s no record of this running in The New York Times. The fabrication is they put it on New York Times letterhead and repeatedly attributed it to The New York Times.

Now… why would this be done? My opinion, as I wrote, is that they did this to give the impression that this article was the opinion of The New York Times. If this article never ran in The New York Times, what do we say about the intentional misleading (let alone fabrication) of a fake newspaper article?

If I put a Mercedes logo on a Hyundai and call it a Mercedes… it’s not the truth. It’s worse than a mistake though, because I’m intentionally trying to deceive you.

peter 2010-04-21 Reply

Great work Freddy…Hey did you forward to NYT Legal? They may be interested as to me…it looks like a Trademark infringement (although I am not a patent lawyer…) I think I would also look at the AP getting a copy and the SFC. I would send it to the Sun Sentinal, Tallahassee Democrat, Gov. Crist, Orl Sentinal and hell, even USA Today. Also, how about Bill Mahr and Jon Stewart? You never know….Fat Freddy may get to “say” on TV….

freepatriot 2010-04-21 Reply

rubio has a choice

he can admit he intentionally lied, which would disqualify him ethically

or he can say he made a mistake, which would disqualify him in the intelligence/incompetence department

so which is it, marco ???

are you unfit to hold office because you’re a stinking liar

or are you unfit to hold office because you are too stupid to be trusted by anyone ???

it’s an either-or question

marco rubio, please tell us the reason that you are unfit to hold public office

Patrick McEvoy 2010-04-22 Reply

A blogger doing the work reporters USED to do: http://bit.ly/bFIkRi (Don't agree with the guy's views generally, but this rocks).

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Massachusetts guy 2010-04-22 Reply

This reminds me of Scott Brown’s attempted smear of Rachel Maddow – insinuating that she’d planned to run against him and using her name as a Liberal straw-man to get cheap laughs from his political friends.

Why does “the press” let these kinds of incidents get a free pass after the first two or so news cycles? Why aren’t Rubio’s opponents hammering and hammering him on it? Why aren’t Scott Brown’s – Senator Slimebag’s – opponents referring to him publicly as “the Rachel Maddow liar”?

Dean C. Rowan 2010-04-22 Reply

As you’ve established, it was an AP piece, yet it may have appeared in the NYT online, purely as an AP feed. This, for instance–http://muckrack.com/link/893868–refers to its contemporary occurrence in the NYT. Google this:

“with election near” crist site:nytimes.com

…and the results will include what appear to have been occurrences in the NYT. The problem, in other words, is that although the NYT took no affirmative steps to publish the text, their arrangement with AP caused it to appear on the web site.

At the very least, then, this points out the level of technological ignorance of the campaign. Affixing a NYT copyright to the text is perhaps a more formidable error…

Fred Posner 2010-04-22 Reply

@Dean,

Good points… and I did that as well… just like you, I found hits but didn’t find the article. The reason being… the NYT runs a lot of articles having “with election near” and Crist in it. So, I also searched for text within the article:

“Now that Rubio is gaining ground and depicting Crist” site:nytimes.com

— No records found

“Charlie Crist is changing again” site:nytimes.com
— No records found

And then I tried a name listed in the article:

“Susan MacManus” site:nytimes.com

Many articles found… but not this article. She’s listed in recent articles and articles dating back to 2000 (and maybe even more)… but not this one. There’s no record of this article on their site at all. Many AP articles… but not this one.

WW Ben Franklin Do? 2010-04-23 Reply

@browardpolitics why would rubio do this? http://bit.ly/rubioFL

Craig Bachler 2010-04-23 Reply

Interesting story.
Should be interesting on what the IRS finds out about his personal / REC finance matters.

WW Ben Franklin Do? 2010-04-28 Reply

Please, misquoting me is akin to Marco Rubio making up New York Times articles. http://bit.ly/rubioFL

FloridaJewel 2010-04-28 Reply

Marco Rubio making up New York Times articles. http://bit.ly/rubioFL

WW Ben Franklin Do? 2010-04-28 Reply

Marco Rubio is not what the founding fathers wanted. He's fabricated false articles and runs campaigns on fear. SHAME. http://bit.ly/rubioFL

WW Ben Franklin Do? 2010-04-28 Reply

@marcorubio Well… why did you do this? http://bit.ly/rubioFL

kunta bear 2010-04-28 Reply

RT @fredposner: Marco Rubio, New York Times, Fabricated Endorsements? http://bit.ly/9VJIpo

WW Ben Franklin Do? 2010-04-29 Reply

@rachelbianca Can you ask him about the New York Times article? http://bit.ly/rubioFL #rubio

Fred Posner 2010-04-29 Reply

@arjunjaikumar Thank you for the Marco Rubio RT. http://bit.ly/rubioFL

Fred Posner 2010-04-29 Reply

@fbihop Thank you for the Marco Rubio RT. http://bit.ly/rubioFL

Fred Posner 2010-04-29 Reply

@patrick_mcevoy Thank you for the Marco Rubio RT. And I really like the way you worded it. http://bit.ly/rubioFL

Alfredo DeLorenzo 2010-04-29 Reply

RT @qxork: RT @fredposner posted a few things on FredPosner.com, including one about Marco Rubio. http://bit.ly/rubioFL

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