Friday, December 7, 2007

What's Wrong with This "Hornell Evening Tribune" Headline?

This is the headline appearing in the Hornell Evening Tribune: "'Sorry' but it didn't happen: Kuhl, Massa agree on one thing: Challenger didn't apologize over criticism of Brazil trip".

What's wrong with it? When I first read it, my heart skipped a beat since it's not what we've been reporting here this week. But if you actually read the article, you discover that they still don't agree on what happened. The only thing they agree on is that Massa didn't apologize to Engel directly, since Engel was in Brazil (as I reported here), but Massa's still claiming he didn't call Engel's office to apologize, while Kuhl (via the information relayed to him by Engel's office), still says that Massa did call Engel's office to apologize about this whole flap (read here for why that's very relevant). The Evening Tribune's headline is only adding more confusion to this whole thing:

Massa, the Democrat who challenged Kuhl in 2006 and will again in 2008, denied the claim made in the e-mail, saying he's never spoken to Engel before.

"I called Eliot Engel's office to verify what the Washington Post said about the delegation trip," he said. "That's the only conversation I've had there. [OntarioGOP Note: This is the first time that I know of where Massa actually admits to calling Engel's office.]

"What Randy is talking about, I have no idea," Massa added.

During his weekly telephone press conference call this morning, Kuhl was asked whether or not Massa had apologized, due to the conflicting statements made by the 29th Congressional seat opponents.

"He hasn't," Kuhl said. "He called Eliot Engel's office to apologize, but Eliot was in Brazil and wasn't reachable."

Asked why Massa was apologizing, Kuhl said he assumed because of the comments made about the trip.

"Eliot Engel was insulted by it," he said. "His (Massa's) statements speak for themselves."

Kuhl referred media inquiries about the matter to Engel, because the two had discussed the alleged apology attempt.

"That's the statement Eliot Engel made to me,"
he said. "You'd have to question Eliot Engel or his staff about it, but that was the message given to me." (Emphasis added)

UPDATE: I should have slammed the first paragraph of the article to begin with: "So, apparently Eric Massa didn't apologize to the man who planned a congressional delegation trip to Brazil last week." There are two sides to this story, even after you read the whole article, and apparently the Evening Tribune only sides with Massa's version if that's how they want to begin this story. Shameless!


Rottenchester said...

The big question here is how Kuhl knew that Massa was calling Engel's office to apologize. He doesn't. So his press release claiming that he knew it for a fact was wrong.

The Ontario Republican said...

I just read your post on this, and Kuhl is not suggesting that he knows what Massa intended to do. Instead, Kuhl is saying that Engel's office received a call from Massa, which stated something along the lines of "This is Eric Massa, and I'm calling so I can apologize to Eliot Engel," and then Engel's office relayed that information to Kuhl.

Rottenchester said...

You're right - the press release only insinuates that Massa apologized. And now Engel's office isn't talking. So either one of Engel's staffers miscommunicated something to him, or Massa is lying about why he called. The weight of evidence is for the former explanation, for one simple reason: Massa hasn't taken anything back. He's not apologetic or chastened by what he said.

Kent said...

Wait a minute! You say the "weight of evidence" is for Engel's staffers "miscommunicating"?


Just because Massa sticks to his story? Wow wee. That sways me.

Could the silence from Engel have anything to do with closing ranks?

Case closed. On to another story.

Wonder what mess Massa can step into before Xmas.

Rottenchester said...

It's not just that Massa is sticking to his story on the "apology" -- it's that Massa is saying the same things about the junket that he's been saying all along.

If what he said was so wrong that he had to apologize for it to Engel, why would he keep saying the same thing after the supposed apology? That's the question you don't address.