Covering the Economy: Peculiar Problems of Covering the Bush Administration
Stupidest Man Alive?

Gary Fields of the Wall Street Journal Gets Snookered...

He writes, in the "Washington Wire" column:

Washington Wire: Speaking Hypothetically: A storm is brewing around Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson. Last month, in an address to a Dallas minority business forum, he spoke of a contractor who "made a heck of a proposal" but was later rejected after telling the HUD secretary, "I don't like President Bush."

The conversation was only hypothetical, said HUD spokeswoman Dustee Tucker.... Tucker, who attended the Dallas event, said Jackson was explaining to a group of Dallas business leaders how politics might play a role in contracting when he offered the example. The Dallas Business Journal reported that Jackson told the audience: "He didn't get the contract. Why should I reward someone who doesn't like the president so they can use funds to try to campaign against the president? Logic says they don't get the contract."

Tucker said the secretary is not part of the contracting process at HUD, she added. "That is handled by the office of procurement." --Gary Fields

What Fields doesn't seem to know about HUD flack Dustee Tucker is that:

Dallas Business Journal:: On May 3, Tucker told the Business Journal that the contract Jackson was referring to in Dallas was "an advertising contract with a minority publication," though she could not provide the contract's value...

It's rare that a flack can tell a Wall Street Journal news reporter that something she previously gave details on never happened without getting pinned to the table like a dead butterfly. But it happens