By: M.L. Stein
U.S. SENATE CANDIDATE Mike Huffington bought three full-page ads in the San Francisco Chronicle to accuse the paper of wrongly criticizing him in an editorial and refusing to correct it.
Under the Chronicle’s dummied page-one flag and the bold headline, “MADE A MISTAKE! BUT WON’T ADMIT IT,” the ad by the millionaire Republican said, “Apparently, accuracy and fairness aren’t too important to the Chronicle.”
The ads, which first appeared Aug. 1, referred to a July l4 editorial attacking a Huffington TV ad. The editorial said the commercial erroneously stated that a 1985 “sanctuary resolution” signed by then-Mayor Dianne Feinstein was in defiance of federal law. Huffington is trying to unseat Feinstein, a Democratic senator.
The nonbinding sanctuary resolution voted by the Board of Supervisors and signed by Feinstein was aimed at protecting refugees from El Salvador and Guatemala.
Huffington’s ad, which also ran in the San Francisco Examiner, said the source for the commercial was the Chronicle itself in a 1985 story concluding that the resolution defied federal law.
“While the Chronicle is quick to criticize the Huffington campaign for the crime of relying on a source as suspect as the Chronicle, it uses a far less rigorous standard in checking the facts of its endorsed candidate, Mrs. Feinstein,” the ad stated. It cited two recent Feinstein commercials alleging that Huffington had voted against more border guards although “the opposite is true.”
On the same day the first ad appeared, a Chronicle editorial headed “Huffing and Puffing” admitted the paper was mistaken in its 1985 story about the sanctuary issue but said Huffington’s ad was “flat wrong” in saying it won’t admit it. The editorial recalled that on July l5, editor Bill German acknowledged the error and pointed out the paper corrected the story four days after it appeared nine years ago. The story should have stated that the sanctuary resolution was in “defiance of U.S. foreign policy,” the correction said.
“Huffington is wrong in knowingly repeating that error in radio, TV and print ads today,” the editorial declared.
The Chronicle also ran a story on Huffington’s ad.