XXXXX DRUDGE REPORT XXXXX TUE SEPT 26, 2000 00:48:43 ET XXXXX
ABC NEWS SPIKES STORY ON MOLE; REPORTER, PRODUCER 'FURIOUS'
ABC NEWS on Monday afternoon spiked a story that was set to air on WORLD NEWS TONIGHT WITH PETER JENNINGS -- a story that featured an on-camera interview with a source who claimed a Gore staffer bragged about a mole inside of Bush headquarters!
ABC NEWS award-winning reporter Jackie Judd and fearless producer Chris Vlasto sat in horror as they were told their investigation would not see the light of day.
There is now only a remote possibility the segment will reach air.
The twelve minute long on-camera interview with a voice-modified and shadowed-out informant instead was edited and placed on ABCNEWS.com, the net's web outlet.
"ABCNEWS.com does not have the same 'editorial process' as the network news broadcast," said one well-placed source. "Thanks to the web at least some viewers got to judge the interview on its merits and draw their own conclusions."
Judd and Vlasto developed one of the most intriguing stories thus far in the campaign cycle, only to have it spiked by their editors.
One ABC NEWS insider was especially furious at the spike.
"Listen, we led with the 'Rats!' controversy [a Bush campaign commerical that flashed the word [bureauc]'rats' over a Gore proposal] a few weeks back. We gave it 4 minutes and 8 seconds of coverage to be exact.
"ABC likes 'rats' but doesn't like 'moles?!'"
Gore campaign communications whiz Mark Fabiani is said to have been instrumental in convincing ABC editors that Judd/Vlasto had a half-baked story.
"Reporters are fully aware and familiar with Fabiani's spin and damage control techniques, but editors still melt," said one source.
In the unaired interview, a friend of suspended Gore staffer Michael Doyne
claims that while on
a tour of Gore's Nashville campaign headquarters in August, Doyne showed his computer which he alleged was receiving e-mails from within Bush's Austin organization.
Doyne now explains that he was joking when he bragged there was a mole in the Bush campaign who "knew where Bush was
going before Bush knew."
Doyne made the claims before a confidential videotape of Bush preparing for the presidential debate was passed to the Gore
FBI officials investigating the case have expressed great interest in the timing of Doyne’s comments.
A sworn affidavit signed by staffer Doyne later conflicted with evidence
linking Doyne directly to mole comments.
Gore officials quickly executed a second affidavit amending Doyne’s original sworn statements.
"The first affidavit was a blanket denial," said a source, "he swore he knew nothing about a mole and never made such
comments to anyone. But less than an hour later, after ABC NEWS showed Doyne an e-mail he had written to a friend, bragging
about a mole, a second affidavit was slapped together!"
Filed by Matt Drudge
Reports are moved when circumstances warrant
http://www.drudgereport.com for updates
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Not for reproduction without permission of the author