New Version of Washington Post Story on Menendez Reveals Biased Source
On Monday afternoon, the Washington Post published a story by Carol D. Leonnig and Ernesto Londoño that was treated by the mainstream media as if it refuted the Daily Caller's original story about allegations that Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) had cavorted with prostitutes in the Dominican Republic.
Leonnig and Londoño reported that a woman who said she had appeared in a video making the allegations against Menendez now recanted her story (it remains unclear if she was a Daily Caller source). But Leonnig and Londoño failed to report the source for their new information was a cousin of Dr. Salomon Melgen, the Menendez donor implicated in the scandal.
That information was provided Monday evening by the Miami Herald: "The claims from the woman, Nexis de los Santos Santana, were released by Vinicio Castillo Semán, a cousin of a Menendez contributor, Dr. Salomon Melgen." The Herald noted that Castillo had also been accused, separately, of involvement in the scandal.
Later Monday evening, the Post substantially revised Leonnig and Londoño's original story--without indicating that it had done so. The new version of the Post article removed attacks on the Daily Caller's original reporting by Matt Boyle (now with Breitbart News), and including the information about Melgen's cousin.
The original version of the Post article, which was linked and reposted widely, included the following paragraph:
But in an affidavit obtained Monday, one of the women on the tape, who describes herself as an escort, said she and a colleague were offered money by a lawyer to read from a script. The woman said she was surreptitiously videotaped implicating Menendez and Melgen.
The new, revised version of the Post article--at the same link--includes the following version of that paragraph (emphasis added):
The escort, Nexis de los Santos Santana, 23, said in an affidavit she was hired by lawyer Miguel Galvan to do a taped interview with journalists in mid-October. Galvan explained to her that a false account was needed for a divorce case. De los Santos said she was surreptitiously taped implicating Menendez, Melgen and prominent Dominican lawyer Vinicio Castillo Selmán, Melgen’s cousin, in hiring prostitutes.
The fact that the source for the new information was a relative of Melgen, which the Post originally omitted, is arguably relevant to the question of whether the new story is credible in evaluating the Daily Caller's claims.