We may be inching closer to the truth about the false Associated Press report claiming that a Republican crowd in West Allis, Wisconsin, booed the announcement that President Clinton had been hospitalized, and “President Bush did nothing to stop them.”
We have an inside source who was present at the rally and is familiar with the reporters involved. Our source tells us that Tom Hays, whose byline was on the false AP report, was not at the West Allis rally. He is not one of the AP reporters assigned to cover President Bush, and is believed to have been in New York at the time.
Our source says that the AP reporter behind the story was Scott Lindlaw. Lindlaw is one of the AP reporters who cover the Bush campaign. His anti-Bush prejudices are well-known; our source has heard him say that his “mission” is to see that Bush is not re-elected.
On the day of the West Allis rally, Lindlaw was wearing ear plugs in his ears, as he often does to minimize crowd noise. After Bush’s speech, he approached another AP reporter and said that he thought he had heard boos, and asked whether his colleague had heard any. The second AP reporter said that she didn’t hear any booing. Nevertheless, Lindlaw apparently sent in a story, which wound up for some unexplained reason under Tom Hays’ byline, which said:
Bush’s audience of thousands in West Allis, Wis., booed. Bush did nothing to stop them.
We will add questions about Mr. Lindlaw to those we are directing to the Associated Press.