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MelissaB Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-23-08 05:38 PM
Response to Original message
10. Just got a 2nd email:

Judge, Conduct Of Siegelman Trial Defended

Philip Bryan ALGOP Communications Director
< > to me
Hide options 1:31 am (0 minutes ago)
From: Philip Bryan ALGOP Communications Director < >
To: XXXX (Me)
Date: Sat, 23 Feb 2008 22:31:39 UT

Subject: Judge, Conduct Of Siegelman Trial Defended

Judge, conduct of Siegelman trial defended

Saturday, February 23, 2008
By Eddie Curran (Part I)

EDITOR'S NOTE: Eddie Curran is on leave from the Mobile Press-Register while writing a book on the Don Siegelman investigation, indictment and trial. The Independent's readers should be familiar with Eddie's articles about the former governor, most which were published in this newspaper and had a significant impact on the investigation and indictment of Siegelman.

This article seeks to defend Mark Fuller, the judge in the Siegelman trial, and in so doing, is very critical of columnist Scott Horton, who writes a blog for Harpers Magazine and is occasionally published in The Independent. Horton has been critical of the former "Newhouse" newspapers in Alabama, which includes the Press-Register, The Birmingham News and The Huntsville Times, for not reporting fairly on the Siegelman case. He has also criticized Curran, suggesting that his work relies heavily on the prosecutor's case.

The Independent has not published any criticisms of those newspapers, now operated under the corporate umbrella of Advance Publications, or any criticisms of Eddie Curran, a friend of the editor. Horton's writings are opinion columns and have been published in the opinion section of the newspaper. However, we have corroborated any facts reported in his articles, particularly those involving Judge Fuller's ownership in Doss Aviation, Doss of Alabama and Aureus International, their contracts with the Air Force, the FBI and the Department of Defense and Judge Fuller's 43.75% ownership, which is documented in federal court filings. Judge Fuller has not refuted this information. Eddie called and requested to write this article, which we publish without editing, and even though it is an opinion article, we start it on Page One.

I opened my mail the other day to find a one-sentence letter from a friend from Montgomery and someone, I might add, whose judgment I respect.
"Eddie - This is a disturbing article!" it read, in its entirety.

Attached was an article published Jan. 21 in The Independent, under the double headlines, "Siegelman's judge's firm got $18 million contract;" and, "The same day he denied Siegelman's appeal bond."

The article was by Scott Horton, an Internet columnist for Harper's magazine. It began:

"The story out of the Frank M. Johnson Federal Courthouse in Montgomery never seems to change. It is a chronicle of abusive conduct by a federal judge who treats his judicial duties with the same level of contempt he retains for the concept of justice itself. His name is Mark Everett Fuller, and according to the sworn account of a Republican operative, testifying before Congress, he was handpicked to manage a courtroom drama to destroy Governor, Don Siegelman, and to send him off to prison, post-haste. And that's exactly what he did."

Among other things, the piece connects a competitively bid Air Force contract awarded to a Colorado-based company called Doss Aviation with a ruling by Fuller in October. Horton implicates, among others, Fuller, the Air Force, Gov. Bob Riley and, one supposes, the White House as well.

I subscribe to The Independent and had already read the piece. I, too, was disturbed, but for reasons that I suspect were quite different than my friend. The article is laden with factual error, innuendo and a level of sourcing that would not be permitted in the lowest rank of newspapers. That it was published under the Internet masthead of Harper's - the second oldest magazine in the country - can only be seen as an indictment of that publication.

Unlike my Montgomery friend, I knew something about the subject of the piece - Mark Fuller - as well as its author. As readers of this paper have probably noticed, The Independent has begun running some of Scott Horton's on-line columns. I became aware of Horton last summer, and was astonished then not merely by the inaccuracies and lack of sourcing in his work, but the audaciousness of the charges based upon the gibberish.
It is among my hopes that upon finishing this article you will see a different Mark Fuller than has been presented in Horton's pieces, including those published in the Independent. Perhaps most importantly, I hope that you hold Scott Horton in contempt for the bully, liar, phony and pompous ass that he is.

View the remainder Eddie Curran's article here:

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