Saturday, May 07, 2005

Melody Townsel at Daily Kos and in The Dallas Observer

I'm helping The Third Estate Sunday Review currently but we're all on a break and I'm reading through as many e-mails as I can.

Stephanie found something via BuzzFlash from Daily Kos that she wanted to highlight. Melody Townsel's "Townsel: Help Me Keep It Real!" Townsel is the one, my opinion, who by coming forward about Bolton, forced people to take another look. (And I believe that Sam Seder is the one who broke Townsel's story, on The Majority Report, which was probably in conjunction with actions of The Daily Kos web site.) From Townsel's post:

Apparently, the SFRC staff began distributing the transcripts related to my story regarding John Bolton late yesterday -- and the MSM coverage is already frustrating at best.
In one AP story, they pull a single quote out of context and say that I've softened my criticism of Mr. Bolton. If you read my entire transcript, you'll know that that's simply not true. More below:
Diaries :: Melody Townsel's diary :: :: Trackback ::
The Washington Post says the transcripts provide a "murky picture" of what happened back in Moscow -- although they received the transcript of a contemporaneous witness able to verify all parts of my story. In fact, Fox News last night even reported the contemporaneous verification of Bolton's behavior toward me.

That is an excerpt so use the link to read in full.

Billie also e-mailed regarding Townsel to highlight something from one of our her local alternative weeklies, The Dallas Observer. From Kelsey Guy's "Undiplomatic: Plus: UTD orders investigation of Waterview:"

On a warm, windy morning last week, in front of a neighborhood coffee shop, Melody Townsel asks herself the question that hangs in the air. "Would I do it again?" she says. She doesn't know the answer; she's leaning, at this moment, toward a big, fat no. She says it with a rueful smile, though any smile at this point is a far cry from the way she felt the day before, when she answered the question "How are you doing?" with a simple "Suicidal."
A month ago you did not know the name Melody Townsel, and a month from now you probably will have forgotten it, unless you are family or a friend or a client of the public relations woman whose business shrinks a little more each week. But now, her name shows up regularly in newspapers and weekly magazines and on Web sites devoted to the bickering of political partisans.

There she is in last week's Time, her picture next to that of Colin Powell; there she is being mentioned on CNN and Fox News Channel. She's inescapable as the Senate Foreign Relations Committee ponders her allegations that President Bush's nominee for United Nations ambassador, John Bolton, is a bully who, in the summer of 1994, put her "through hell."
Over the last three weeks, Townsel has become the target of Republican businessmen who charge she's lying and cannon fodder for right-wing bloggers who say much worse, because she sent the committee a letter urging its members "to consider blocking in committee" Bolton's nomination.

It was her complaint that caused Republican Senator George Voinovich to claim "my conscience got the best of me" two weeks ago, causing a delay in a vote once considered a slam dunk. (There are 10 Republicans on the committee and eight Democrats, including Joseph Biden.) The vote is now scheduled to take place May 12.
All this began on April 8, when Townsel wrote to the committee about an incident she says occurred while she was working for a private contractor on a U.S. Agency for International Development mission in Kyrgyzstan, a former Soviet republic. It was her job in the summer of 1994 to sell the economic reformation of that country, creating TV programs and T-shirts and even comic books informing citizens how to use their new privatization coupons that, more or less, gave them ownership in the formerly Communist republic.

If you click the link and read the article in full, Daily Kos did break the story. I could go back up and change the earlier paragraph but besides being crunched for time, it underscores the importance of this community. I assumed Daily Kos helped break the story, but wouldn't have known that for a fact had Billie not passed on this article (which I read only as I started pulling from it). Individually, we may each know a few things and see a few things, combined we're quite a force of brain power and information gathering.

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