Saturday, March 11, 2006

Kaloogian News - Or Maybe Not

I came across an article regarding congressional candidate, Howard Kaloogian this morning. Kaloogian, who is running for Randy "Duke" Cunningham's old seat in the CA-50 has been running a pretty stealthy campaign and hasn't been able to separate himself from the crowd 14 Republican hopefuls vying for votes in the April 11 Special Election.

Considering that there isn't much news about Kaloogian to be found, when this piece from the Agape Press popped up, I figured that Kaloogian's campaign had finally been picked up on the voter radar.

According to reporter James Lambert, Kaloogian proposed a new get tough measure to address illegal immigration at a border press conference early last week.

Kaloogian's proposal, if adopted by Congress, would require those wiring money to Mexico to provide identification to financial institutions or wire transfer operators to prove their citizenship. Currently, it is estimated that private-party wire transfers from the United States to Mexico range from $15 to $20 billion annually. "It's absurd," he says, "that we continue to allow those who have broken the law by entering this nation illegally to then enjoy the benefit of collecting wages illegally and then sending those funds to a foreign nation."

Oddly, I could find no mention of Kaloogian's proposal in the local San Diego and North County press. So, I did what bloggers always do, and I Googled for some additional links. Turns out there was only one additional information source regarding Kaloogian's proposal, the always reliable, World Net Daily.

However, when I pulled up the World Net Daily story it turned out to be the same story, by the same author, James Lambert, as the story posted by Agape. No other media souce exists for this illusive press conference. There is no mention of Kaloogian's proposal, the news conference or his border visit on Kaloogian's campaign website. Did it happen?

The Lambert story reads more like a Kaloogian press release than an actual news story. It contains some glaring inaccuracies not the lest of which is to identify Kaloogian's Democratic rival as "Carolyn" Busby. An easy error, if fact checking is not involved and if the story is being written directly from information being fed the author.

Believe it or not, I get press releases here at Words Have Power. Sometime I read them, sometimes I just delete them. Occasionally, I even refer to them, but I don't pretend that they are news. I don't know if that is what reporter James Lambert did or if he was at the border press conference. You can't tell much about the event from his article.

What led Mr. Lambert to pen the article and ship it off to Agape and the World Net? Was he on assignment? Is he an independent? A stringer?

Fortunately, the Agape Press provides a link directly to James Lambert's website. Mr. Lambert, it turns out is in the real estate loan business and his website proclaims both his solid right wing credentials and his clear understanding of the "importance
of delivering the fairest RE loan pricing to his customers."

It is a testament to momentum of Kaloogian's campaign that the only way it can get its message out is by planting articles in electronic publications that apparently have no editorial standards what-so-ever. And, apparently, the only author they can find to get the articles into even those shaky publications, will only do it if he can shill his real estate loan business at the end of his "reporting."