According to several reports on the Web, the Montgomery Independent has published an article about the Don Siegelman case by Mobile Press-Register reporter Eddie Curran.
The story evidently was published Friday in the Independent's print edition and has not appeared yet on the Web. I haven't seen Curran's piece, but it sounds like it is a critical take on the testimony of Republican whistleblower Jill Simpson and the reporting Harper's legal-affairs analyst Scott Horton.
The Independent seems like an odd venue for Curran's analysis. By Alabama standards, the Independent appears to be unusually fair-minded and progressive and has even run Horton's pieces on occasion.
Editor and Publisher Bob Martin showed significant courage a few weeks back when he allowed reporter Bob Gambacurta to shine light on possible campaign-finance violations by Alabama Governor Bob Riley. The story seemed to grow from Gambacurta's reporting on the dispute between Riley and Montgomery insurance executive John W. Goff.
At the time, Martin wrote in an editorial that if Riley was not able to provide sufficient explanation for the apparent violations, he was prepared to call for legal action. Martin said he considered the alleged violations by Riley to be every bit as serious as the charges that landed previous governor Don Siegelman in federal prison.
To my knowledge, neither Riley nor anyone on his staff, has offered any legitimate explanation for the apparent violations in his campaign--which, by the way, was managed by Dax Swatek, son of Pelham attorney Bill Swatek, the ethically challenged attorney who filed a bogus lawsuit against your humble blogger. Despite the lack of any defense from Riley, the Independent seemingly has allowed the story to drop.
And we now have the paper running what seems to be a two-part attack on those who have testified or written about the apparent political motivations behind the Siegelman prosecution.
Here is one possible factor: The Independent and Bob Martin recently came under fire from the Flashpoint blog. A post at Flashpoint indicated that Martin might have a conflict of interest connected to coverage of the Alabama two-year college scandal.
Did someone with a rightward agenda unearth information in order to get the Independent off the John Goff/Riley story and onto stories written by Eddie Curran?
Does the Independent, for some reason, feel the need to balance the Scott Horton pieces it has run with a couple of pieces from Eddie Curran?
If it comes down to a contest between Scott Horton and Eddie Curran on reporting about legal affairs, I would put my money on Scott Horton every time.