Will Media Let Superliar Whitman Get Away With It?

Back when Jacques Chirac was president of France, the media began calling him “superliar” as a result of his frequent inability to tell the truth about the numerous scandals linked to him.

It might be time to apply the label to Meg Whitman.

Earlier this week Meg Whitman changed her story suddenly on the issue of her housekeeper. On Thursday morning Whitman denied that either she or her husband had seen a letter from the Social Security Administration informing them there might by a problem with Nicky Diaz Santillan’s paperwork. When Gloria Allred produced the letter in question, with Whitman’s husband’s handwriting on it, the Whitman campaign suddenly changed tune, claiming that Whitman’s husband never told Meg about the letter. Uh-huh.

That was bad enough. But at today’s gubernatorial debate in Fresno, Whitman told a whopper of a lie in response to a question about the housekeeper scandal – claiming that Brown put her up to it:

“The Nicky I saw at the press conference three days ago was not the Nicky that I knew for nine years,” Whitman said. “And you know what my first clue was? She kept referring to me as Ms. Whitman. For the nine years she worked for me she called me Meg and I called her Nicky. “You should be ashamed for sacrificing Nicky Diaz on the altar of your political ambitions,” Whitman told Brown.

Let’s be very clear here: there is no evidence whatsoever that Brown was involved in this, certainly not that he “sacrificed her” to win the election. Whitman’s accusation here is one of the most stunning lies ever told at a debate in California. It certainly earns her the title of “superliar.”

But Whitman told the lie because she thinks she can get the media to simply play along with it, repeat it uncritically as a “he said, she said” story and not tell the public that in fact Whitman has no basis to make this baseless charge against Brown, and that she is saying this only to try and minimize the damage to her own campaign.

Indeed, the LA Times story I just quoted, by Michael J. Mishak and Seema Mehta, takes a “he said, she said” approach and does not tell readers anywhere that Whitman’s claim is baseless.

Let’s hope that the California political media does the right thing and tells the truth about the story, instead of letting them be used as tools by the Whitman campaign.

(Note: the debate is happening right now in Fresno; it will be televised on Univision stations across the state at 4PM. Click here to watch it online.)

7 thoughts on “Will Media Let Superliar Whitman Get Away With It?”

  1. If history is any guide, the corporate press/media will not only allow Whitman to lie without calling her on it, they will accept her lies as fact and demand that Brown respond to them.

    Consider how much money Whitman has paid to the corporate press/media this year.  Is there anyone naive enough to believe that doesn’t matter?

    When was the last time a Republican was made to suffer in the press/media or at the polls for his or her hypocrisy?

  2. First, it should be noted that, during the Univision debate, Brown slammed her in multiple ways for this crock, and rightly so.  

    “Don’t run for governor if you can’t stand up on your own two feet and say, ‘Hey I made a mistake’… You have blamed her, blamed me, blamed the left, blamed the unions. But you don’t take accountability.”


    And second, so far, all the immigration specialists I’ve seen quoted in news reports seem to think Meg isn’t really in trouble legally — she was lied to, she wasn’t required to verify, etc.  But that’s not what this expert says — no one signed or dated the I-9 as presented, and that’s a violation.  And it was the employer’s duty to verify and to sign to attest that they believe the employee is legit.  


  3. This is nothing new– their first online article deliberately omitted any reference to the husband’s handwriting on the letter, and instead allowed Whitman to slander the maid for supposedly stealing her mail– even though Allred had ALREADY shown the annotated letter at the same news conference that they had referenced (!)

    But here’s what else is being ignored: even if Whitman did NOT know that “Nicky” was illegal, the news headlines should be saying something like:

    ‘Whitman employed illegal alien for 9 years”

    That’s bad enough– and true, despite her claims about knowledge. And if they did frame it this was, her failure to verify legal status when questioned by the SS in 2003 would be icing on the cake.

    But because Meg is a good paying customer the media companies are giving her a free pass. And no one has asked her either if she ever received additional letters later on that “Nicky” never knew about.

    This is all about kill the messenger time. Who cares if Brown knew the story– it’s irrelevant to the main claim, because Brown’s not the one who hired her maid.

  4. For Debra Saunders to post a Screed about eMeg and her unsubstantiated claims against Jerry Brown….

  5. Was Whitman’s plaintive question about who would care about Nicky after November 2.

    I know two people who won’t: Ms. Whitman and Dr. Harsh. They’ve both already given ample demonstration of that.

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