The controversy over an anti-semitic email to the conservative group Americans for Limited Government allegedly sent by an NBC News producer is continuing to develop as the network is still persistently denying it was sent. Both sides have now spoken on the telephone with each continuing to stick to their respective stories.
As reported earlier by NB's Noel Sheppard, the dispute involves an email message allegedly sent by NBC producer Jane Stone in response to a press release she was sent by ALG's director of media relations, Alex Rosenwald. According to ALG, the "Dateline" producer replied by "Bite me, Jew Boy."
NBC News denied the legitimacy of the email throughout the day Friday, issuing an even stronger statement after its president, Steve Capus, contacted ALG to ask for a retraction but was denied one:
Americans for Limited Government has chosen to launch an outrageous, reckless attack and smear campaign against an NBC News employee. Faced with irrefutable evidence that our employee did nothing more than ask to be removed from an email mailing list, the organization has maliciously published a fabricated email.
Our employee never sent any such email.. She is completely innocent of the outrageous charges and is being used by an organization to make a self-serving point. This is a shameless, hateful and defaming act which should be roundly denounced.
ALG is continuing to stand by its report with a statement in response issued moments ago from its director of communications, Carter Clews:
The increasingly hysterical responses by NBC news boss Steve Capus to the escalating Stonegate Scandal are disappointing at best and chilling at worst. Here is a man who runs what used to be a highly respected major news bureau who now finds himself conjuring up gremlins in cyberspace to defend what appears to be horrendously bigoted behavior within his own news room.
Having spoken directly with Mr. Capus for nearly 15 minutes Friday afternoon, I want to once again repeat my offer to him: if you really don’t believe that Ms Stone sent the ‘Bite me, Jew boy’ email to ALG staffer Alex Rosenwald, we will be happy to work with you to track down who sent it from her Blackberry using her email address.
This is precisely the same offer I made to Ms Stone at 11:00 Friday morning, when she denied having sent any email whatsoever to Alex Rosenwald. Now, Mr. Capus has changed her story to say that, yes, she sent an email, but it did not say “Bite me, Jew boy.”
While ALG has posted the text of Stone's alleged response on its site, it has not yet released the message "headers," a portion of the email which contains information on the computer that sent the message.
NewsBusters has contacted ALG media representatives and asked for the message header. ALG director of outreach Sergio Gor said that the raw message was stored on an office computer unavailable for use over the weekend. "I will have those emailed to you on Monday," he told us via email.
For its part, NBC has not denied that Stone contacted Rosenwald. The network agrees that she did, but that the contents of her message were simply a request that she not be sent any more news releases. NBC has also not yet released the headers for the message it says was sent.