By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
By Dennis Romero
By Simone Wilson
By following the Schwarzenegger campaign e-mail’s instructions, a rap sheet belonging to a Rhonda Miller does come up in the search. But using a birth date proves that it doesn’t belong to Rhonda Miller the stunt double. In other words, Kobylt and Serafin were duped by Walsh’s e-mail.
It took 10 days after the spurious e-mail and nine days after the election for MSNBC conservative talk-show host Joe Scarborough, the former Florida Republican congressman who supported the actor’s candidacy, to decry the Schwarzenegger campaign’s smear against Miller on his October 16 show.
“And I think it’s instructive that we look at what happens in campaigns. Republicans attacked Bill Clinton in the 1990s for slandering women that dared to come forward and accuse him of sexual harassment,” said Scarborough in the same segment that allowed Allred to rebut the smear campaign. “And you know what? Now you have Republicans, I think, doing something that’s very, very troubling and disgusting.” Scarborough further noted on the air that when his show called Schwarzenegger’s campaign about the memo’s total inaccuracy, “They told us that it wasn’t their responsibility to confirm the woman’s identity and that they have nothing to apologize for.”
Clear Channel–owned KFI’s John and Ken Show host John Kobylt, who used part of his broadcast time to brutally denounce Miller on the basis of the Walsh e-mail the night before the election, has issued a formal on-air retraction, correction and apology. But Kobylt’s retraction failed to acknowledge that Schwarzenegger’s campaign was responsible for the smear in the first place. The John and Ken Show heavily promoted Schwarzenegger’s candidacy and even emceed one of Schwarzenegger’s campaign rallies during the recall election. The apology also followed what can only be described as an on-air screaming match between Allred and Kobylt.
Robin Bertolucci, KFI’s program director, issued the following statement to L.A. Weekly: “On Monday, October 6, the John and Ken Show, using information available at the time, discussed allegations that Rhonda Miller had a criminal record. On the evening of Wednesday, October 8, having fully researched the situation, KFI-AM’s talk-show host John Kobylt made an on-air correction, clarifying that Rhonda Miller in fact did not have a criminal record, and apologized for the misinformation that aired.”
Other news organizations that made brief references to Miller’s alleged criminal record removed the information from online versions or transcripts.
After her news conference with Allred, Miller went home and tuned into the media coverage. “I turned on the radio and was listening to this ‘news’ about me. And I thought, wait a minute, WAIT A MINUTE.’ And when I got home, I turned on the TV set, and oh my God. I was in shock. I was in disbelief. What they were saying about me was horrible and not true.”
And then, “I just stood there and cried and cried.”
Walsh repeatedly promised to discuss his e-mail by L.A. Weekly’s deadline, but didn’t. However, he is already on the record — after being queried by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (of all places!) — as acknowledging: “We did not make any allegations. I wrote that memo myself. I wrote it very, very carefully.”
Kobylt is still part of the KFI team. Serafin is still being used on MSNBC’s Scarborough Country as a news analyst. Miller, a veteran stuntwoman since 1990 who maintains she has enjoyed steady work, reports not a single call to hire her since the news conference and rap-sheet allegation.
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