A couple of days ago, Chap's "unofficial" blogger Ben hysterically posted about a campaign flyer. In the post rudely titled "The Davis Family Is Sick":
Sources tell me that Sharon Petersen has been overwhelmed with hate filled phone calls from this mailing.
I, like many people, assumed that since Ben had "sources" (more than one), it was probably his good friend Chap, so I assumed she was really getting dozens of hate calls. But this was a lie -- Chap says " his family has not been overwhelmed with calls" (details below).
Next, (in what we now can see was a coordinated campaign to smear Chap's opponent), Ben posted that the mailing had:
subjected his small children to harassment from the public
and also that:
There is no specific threat yet, but the bizarre phone calls are enough to have law enforcement's attention.
So Ben claimed there were harrasing, bizarre phone calls that targeted his "small children".
Then the truth started to come out. First, Chap made a statement. Talking about the phone calls, he said:
"I got a phone call from my wife Sharon. She said that someone had called our house asking angry questions about me and Enron."
That's it. Chap SAYS the caller asks angry questions about Chap's involvement with Enron. NOT about his family, NOT attacking his family.
Nowhere does Chap mention ANY threats to his family, OR attacks on his children. Instead, he says THIS about "other phone calls":
"Later that afternoon, she saw other calls to the house but did not answer them as she didn’t recognize the caller i.d."
Unknown callers. No evidence they are related, we get these every day. But clearly, not answered, and therefore couldn't be "hate-filled phone calls".
"At least one unknown person left a message asking a return call."
Did they leave a number? Chap doesn't even describe this as "angry".
Then, From the Washington Post, we get this from Chap Petersen:
Petersen acknowledged that his family has not been overwhelmed with calls. Since the piece began hitting mailboxes Wednesday, only two angry phone calls have come to his home. His wife, Sharon, didn't answer five to 10 other calls, and the callers left no messages, he said.
TWO calls. Chap said the first one didn't attack his family, just was angry about Chap and Enron. We don't know about the other call. In his Press Release, Chap said someone left a message. In the Post, he says callers left NO MESSAGES. So maybe he counted the message as one of the two "angry" phone calls.
So, let's compare Ben with the truth. Ben said: "Sharon Petersen has been overwhelmed with hate filled phone calls ". Chap says " his family has not been overwhelmed with calls".
Ben said: "subjected his small children to harassment from the public". Chap said they only got two angry calls, one message on the machine, and one call his WIFE answered where the caller asked about Chap and Enron. NO mention of harrassment of his children.
Ben said they were "bizarre phone calls". Chap NEVER mentions ANY bizarre phone calls -- a person asking a question is hardly bizarre, nor is leaving a message asking for a return call. Callers who don't leave messages at all aren't bizarre either, and a 5-10 calls from unknown people isn't bizarre, at least not at MY house.
So, it seems Ben made up most of his "facts", drummed up a story, and sucked his readers into his fantasy (including me, as I believed him at first).
One thing's certain, thousands of people are now looking for this flyer that will tell them Chap was a lobbyist. Thanks, Ben.