In her self-promoting book about the Jeffrey Epstein case, reporter Julie Brown whines of not receiving – or even being shortlisted for – the Pulitzer Prize.
Since a letter I wrote to the Pulitzer Committee opposing such an award (one reason she may have not received the award), it is only fair for readers to know why I opposed honoring Brown.
Informed readers can then make their own judgments about the quality, or lack thereof, of Brown's journalism at the Miami Herald and later, with her book.
Brown says she is an investigative journalist, but in reality, she is a one-sided polemicist.
I believe her "reporting" on the Epstein case was largely made up of claims made to her by Virginia Giuffre's lawyers. Giuffre has been a false accuser of myself and many others.
I provided Brown with reems of documentary evidence conclusively proving that Giuffre, her primary source, lacked credibility. Brown deliberately withheld that information from her readers.
Among the information I provided her, which she did not publish, was overwhelming evidence of Giuffre's long history or perjury and lying, including her false claims of meeting Al and Tipper Gore and Bill Clinton on Epstein's island; her own lawyer's statement that she did not tell the truth about having sex on multiple occasions with Leslie Wexner; documentary evidence that she deliberately lied about her age to falsely claim that she was underage; her claim to have had sex with George Mitchell, Bill Richardson, Ehud Barak and others; her best friend's statement that Giuffre told her she was 'pressured' into falsely accusing me; her own lawyer's recorded admission that Giuffre was 'simply wrong'; and her own emails and book manuscript that proved Giuffre had never even met me.
When I pressed Brown about these omissions, she responded, "this was not the story."
I invited Brown to review my travel records — which prove that I could not have been in most of the places Guiffre claimed to have met me — for as long as she wished.
She spent several hours poring over them and then said she had to leave because her "parking meter had run out."
I urged her to return to complete her review, but she insisted that she must take my records with her.
I was suspicious as to why she needed to take the records and wondered if it was to share them with Giuffre's lawyers so that they could try to find dates when we were both in New York.
I repeated my offer to review the records for as much time as she needed and to take as many notes as she wanted. She declined my offer and then falsely reported that I refused to allow her to inspect the records.
Brown also asked me to violate a court order.
Here is our exchange regarding emails sealed by the court that one of Brown's sources had sent to the New York Post falsely claiming she had sex tapes of Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, Bill Clinton and Richard Branson:
Dershowitz: I'm not permitted to send them. I am subject to a sealing order. She [the source] is not subject to that order and she can show them to you. If she refuses, it's because she is hiding something. I would love to send them to you. Ask her and her lawyers whether they consent to have me send them. If they refuse you should report that.
Brown: Alan, you can send them. There are many documents floating around in this case, so I am sure no one will go after you. [Emphasis added]
I believed that her reference to "many documents floating around" is an admission that various lawyers in cases related to Epstein have already shared sealed documents with the press, violating legal rules.
I responded to her request that I willfully violate a court order, by emailing: "I will comply with the law even if you are asking me to break it."
Brown's one-sided "reporting" has earned her great praise, especially from those who were unaware of what she deliberately omitted from her reports.
She was proposed for any number of journalistic awards, including a Pulitzer Prize. I felt an obligation to inform the Pulitzer Committee of her failings as an objective reporter. I wrote an open letter documenting the information I had provided Brown and then wrote the following:
So how did Pulitzer candidate Brown deal with all the evidence discrediting her primary source? She simply omitted any mention of it and presented Giuffre as an entirely credible witness with no doubt about her truthfulness.
Brown . . . .by choosing to omit from her narrative every single document, sworn testimony and other proof that would raise questions about the credibility of her primary source. . . .
This is not journalism. It is advocacy, and it is advocacy that would get a lawyer disciplined for willfully withholding exculpatory evidence. It is also advocacy that hurts the #MeToo movement by encouraging false reports that damage the credibility of an important movement."
For good reasons, Brown did not win the Pulitzer Prize.
Before she is considered for any future prizes or honors, her unprofessional tactics should be thoroughly and fairly investigated – which is more than she has done with regard to Giuffre.
Brown is all too typical of reporting about #MeToo accusations.
For her everything is black and white: Women accusers never lie about anything; men who deny accusations do lie.
There is no nuance or attempt at balance in her reporting.
When Brown's book is published and I read it, I will have more to say about her journalistic integrity.
So, stay tuned and don't believe what you read in Brown's book until you learn what she deliberately omitted. She may never tell you, but I will.
Alan M. Dershowitz is the Felix Frankfurter Professor of Law Emeritus at Harvard Law School and author of "Guilt by Accusation" and "The Case Against the Democratic House Impeaching Trump."
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