At the Democratic Convention last August, Katie Couric of CBS News repeated (the totally false) story that Sen. Joe Biden's first wife and his daughter had been killed in an accident caused by a man, Curtis Dunn, who was impaired by alcohol. As you seen in my previous columns, the source of that story was . . . Joe Biden. Has Biden every apologized for making up the story that Mr. Dunn was drunk? No. Has Katie Couric ever apologized to the Dunn family? Of course not.
Recently, CBS reporter Bob Orr did a story about Curtis Dunn's daughter, Pamela Hamill, who has been working for many years to clear her father's name. You can see it -- and I urge you to go there -- at: http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/03/24/eveningnews/main4890564.shtml
CBS Evening News: Daughter Says Truck Driver Was "Haunted" By The Event, And That He Hadn't Been Drinking
March 24, 2009 by Bob Orr
[In the online version, there's a sidebar that says the following -- note the words in boldface:]
"'72 Biden Car Crash Dispute: There was debate if the man who broadsided a car causing Vice President Biden's first wife and infant daughter to die, was intoxicated. Bob Orr reports the driver's daughter wants his name cleared."
(CBS) Just a week before Christmas, 1972, the wife of newly-elected Sen. Joe Biden and the couple's baby daughter were killed - and their two sons badly injured - when the Biden family car was broadsided by a truck at an intersection in Delaware.
The truck driver, Curtis Dunn, was never charged in the crash. But, his daughter Pam Hamill says, he too, suffered, reports CBS News correspondent Bob Orr.
"He grieved over that," Hamill said. "He was haunted and was tormented by that for years."
Dunn died in 1999, but since then his family has endured widespread rumors and reports that he had been drinking just before the collision.
At least twice, Biden himself has made public references to alcohol being involved in the crash. In 2007 Biden said the truck driver "allegedly ... drank his lunch." And multiple news outlets, including CBS News, have reported that Dunn was drunk.
Hamill disputes that - saying her dad had not been drinking.
"The truth is, it was a tragic accident," she said. "No alcohol was involved."
The police reports have been lost, but Delaware Judge Jerome Herlihy, who investigated the crash, supports Hamill's claim.
He told CBS News, "There was no indication that the truck driver had been drinking."
And last fall, a spokesman for Biden said that the senator "fully accepts the Dunn family's word that these rumors were false."
Now Pam Hamill simply wants the record to be cleared, and her father's reputation restored
"He was a good, hard working man and wonderful father," she said
Note that in the sidebar CBS talks about a "dispute" and a "debate" concerning the accident's cause. There is no dispute; there is no debate. There is Biden's false version, and there is the version of everyone else, including Delaware authorities, Pamela Hamill, and a person who was among the first on the accident scene (more about him tomorrow).
Senator Biden's spokesman speaks about "rumors" regarding the accident. If those rumors come from anyone other than Biden himself, that person has never been identified. Apparently, Biden's rumors and lies serve some purpose in his political life.
As for Katie Couric, reporter Bob Orr noted that "multiple news outlets, including CBS News have reported that Dunn was drunk." He doesn't identify Katie Couric as the one who made that "report." If Orr had done so, he probably would have qualified for the next edition of "Profiles in Courage." Or perhaps CBS would have re-assigned him to their Butte, Montana operation.
Also, Katie might have had to explain if her obvious animosity toward Biden V-P opponent, Sarah Palin, had anything to do with her network's obvious desire to protect Biden and his running mate, Obama.
As Pamela asked me [noted in an earlier column], what if Sarah Palin has made such an outrageous lie about an innocent motorist? Would Katie Couric and CBS have waited seven months to make even a tepid correction? And would they have pretended, as they did with Biden, that the issue was open to dispute and debate? No, they would not have. They would have used the incident to eviscerate the Alaska governor.
More about this story on Monday . . .