Reality Check: The story behind the Ron Paul newsletters
(FOX19) - The talk of Ron Paul's racist newsletters has been all over the news for the past few weeks and seem to dominate all of the Congressman's interviews.
So what about these newsletters is true and what is the rest of the media not telling you?
Starting as far back as 1976, Congressman Paul published a newsletter. It has gone by several names. The Ron Paul Political Report, The Ron Paul Investment Letter, etc.
That newsletter was largely an investment newsletter, dealing with currency, gold and investments. That was the case from 1976 to 1988.
Over the course of those 144 editions, no racist content.
To understand this story, you have to look at the timeline.
In 1984 Paul gave up his seat in Congress when he made an unsuccessful run for the Senate.
In 1985 he went back to Texas to continue to practice medicine full time as an OB-GYN.
His return to politics as a Congressman was in 1996.
In 2007 when Congressman Paul was last running for president, a newspaper called The New Republic found copies hard copies of the newsletters, and these, they reported, were filled with racist, anti-homosexual and conspiracy oriented content.
So lets talk content.
In all, the Ron Paul newsletters were released on a monthly basis for 20 years. That means there were no fewer than 240 editions published.
There are a total of 20 editions of the Ron Paul newsletters, which have passages or sections of racist, bigoted, or anti homosexual language, as well as conspiracy theories.
Since the conspiracy theories, aren't really the issue here, lets stay on focus and talk about the racist passages.
The way The New Republic newspaper stacks it, the total number of newsletter editions with racist passages is not 20 but actually 9 newsletters.
Lets look at those 9.
I told you that Congressman Paul was fully out of Congress at the beginning on 1985.
The first racist passage shows up in October 1990. The next month, in November of 1990 a reference to David Duke. The following month, in December, 1990, the author attacks Martin Luther King Jr. Then in February of 1991, another newsletter has passages trashing Dr. King's legacy.
So what we have here, racist passages show up from October of 1990 to February of 1991. 4 out of 5 consecutive months.
A lapse of about a year goes by, 15 months to be exact.
Then, in June 1992, a "Special Edition on Racial Terrorism," focusing on race riots in Los Angeles. One month later, in the very next edition he wrote about black rage. The final report where we see racist tones is 6 months later in a passage about the disappearing white majority.
So who authored these racist passages?
In 2007, the libertarian magazine Reason cited an anonymous source close to the 2008 Paul campaign. That source attributed much of the content from those news letters to Lew Rockwell.
Rockwell, whose name appears on the newsletters under the title of Contributing Editor, told The New Republic that he did not write the controversial articles. He said that there were "seven or eight free-lancers involved at various stages"
Here is what you need to know.
Ron Paul has dis-avowed the letters, says he didn't write them, but also says he accepts responsibility because he should have known, since they were published under his name. He is right about that, he was negligent.
But when it comes to the controversy over these newsletters, I am left with one nagging question about the report that first broke this story in 1997.
I found, when researching this story that back in 1997 the original author of The New Republic article, James Kirchick, explained that most of the newsletters had no byline.
Specifically, none of those racist newsletters had a byline, says Kirchick, except for one.
One newsletter that contained the byline of someone else, not Congressman Paul.
But Kirchick fails to disclose two very important things: who's name was in that byline, and which article they wrote.
He only states that the mystery writer wrote "One special edition" of the Ron Paul Report.
The only special edition I can find is the 1992 article, "A Special Report on Racial Terrorism."
Why is that important? Because this edition of the newsletter that is most often quoted to prove racism.
So does that mean the most racist evidence in these newsletters actually has someone else's name on it?
I don't know, but I'd like to find out.
I have repeatedly tried for 2 weeks to contact The New Republic and James Kirchick to get an answer as to which special report had another author's byline, I'm still waiting to hear back.
And that is Reality Check.
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