Democracy Has Prevailed.

January 19, 2007

Transcript of Rick Earle's Piece This Evening

Here's the link again. I tried to get this done earlier this evening so that Maria could include it here, but my computer burped and it was lost.

Sorry, Maria - my bad.

Here's the transcript.

Rick Earle: This week the mayor's office called me and asked me to consider not running an interview I did with the mayor last October. At that time I was looking into allegations that the Mayor was involved in some sort of altercation with Pittsburgh Police.

Now I had some conflicting dates and information so at that point we decided to go straight to the mayor.

[cut to outside city county building]

Earle: I have some information and witnesses, sources saying that at a uh sporting event uh over the summer that you allegedly pushed a Pittsburgh police officer?

Is that not true?

Ravenstahl: That's not true.

Earle: Ok, you didn't - you weren't involved in an altercation with the police officer?
Ravenstahl: Absolute--

Earle: You categorically deny that.

Ravenstahl: Absolutely.

Earle: You were never arrested, you were never handcuffed, you were never taken to, uh, before Lt Mike Scott during Heinz - at Heinz Field during a Steeler game?

Ravenstahl: Absolutely never been arrested.


Earle [voiceover] That's what the mayor told me outside the City County Buidling last October. But yesterday, three months after my interview, the mayor admitted to Target-11 that he was indeed handcuffed and detained by a Pittburgh Police officer outside Heinz Field in October 2005 while he was a city councilman.

Thursday, the mayor told Target-11's Karen Welles that my interview with him referred to allegations about last summer and that's why he never brought up the incident from October of 2005.

[Welles interview]

Karen Welles: The way he was questioning you, did it ever occur to you to fess up and say that well I had a problem in Heinz Field?

Ravenstahl: Certainly the way that he questioned me, and all investigative reporters question, it was a blanket and included in that was a variety of different questions. I didn't want to lend credence to a nameless person, to someone that wouldn't identify themself (sic).

[Voice over]

Earle: During our investigation, Target11 talked to several police officers about the incident. Pittsburgh police Lt Mike Scott wouldn't talk on camera, but last fall he told me over the phone that it was basically a misunderstanding. He said Ravenstahl had been pushed from behind into the officer.

But another witness, a police officer on the detail that night, told me "I remember this guy started screaming at the ticket takers to tell them to hurry up. I told him to relax. He turned and started screaming at all of us. He singled out Mark Hoehn and they were going at it.

That's when I took a step to the left and Mark grabbed him and pulled him over the barricade."

Ravenstahl, meanwhile, maintains that the officer Mark Hoehn was the aggressor, charging into the crowd to stop the rush of people into the stadium.

Ravenstahl says he confronted the officer because he was upset by the way he handled the situation.

Ravenstahl admitted that he yelled at the officer, but he never touched him.

Ravenstahl: Had I to do it over again, I certainly would have done what I could to protect those indivuduals.
Didja catch the part where he answered the question:
You were never arrested, you were never handcuffed, you were never taken to, uh, before Lt Mike Scott during Heinz - at Heinz Field during a Steeler game?
Absolutely never been arrested.
This is what's known in the biz as a "lie by ommission." He left out some important stuff in order to present an incorrect picture of reality. And for him to try to weasel out of it by saying that the question he was responding to was about the previous summer (and not the previous fall) is just insulting.

He just keeps digging himself deeper and deeper.


Anonymous said...

I think that this is somewhat irrelevant. Don't get me wrong, I think there's a compelling case for change in Pittsburgh.

I think the biggest issue is his standing by and doing nothing as bus service--which tens of thousands of Pittsburghers rely on--was obliterated by Onorato, who then promptly found $300 million for an arena that will be used 80 times per year. That may be the worst public policy combined with the worst politics that I’ve ever witnessed.

That's where the case for compelling change in Pittsburgh is. I hope Democrats will have the type of primary that will allow candidates that support a third way to get elected. This one could be worse than the pay-raise--and I thought that would be impossible.

That said, it looks like Ravenstahl is following down the path cleared by Jim Motznik's car. I see a lot of Motznik's influence in this administration, and I think that's a big problem for the region.

Anonymous said...

Rick Earles report didn't show anything new and it didn't incriminate Mayor Ravenstahl at all.

Witch Hunt.

Anonymous said...

Dave quit running linux then. Get a REAL OS

Anonymous said...

The burgher said it best - could you imagine ANY other politician getting away w/such a blatant misrepresentation? Die-hard fans of the young boy are splitting hairs they wouldn't dare allow their girlfriends to split - Pinnochio used words like "absolutely not" - not "no", or even the ever-popular "I don't recall" or even an equivocal "na-ah". People speculate on the veracity of politicians, but once they have proof of dishonesty, things take a whole new turn.

PittsburghJack said...

Am i missing something here? The mayor was clearly asked if he had been arrested and about an incident at Heinz Field in the summer of '05. Ravenstahl said that he absolutely not been arrested (he wasn't) and denied having shoved an officer at a sporting event over the summer (he didn't). In what part of that transcript did the mayor lie?

If the mayor had been involved in a physical confrontation with the police and the incident was subsequently covered-up, especially if the mayor had Dennis Regan help him out, then there is a story here. But please do not insult the voting public's intelligence by trying to create an incident where none actually exists, purely to fulfill a certain political goal.

A word of advice to Luke: If you ever see Karen Welles with a microphone and a cameraperson in tow, walk the other way and refuse comment -- regardless of the subject matter. And do not ever, ever allow an interview to be scheduled with her on any subject. Channel 11 and Karen Welles in particular has a history of scheduling an interview for a legitimate reason, and then when she arrives, the subject matter is changed. Her mission is purely to get you to say something you didn't mean to say by placing you in an uncomfortable situation. In addition, she will bait you into answering a question the way she wants you to. Welles pulled this stunt with Coleen Vuono a few days before the general election in 1995. That "interview" was replayed endlessly and also given to the opposition candidates, which ultimately cost the democratic team the election. Do not allow history to be repeated, especially when there truly is no real meat to the story.

Anonymous said...

I was one who could have cared less whether Bill Clinton had sex with "that woman". Regardless, a lie is a lie is a lie. Luke gave us his own "I did not have sex with that woman" lie. Don't get cute - if you have to resort to a paragraph of well "Rick asked him if it happened that summer!" and "He said he was never 'arrested'", you're being cute and the public deserves better. Luke needs to learn to either tell the truth or, when he screws up, which recent history dictates will be a constant occurrence with his level of maturity, he needs to immediately apologize. Where are your heads people? People should be disgusted by his ends justifies the means tactics, not giggling and saying things like "boys will be boys". It's obvious that the only one playing dirty politics here is in fact the one pointing the finger: Luke. It's obvious from the comments that are supportive of Luke that his supporters could care less about the facts - everytime Luke drops the ball, your response will be "politics" - If Luke can't stand the heat...he should take his ball and his lies elsewhere.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Pittsburgh Jack is the only level headed blogger in the city.

The Burgher said...

That was one question. More questions were asked. Earle asked him questions referring to the Heinz Field incident. And he also denied those.
Did you stop listening when he asked the questions that applied to any incident with an officer?
No, because you are trying to confuse people. No wonder, since you recently endorsed the Mayor - after a year away from blogging - in your second post back.
Wow, you're a hard sell. Who's the one with the agenda? I've criticized Peduto, have you ever criticized the interim Mayor.
And what about the fact that there was no officer rampaging into the crowd?
Luke was screaming at the ticket takers to hurry up and started an argument with a police officer who pulled him OVER a barricade.
So we are going to ignore the fact that an eye-witness account refutes the Mayor's story that he was just saving people from an out of control officer?
Well, we know you are.