Politics

Talking Points Memo takes down story on Ted Stevens buying cocaine

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Steven Nelson
Associate Editor

Talking Points Memo published an article Friday based on an FBI document that cited an informant’s claim that former Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens was a customer of cocaine.

The article, “Dealer Told FBI That Ted Stevens Bought Eight Balls Of Cocaine,” has since been removed from TPM’s website.

David Kurtz, TPM’s Managing Editor/Washington Bureau Chief, told The Daily Caller via email, “While the story in question accurately described what was in the FBI file, we concluded that that information was not sufficient by itself to meet our standards for a story. The story was up for 15-20 minutes before we pulled it down.”*

The FBI’s release of documents related to Stevens does include one heavily redacted document from May 13, 1988. The document’s source was a drug dealer who alleged that the senator purchased cocaine while visiting Anchorage.

The document describes three alleged sales of cocaine to Stevens. According to the informant, one occurred in a restaurant. The senator allegedly “handed him/her $350.00 under the table and he/she gave him back one-eighth ounce of cocaine.”

Another deal supposedly occurred in a parking lot. “Stevens got into his/her car and he/she drove to the back part of their lot,” says the document. “[Redacted] stated that he/she does not recall whether Stevens bought one-eighth ounce or one-quarter ounce at this time.”

“[Redacted] stated that the three sales of cocaine to Stevens took place between [redacted] and [redacted],” says the document, “[Redacted] stated that he/she is sure of the time frame because it was [redacted].”

*Note: This article has been updated to include reaction from TPM.

  • esby

    I don’t understand what the story is here. 20 minutes? Really? There’s a lot of pressure to get out the breaking news, and this site surely could find itself in a similar predicament.

    • Drahcir

      I really hope this is a comment.