The Washington Post

Rand Paul gets byline in op-ed mixup

(Charles Dharapak/AP)

He likes: filibustering, the occasional Bluegrass State bourbon... and our colleague David A. Fahrenthold’s recent story about a magician whose rabbit (the one he pulls out of a hat during his act) got caught up in onerous USDA regulations

Paul apparently is such a big fan of the story that he’s shared it with colleagues and staffers, posted it on Facebook and Twitter — and the article even appeared under Paul’s own byline in two of his home-state papers.

Seems the local papers ran the story under Paul’s byline as a result of a mixup. Steve Doyle, the editor of the Sentinel-News in Shelbyville, Ky. explained to the Loop that the piece was included as part of a regular e-mail from the senator’s office. Typical of the updates many lawmakers send media outlets back home, the e-mail usually includes clips mentioning Paul, statements issued from his office, opinion articles he’s penned, and the like.

The rabbit story was identified in such a recent roundup as an “op-ed” offering by the senator, meaning the newspapers were free to run it.

And run it they did.

Doyle explained that another story had fallen through and he used the story to fill a gap. “I needed to find something in short order,” he said.

An editor from the Nelson County Gazette, the other paper that ran the story, didn’t return our calls, though the paper ran a correction, citing “incorrect information received by” the newspaper.

Paul’s office realized the labelling error and contacted the papers to correct the record.

Emily Heil is the co-author of the Reliable Source and previously helped pen the In the Loop column with Al Kamen.


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