(CNN) – Two days after Oregon authorities released a transcript of a massage therapist accusing forrmer Vice President Al Gore of "unwanted sexual contact" in connection with a 2006 encounter, questions are being raised about the accuser's motives and why media outlets did not report the story sooner.
Mark Garber, the editor of the Portland Tribune, said his paper investigated the matter for months but ultimately concluded there was not enough evidence to run the story.
"We uncovered information that created significant questions in the minds of the four editors and the investigative reporter who were involved with this story. We still are not yet in a position to publish the information that helped dissuade us from the story," Garber wrote in a post on the paper's website.
Garber also said the paper was concerned with the fact that the woman "attempted to make her cooperation contingent upon her having a degree of editorial control that we couldn't allow."
In a statement released to the media earlier this week, the Portland Police Department said the allegation involved an encounter between Gore and the licensed massage therapist at a hotel on October 24, 2006. The department concluded there was not enough evidence to bring charges against the former vice president.
But Portland police spokeswoman Mary Wheat told CNN they released their report on the alleged sex crime this week because the National Enquirer was set to publish a story on the matter.
Barry Levine, the executive editor of the National Enquirer, told Washington Post media critic and CNN contributor Howard Kurtz that the still-unidentified woman demanded the tabloid pay her $1 million for the story.
The Enquirer ultimately decided not to pay for the story because it was able to obtain the detailed police report. Levine also suggested the tabloid was troubled the woman did not make a statement to the police for more than two years after the alleged incident took place. However he ultimately published the piece because "we felt, if this was in legitimate police documents, that was a story that should be brought to the surface.
After the police report was made public, several national news organizations – including CNN – reported the story. Kurtz told CNN he's not surprised the mainstream media ran with the report even though the underlying evidence of its truthfulness appeared tenuous.
"The reason this story was fit to print – even though we don't know the woman's claims are true – is that there are police records involved," said Kurtz. "So there are plenty of reasons for mainstream journalists to be skeptical about a four year claim by a woman who declined to be interviewed by the police for at least two years. But once the Portland authorities looked into the matter and generated public records, it becomes hard to ignore such a story when a former vice president is involved."
Portland Police said Wednesday the woman came to the department in January 2009, explaining that she would like to give a statement. "The woman read from a prepared statement and detailed the events of October 24, 2006. She reported that she was repeatedly subjected to unwanted sexual touching while in his (Gore's) presence," the police department's statement Wednesday said.
Earlier this year, the woman asked investigators if she could edit her statement, indicating that she could provide detectives with more information, authorities said.
Gore's office has refused to comment on the story.
Sounds like a hit job by a liar looking for a big payday. The prepared statement makes me wonder whether she's being backed by political interests.
Why not? Let's smear another Democrat because we all know that Republicans are the ones who are chaste and have "family values" and love God and country. What a crock this is.
kind of bizarre, why wait 3 years?
You haven't seen the last of this kind of thing in the news. A marriage that lasts that long doesn't suddenly fall apart without reason. I never trusted Gore.
Clearly she is making up the story for some personal gain – either attention towards her, away from something else in her life, for the money. But to report to the police after TWO YEARS and then ask a tabloid for $1 million for the story smells like fraud through and through.
Sadly for Gore, he cannot sue the Enquirer for this as he is a public figure, there are public records making the allegation, and thus there would be no over malice in the story... and he cannot prove his innocence unless he wasn't even in the area. Personally, I believe he got a massage as many people do and she decided to cash in on her brush with fame after spending two years trying to think how she could do it. SHAME SHAME SHAME on the media for giving this story even the remote amount of light without corroborating it. People make claims all the time about famous people. We ignore those allegations unless there is truth to it. The only reason why the legitimate press is running the story is because of Gore's marital status and how it nicely fits in with the change in perception of him. THAT IS NOT NEWSWORTHY! Even though Gore cannot sue, he is being damaged unfairly by charges without proof.
There does not appear to be sufficient evidence yet to support either side's version of events. I would not be surprised if it turns out to be true, but I would not be surprised if it turns out the woman is lying. The only tangibles so far are the police report and the woman's request for $1 million from the tabloid to report the story.
In any case, Gore should reconsider having private massages in a hotel room–even if it's strictly a massage, being alone together in a hotel room with a woman who was not his wife at his time was a poor judgment call. He should have had members of his security detail in the room to ensure that there were other observers in case it came to a situation like this.
The reason it wasn't reported earlier is because the Liberal Media wouldn't dare print an allegation like that. If it was Dick Cheney – watch out!
There is a reason most people don't read the National Enquirer.
Lib Dem Politician=attack the victim. GOP politician, he is guilty and the woman is a saint.
What liberal media bias? LOL!!!
Remember the front page attack on McCain in the Ny Times? It was a lie but they ran it anyway. However, here, like the John Edwards story and Bill and Monica before that, the so called mainstream media ignored the story for as long as they could.
It is no wonder that every Democrat in America and their media idiots cringed when they thought Obama might have ordered a chilli burger yesterday. From where their heads are at, you can't blame them.
Are you kidding me, If he would be a republican the media would asking if was going to turn in his Nobel prize... Now CNN is helping cover it up. It will be funny when more sex stories come out. Couples married as long as him and Tipper were dont split for no reason. I believe the media did the same thing on John Edwards....
Although I'm not in Gore's fan club, the first thing I thought about this woman's accusation was, "she lies!"
I suppose I could accuse...say Cindy Crawford... of making unwanted sexual advances towards me (ya right!) and offer to forget the matter for a million dollars, but it wouldn't make the accusation true. This woman is trying to make a fortune off this wild and almost totally unprovable allegation. This story should be filed under T for trash.
"Unwanted sexual touching"? 4 years ago? Give me a break!. The woman is just another gold-digger looking for deep pockets.
If the Enquirer won't run with the story, it's almost certainly false.
I am not surprised by the allegations. Anyone that wants to laugh off the "accuser" shouldn't.
It is a little too ironic that his wife and him divorce after however many years of marriage, and then this story is slowly coming out.
Wasn't the Enquirer that caught John Edwards?
At any rate, I hope people will be considerate of the accuser even though the man she is accusing the all lovable Al Gore:-)
Why the accuser didn't press charges right away is obvious...$$$
Why the media didn't report it is equally obvious...Gore is a far left democrat.
Media to the rescure!! Not our beloved spiritual leader.
She waited 3 years before telling the police – I don't believe a word of it.
This discretion is never showed with republicans. Remember the McCain story about his aide that was shown to be false? Or the Bush story that forced Dan Rather out because they ran with a clearly forged letter?
Hypocrisy at its finest. There is no reason to trust ANY media, left or right.
He was just checking for global warming.
A shakedown, pure and simple. Publish her name NOW
If it had been a Republican, the media would have been all over this story. Guess TIpper knows the real Al. She dumped him. That's enough for me.
She'll get 3 years probation for making false statements to law enforcement and the National Enquirer just got duped for $1 mil. Have a nice day.
Of course, she wants money. After the Gore's announced their separation, she though this was a good time to line her pocker with a little green. She should be jailed for and make an example of. This would stop a lot of this money making effort for trying to fleech someone.