SC

Charleston Paper Staying Mum

POST AND COURIER YET TO RESPOND TO MUSC CHEATING SCANDAL BLOWBACK … The largest newspaper in South Carolina has yet to respond to the allegation that it made “inaccurate and defamatory” statements about the twin daughters of an outgoing state lawmaker who were allegedly involved in a cheating scandal at the Medical University…

POST AND COURIER YET TO RESPOND TO MUSC CHEATING SCANDAL BLOWBACK …

The largest newspaper in South Carolina has yet to respond to the allegation that it made “inaccurate and defamatory” statements about the twin daughters of an outgoing state lawmaker who were allegedly involved in a cheating scandal at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC).

Earlier this week, investigative reporter Ron Aiken basically turned his new website over to an anonymous source “with knowledge of the facts of the case.”

According to Aiken’s source, identical twins Kellie Bingham and Kayla Bingham – daughters of outgoing S.C. Rep. Kenny Bingham and granddaughters of MUSC board member William H. Bingham, Sr. – were defamed by The (Charleston, S.C.) Post and Courier, which broke the story of the cheating scandal last month.

Not only that, the source claimed the Bingham girls were “targeted” as a result of “internal politics” at the school.

Specifically, the source pointed the finger of blame at Deborah Deas, a former interim dean who was allegedly angry because she was passed over by the MUSC board for a promotion.  Two MUSC professors who supported Deas – Debra Hazen-Martin and Laura Kasman – were also named in connection with what the source claimed was an elaborate plot to frame the Bingham girls.

Deas, Hazen-Martin and Kasman all remain employed by MUSC, incidentally.

We reached out to reporters and editors at the Post and Courier in the aftermath of Aiken’s story breaking … but received no response from them.  Furthermore the paper – which won the Pulitzer Prize in 2014 – has run nothing in its Tuesday editions by way of responding to the allegations.

Should we read anything into that?  Not necessarily …

“They’re going to wait to see if anybody actually files a suit,” a source close to the publication told us.  “I suspect they have an awful lot to say about it – but they will hold their powder.”

Meanwhile sources close to the MUSC board privately fretted about the looming legal battle.

“It will be a sh*t show,” one told us.

Will be?

MUSC tried threatening and stonewalling the Post and Courier prior to its initial reporting on the scandal – including a demand that the paper pay $275,000 in order to receive a response to a simple open records request.  In the aftermath of the scandal breaking, school leaders have tried (and failed) to do damage control with irate students and faculty – many of whom have called for an independent investigation into the allegations.

Get the popcorn, indeed …

(Banner image via iStock)

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