In response to a report yesterday that former Politico White House correspondent Joe Williams pleaded guilty to assaulting his ex-wife earlier this year, Williams released the following statement:
“On Wednesday a conservative web site published a one-sided account of a dispute between me and my ex-wife, Amy Alexander — an incident that has nothing to do with my journalism career or work with and departure from Politico.
“The facts: Amy Alexander, my ex-wife, confronted me in February when I came to pick up our autistic son for a therapy appointment. My wife accosted me in front of him and I defended myself. In retaliation to my protective order against her, she wrongfully filed charges against me — several days after the incident. In the best interest of my children, and Amy, I chose to avoid an acrimonious, embarrassing trial.
“Sadly, this is the latest incident in a difficult post-divorce relationship; I’ve contacted police and social services several times because of my former spouse’s behavior. Most people want above all to keep these matters private; I’m no different.
“Yet earlier this week, my former spouse threatened several times to create with a ‘PR disaster’ for me without a clear reason, vowing I ‘won’t work in this town again’ if she chose. As a result, the right-wing noise machine decided to add fuel to the fire by publishing half truths taken out of context.
“I was with my children when the FishbowlDC reporter called me; I gave her the personal cell number of my lawyer, Shawn Bartley, and urged her to talk to him. Instead, she went through the motions, leaving a message on his office phone even though it was July 4. The story ran without waiting to hear from him, or without calling me back – a step most responsible journalists would have taken.
“Last Monday on the BIll Press Show, I anticipated conservative reporters would come at me again for pointing out their dubious credibility. Unfortunately, they have, proving my larger point: the right-wing noise machine will relentlessly bully anyone who publicly disagrees with their narrow world view.
“With this story, they’ve also crossed the line from questionable reporting into full-blown hack journalism.”