"Newspaper," in zeal to pretend it had story on its own, fabricates source of information

To paraphrase Poe, the thousand injuries of the "newspaper" I have borne as best I could.

The stolen stories. The failure to give credit. The purposeful slights, flouting basic courtesy, conventions and ethics.

But this weekend, the Las Vegas Review-Journal's Laura Myers went a step further: She published -- and her "newspaper" let her do it -- a demonstrably false piece of information, so she could give the illusion she did reporting.

Here's what happened:

On Friday evening, after pushing and prodding for a week, I finally obtained the third-quarter fundraising totals for both U.S. Senate candidates. And there was a significant story there: Sen. Dean Heller had $1 million more on hand than Rep. Shelley Berkley.

I published that information at 8:30 on Saturday morning, as you can see from the time stamp.

What happened next defies belief and should outrage any real journalist.

First, Myers Tweeted the news at 11:17 AM, as if she had learned it on her own. Eventually, the Heller folks gave her their figures; the Berkley folks say no one ever talked to her.

That's bad enough, but I am used to that kind of behavior -- my enterprise reporting ignored, "newspaper" claims it has story on its own.

But it gets worse.

At 6:10 PM, Myers posted a story. In the piece, she sourced the Heller campaign for his numbers.

But where did she get Berkley's? Her story says the numbers are from "reports filed with the Federal Election Commission." (The plural here is strange, making me think she actually is implying both sets of data came from the FEC.)

But there is a tiny problem here: Berkley's report isn't even done, much less filed with the FEC. So Myers just made that up.

After wondering if I were missing how egregious this is, and getting feedback from other journalists who were appalled, I emailed Myers. Here's what she said when I asked her about pilfering the story and making up the FEC reports:

Myers: "Hey sorry. I didn't steal the info from you ... It was passed along to me by a third party.

"Really Jon. I know you had info first but I followed up."

So: She wouldn't even address it. Nor did she correct an easily verifiable piece of information (why would she say that an FEC filing exists that clearly does not?). I have attached a screen shot of the story because I have to figure her editors will want to change it after this is published.

I understand the "newspaper" doesn't like me and that no reporter likes to be beaten on a story. But fabricating a source to deny credit and pretend you did actual reporting?

That's a line crossed that cannot be erased.