Tuscaloosa Patch Silent After They Repeated John Merrill’s Lies, Smeared National File

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Yesterday, National File revealed our exclusive interview with Cesaire McPherson, the woman who was engaged in an extramarital affair with Alabama Secretary of State – and then Senate hopeful – John Merrill. National File obtained text messages discussing the affair, a photograph taken of Merrill by McPherson during the affair, and a nearly thirty minute interview where McPherson detailed her experiences with John Merrill.

Regardless, Tuscaloosa Patch reporter Ryan Phillips – ostensibly under the direction of Patch.com editor-in-chief Dennis Robaugh – saw fit to unquestioningly republish statements made by Merrill, and to besmirch National File’s stellar reputation in the process.

Before admitting to the affair earlier this afternoon, Merrill acknowledged that he exchanged sexually charged text messages about being anally penetrated by McPherson, but claimed he only did so because she was harassing him. According to Merrill, as published by Tuscaloosa Patch reporter Ryan Phillips, apparently under the direction of editor-in-chief Dennis Robaugh, his wife knew about these communications – which lasted over a year – and there was never an actual sexual affair.

Today, Merrill tacitly admitted he lied to Tuscaloosa Patch, and admitted the kinky affair happened precisely as National File reported after audio was released by Stew Peters on his radio program, Patriotically Correct, revealing that Merrill explicitly thanked McPherson for anally penetrating him.

National File promptly requested Phillips and Robaugh retract their false insinuations that National File’s reporting was false, yet, at time of publication, the original article has not been changed. Language in which Phillips insinuated the story was false, and quoted Media Bias Fact Check, a website that is not accredited with the Poytner Institute’s International Fact-Checking Network, to insinuate National File’s article was untruthful remains on the website.

Neither Phillips nor Robaugh responded to National File’s emails, and Phillips declined a phone call from National File to discuss this matter. Tuscaloosa Patch also has not published an article acknowledging Merrill’s admission of the kinky affair, with the most recent article on their website being the one that besmirched National File’s reputation and unquestioningly repeated Merrill’s lies.

In addition to insinuating National File’s reporting was false, Tuscaloosa Patch seemingly suggested McPherson was a liar. McPherson says Merrill once became enraged and physically attacked her, leaving bruises and marks on her body. According to McPherson, Merrill only left the area after she attempted to strike him back with a belt.