In an October 17 article, the conservative website NewsMax.com falsely claimed that it never stated that the rock band U2's October 16 concert in Philadelphia was to be a benefit for the re-election campaign of Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA). In fact, the original version of NewsMax's article announcing Santorum's presence at the U2 concert -- which has since been deleted from its website -- stated that the concert was "in support of Santorum's re-election."
NewsMax made the false denial in response to an October 14 New York Times article that described the band's move to distance itself from political fund-raisers held at its concerts. The article noted that "a web site, NewsMax.com, reported that U2 was 'teaming up' with another senator, Rick Santorum, Republican of Pennsylvania, for a thousand-dollar-a-seat concert in Philadelphia on Sunday [October 16]," adding that "Santorum's office responded that the story was incorrect: the senator has bought only 66 seats, which supporters can repurchase for the higher price." In its October 17 response, NewsMax stated:
But here's the rub: NewsMax had never claimed that U2 or Bono were holding their concert for Santorum -- though several liberal blogs claimed as much. Apparently, the New York Times has bought into the NewsMax-Santorum-Bono conspiracy theory.
But the original version of NewsMax's October 10 article announcing Santorum's appearance at the concert, headlined "Bono, U2 in Fund-Raiser for Senator Rick Santorum," did make that claim:
Teaming up with the legendary rock group U2 for a one-night only appearance will be Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Penn.).
The thousand-dollar-a-seat concert has been put together by Sean and Ana Wolfington and will take place at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia in support of Santorum's re-election, reports NewsMax's James Hirsen.
The article went on to explain why lead singer Bono would have agreed to do this, claiming that "[a]s in the case of Santorum, Bono's religious convictions inform his activities." NewsMax also quoted Sean Wolfington, organizer of Santorum's concert fund-raiser, as saying, "It's truly appropriate for U2, a band with a purpose, to be involved in a fund-raiser with Senator Rick Santorum, a politician with a purpose. Both men are passionate about what they believe and their faith is very important to them."
This version of the article was deleted from NewsMax's website and replaced by a new version, which accurately stated that Santorum "will hold a fund-raising event" at the U2 concert and deleted Wolfington's comparison. As of this writing, NewsMax has not issued a public correction or otherwise informed its readers that the article was altered.