Slate.com teased a December 14 article by Slate chief political correspondent John Dickerson by suggesting that the article exposed a "Shady Real Estate Deal" involving Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL). In fact, the article explained there is "no evidence" that Obama did anything wrong.
The Slate.com homepage featured a link to Dickerson's article, which read: "Inside Obama's Shady Real Estate Deal." According to the article, there is a "question" as to whether Obama colluded with Democratic fundraiser Antoin Rezko in order to get "a break on the price" of a house Obama bought in Chicago in 2005. According to the Slate.com article:
Here's the question: Did Rezko orchestrate his same-day purchase of the lot at full price so that the seller would give Obama a break on the price of the adjacent house? Was Obama in on the deal? And did Rezko never intend to develop the lot, giving Obama a nice roomy side yard, a favor which he'd call in later?
Obama says he did talk to Rezko before the purchase, but only because a person who had renovated it for a previous owner had once worked with Rezko, who owns other properties in the South Side. He didn't arrange the joint purchase with him. He bought the house at such a good price, Obama has told the papers, because it was being unloaded in a "fire sale."
In the very next sentence, however, the report acknowledged that there is no evidence Obama did anything wrong:
There's no evidence that the senator is fibbing or that the indicted fund-raiser asked anything in return for his neighborly behavior (though that might have been just a matter of time). Obama hasn't tried to change his story, even though Rezko is now talking to investigators.
The article itself was titled "Barackwater" -- a reference to the Clinton-era Whitewater real-estate "scandal," which gave rise to an extensive, multimillion-dollar investigation that turned up no evidence of illegality by the Clintons.