Dependable Erection

Saturday, October 25, 2008


Josh Marshall:
It is time for the McCain campaign to come clean about what role any of its staffers may have had in hyping or pushing the press to hype the charges stemming from Ashley Todd's vicious and reprehensible hoax.

As Greg Sargent reported yesterday, McCain Pennsylvania communications director Peter Feldman pushed reporters on a highly incendiary version of Todd's hoax -- providing reporters with quotes from the fictitious attacker and telling them the the "B" scratched on Todd's face stood for "Barack." As the Washington Post's Eugene Robinson aptly put it, Feldman's actions showed "not just a willingness to believe it but an eagerness to incite a ... racial backlash against the Obama campaign."

Our reporting did not find any direct evidence that the McCain campaign's national headquarters played a role pushing the story.

However, the national campaign has now come forward and lied about what happened in Pennsylvania. McCain campaign spokesman Brian Rogers has now told NBC that alleged quotes from the McCain campaign in early reports of the story were actually the product of "sloppy reporting" and that they were actually quotes from the Pittsburgh police.

This is simply not credible.

Initial reports specifically quote the McCain campaign. And at least two sources involved in the contemporaneous reporting have come forward and said on the record that the quotes came directly from the McCain campaign. To believe that two separate local news organizations made the identical mistake with the same quotes and are now both covering it up is simply not credible. But that is what Rogers is now claiming.

The McCain campaign's after-the-fact lie about its role in this hoax makes it essential that it provide a complete and honest account of both the local and national campaign's role.



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