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Politico's Jonathan Martin re Ashley Todd: Seems like McCain just can't catch a break.

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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-24-08 03:42 PM
Original message
Politico's Jonathan Martin re Ashley Todd: Seems like McCain just can't catch a break.

Jonathan Martin at Politico should apologize or step down

by Bob Johnson
Fri Oct 24, 2008 at 12:44:11 PM PDT

Following up on Meteor Blades' recommended diary, Lynch Mob, we should look beyond Fox News to other so-called "reputable" journalists who jumped on the "McCain volunteer attacked" story and promoted it as "fact" -- before the facts were in.

We can start with Jonathan Martin at Politico.

Martin reported this story as fact yesterday, offering this headline and first line:

It's getting ugly out there

A McCain staffer was assaulted last night in Pittsburgh.

Note that he did not use "allegedly attacked." He stated it as fact. Martin then cites Drudge as his source for this "fact":

Via Drudge:

Martin updates his story with the McCain response:

UPDATE: A McCain aide says that both the McCain and Palin have called the family of the victim.

Ignore the fact that Martin doesn't also UPDATE with the Obama camp response which came as quickly as the McCain response.

But it gets worse...

Today, when Martin reported on the hoax, he mentioned not a single word about his own false reporting from the day before.

In fact, he compounds his error by offering the following headline and first line for the piece:

When it rains it pours

Seems like McCain just can't catch a break.

"McCain can't catch a break?" That a young woman wasn't really beaten and mutilated by a big, strong black man? If she had, that would have constituted a "break" for McCain?

Who thinks like that?


"Who thinks like that?" The McCain campaign does:


A painful ending to a sordid story.


It certainly seemed to be headed in this direction. The AP reported this afternoon that Ashley Todd, the McCain volunteer, did not appear in bank surveillance footage at the ATM where the alleged attack occurred, and changed her story to say she'd been knocked unconscious by her assailant. Yesterday, Todd shared with news outlets specific remarks the attacker said during the alleged incident, so this represented a rather dramatic change.

I seriously doubt that the McCain campaign was involved in planning this hoax, but I've heard that the campaign was pushing this story to reporters rather aggressively last night, and Fox News and Drudge have been covering it with great enthusiasm (and without much skepticism). Most national news outlets paused, waiting for additional information. It was the right move. No word, as of yet, on contrition from Fox News or Drudge.

In a political context, this sad story won't help the McCain campaign at all, creating another distraction in a state the campaign is desperate to win.

And in a social context, we have yet another high-profile instance of someone blaming an African-American man for a crime that did not occur.

Martin, Fox, Drudge and the McCain campaign are more disgusting than Todd.

Police Suspicious of McCain Worker Mugging Story All Along

Video: PD Press Conference on Apparent McCain Worker Mugging Hoax

Wingnutosphere punk'd (yet) again

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K Gardner Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-24-08 03:46 PM
Response to Original message
1. Has Fox News owned up to the hoax yet? I can't watch it.
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islandmkl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-24-08 03:54 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. your amazing post re: 2nd debate has been linked this afternoon...
Edited on Fri Oct-24-08 03:55 PM by islandmkl
just want to say that you have written the most succint, coherent and thoughtful interpretation of not only that night's events...but also the underlying currents pushing and pulling at Barack...

i apologize for adressing this 'off topic'...but i wanted to say thanks

also...probably the single best post i have encountered at DU...
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ErinBerin84 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-24-08 03:52 PM
Response to Original message
2. I emailed Jonathan Martin
Edited on Fri Oct-24-08 03:56 PM by ErinBerin84
today when Tucker Bounds said that "real Americans don't read Politico", and put in a thing at the end like "remember that the next time you run into Tucker Bounds when doing the ribs with McCain at the BBQ (kidding, kidding). This is what he (or whoever does his email) replied:

"Amazing, isnt it, that one is capable if still doing their job and aggressively covering a campaign while also enjoying ribs (and other delicacies) in the company of the candidate/staff.

Sorta makes a mockery out of the obsession w/ the cook-out (BBQ is a noun)"

then I replied with something, and he (or whoever) replied

"It's a regional thing, just giving ya a hard time"
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-24-08 04:47 PM
Response to Original message
4. McCain Communications Director Gave Reporters Incendiary Version Of "Carved B" Story Before Facts...

McCain Communications Director Gave Reporters Incendiary Version Of "Carved B" Story Before Facts Were Known

By Greg Sargent - October 24, 2008, 5:12PM

John McCain's Pennsylvania communications director told reporters in the state an incendiary version of the hoax story about the attack on a McCain volunteer well before the facts of the case were known or established -- and even told reporters outright that the "B" carved into the victim's cheek stood for "Barack," according to multiple sources familiar with the discussions.

John Verrilli, the news director for KDKA in Pittsburgh, told TPM Election Central that McCain's Pennsylvania campaign communications director gave one of his reporters a detailed version of the attack that included a claim that the alleged attacker said, "You're with the McCain campaign? I'm going to teach you a lesson."

Verrilli also told TPM that the McCain spokesperson had claimed that the "B" stood for Barack. According to Verrilli, the spokesperson also told KDKA that Sarah Palin had called the victim of the alleged attack, who has since admitted the story was a hoax.

The KDKA reporter had called McCain's campaign office for details after seeing the story -- sans details -- teased on Drudge.


The claims to KDKA from the McCain campaign were included in an early story that ran late yesterday on KDKA's Web site. The paragraphs containing these assertions were quickly removed from the story after the Obama campaign privately complained that KDKA was letting the McCain campaign spin a racially-charged version of the story before the facts had been established, according to two sources familiar with the discussions.

The story with the removed grafs is still right here. We preserved the three missing grafs from yesterday:

A source familiar with what happened yesterday confirmed that the unnamed spokesperson was communications director Peter Feldman. Feldman was also quoted yesterday making virtually identical assertions on the Web site of another local TV station, WPXI. But those quotes, which we also preserved here, are also no longer available on WPXI's site, for reasons that are unclear.


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HeraldSquare212 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Oct-24-08 04:50 PM
Response to Original message
5. He created the atmosphere that caused/allowed someone to do this, so it's not just bad luck.
It was a choice he made and a choice he stuck with after protests by many people, to use inflammatory assertions to rally people; this individual apparently felt that the nature of the danger was so great that anything was permissible to stop it.
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