Who Do You Believe?

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The McCain camp is denying that it was a campaign spokesperson who told local TV reporters in Pittsburgh that the “B” supposedly scrawled on the face of a young McCain campaign worker was a reference to “Barack” Obama, angrily carved into her face with a knife by a black mugger because she was a McCain supporter.

Of course we now know the victim’s entire account was a hoax. I suspect the McCain campaign’s denial is, too.

In response to our story, campaign spokesperson Brian Rogers told MSNBC that the campaign didn’t provide those details to the local reporters, but that the police did, and the reporters were sloppy in attributing them to the McCain campaign (at the 0:54 mark):

So here’s what the McCain camp would have you believe. Two different TV stations. Two different reporters. Neither could distinguish what they were told by the police (whom they presumably deal with on a daily basis) from what a campaign flack told them. So thorough is their sloppiness that even after the fact, upon reflection, both reporters stick by their stories, continuing to misattribute police statements to the campaign.

The McCain campaign denial also requires you to believe that, more than 12 hours after the concocted attack, the police — who say they were suspicious of the hoaxster’s account from the beginning — started leaking to reporters an incendiary version of events that didn’t even make it into the original police report of the incident.

Perhaps most implausibly, the McCain camp account requires you to give the benefit of the doubt to a crew that wants you to believe that Obama himself is a smooth-talking, baby-killing Islamic terrorist who embraces socialism and white women.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.
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