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McCain Aides Aggressively Pushed Mutilation Hoax

The "Todd the Fraud" story thickens.
 
 
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I wanted to follow up briefly on the earlier item on the Ashley Todd hoax, because the story, which started and ended with incredible speed and efficiency, offers a few angles that matter more in the broader context.

Jonathan Chait, for example, emphasizes a good point.

I don't think the actions of one sick volunteer say anything at all about John McCain or his campaign. They do, however, tell us a lot about right-wing yellow journalists, from Drudge on down, who manipulated primitive racial-sexual fears for partisan gain.

Quite right. There's been an ongoing "debate" (I use the word loosely) of late about Drudge's influence, and the Todd fiasco is likely to do some lasting harm to his credibility and judgment. It's about time.

There's also this quote from John Moody, Fox News' executive vice president, which we talked about earlier.

If the incident turns out to be a hoax, Senator McCain's quest for the presidency is over, forever linked to race-baiting.

I rejected this out of hand earlier, because it struck me as unfair to tie the McCain campaign to a ridiculous stunt that McCain aides probably had nothing to do with. But upon further reflection, that might be letting McCain off the hook too easy.

 
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