Earlier today, John Moody, executive vice president at Fox News, commented on his blog there that “this incident could become a watershed event in the 11 days before the election. If Ms. Todd’s allegations are proven accurate, some voters may revisit their support for Senator Obama, not because they are racists (with due respect to Rep. John Murtha), but because they suddenly feel they do not know enough about the Democratic nominee.
“If the incident turns out to be a hoax, Senator McCain’s quest for the presidency is over, forever linked to race-baiting.”
Exhibit B: Race Baiting Attack Story Fabricated By McCain Volunteer–MSNBC Breaking News video [YouTube]
This poor young woman is unbalanced. I feel sorry for her being pulled into this. It seems unintentional on her part. And it is unfortunate for the McCain campaign that she is a volunteer. BUT note the persistent pathology of the Unknown Big Black Assailant of White Women. There is a pathology to racism.
The McCain spokesperson’s claims — which came in the midst of extraordinary and heated conversations late yesterday between the McCain campaign, local TV stations, and the Obama camp, as the early version of the story rocketed around the political world — is significant because it reveals a McCain official pushing a version of the story that was far more explosive than the available or confirmed facts permitted at the time.
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.
This is problematic because the McCain campaign doesn’t want to have been perceived as pushing an incendiary story that not only turned out to be a hoax but which police officials said today risked blowing up into a “national incident” and has local police preparing to file charges against the hoaxster.
There’s no evidence that anyone from McCain national headquarters put out a version of events like this.
Also see Police: McCain volunteer made up robbery story (AP via TPM).
At the very least, it reveals two things: the desperation of [some in] McCain’s camp/campaign and a hard-to-deny-now racist/we’ll-get-the-white-vote strategy.
Still out. Grump.