Media

Linda McMahon Campaign Unsuccessfully Scrubs Evidence of its Role in NYT’s Richard Blumenthal Story

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Long story short, in case you haven’t already heard: a race for a Connecticut Senate race just got incredibly dirty when the New York Times broke a story Sunday night exposing Connecticut’s sitting Attorney General and now Senate would-be Richard Blumenthal’s false claim of serving in Vietnam. But guess who just outed themselves as the source on the story to the New York Times?

Yup: Blumenthal’s Senate campaign rival, Linda McMahon (former WWF executive Vince McMahon’s wife). How do we know this?

Because they put it up on their website, as Holly Bailey at Yahoo’s Newsroom noted:

….Broke an unwritten law in the shadowy world of political opposition research. And campaign representatives soon realized as much, scrubbing most of the evidence of their social-media handiwork soon after the Times began to insist that its own reporting had propelled the Blumenthal story forward.

Have you people never entered the wonderful world of Google Cache? Well, welcome:

There you can see a campaign bragging that they tipped off a New York Times reporter to the story that will bring down a political campaign. It reads:

In Case You Missed It: McMahon Strikes Blumenthal In NYT Article
May 17, 2010

“The Blumenthal Bombshell Comes At The End Of More Than 2 Months Of Deep, Persistent Research By Republican Linda McMahon’s Senate Campaign. It Gave The Explosive Norwalk Video Recording To The Times. This Is What Comes Of $16 Million, A Crack Opposition Research Operation And An Opponent Who, In The Words Of The President Blumenthal Worked For On A Draft Deferment, Who Gave Them The Sword.”

McMahon Strikes. Turns Blumenthal into Bruce Caputo.

Daily Ructions Blog
By Kevin Rennie
Monday, May 17, 2010

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal’s campaign for the United States Senate has been holed below the waterline by a devastating New York Times expose of Blumenthal’s false claims to have served in Vietnam. The piece, fed to the paper by the Linda McMahon Senate campaign, is accompanied by a chilling 2008 video of Blumenthal blithely making the false claim. The “brilliant” Blumenthal provides a stunningly inadequate response, with the universal weasel word “misspoken” appearing in the piece. It’s followed by a non-sequitur quote: “‘My intention has always been to be completely clear and accurate and straightforward, out of respect to the veterans who served in Vietnam,’ he said.”

And there’s more. Congratulations, New York Times: you were just exposed as a willing pawn in a dirty political campaign, likely because you engage in backhanded reporting tactics with a campaign stupid enough to unveil you as such. Job well done by all.

[fkamer@villagevoice.com]

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