Revisiting Drudge, Hillary & Obama’s Turban Photo

Revisiting Drudge, Hillary & Obama’s Turban Photo


As decidedly anti-Clinton as he is, Sully still makes a sage observation today:

He’s about scoops, and gets them. But once you realize that the Clintons’ tax returns and the Olympics ceremony boycott stories came from the Clinton camp, do you still believe that photo of Obama in a turban fell off a turnip truck?

Hillary’s team has been giving Drudge “secret” exclusives on a lot of stuff, and not just recently. It’s an open secret how pushing dirt through Drudge works, and even though some here at Donklephant dismissed me for believing that Hill’s camp pushed that image, I think it’s important to remember that the campaign never followed up on who did it, nobody was ever fired as a result and nothing additional was said, like “Yeah, Drudge made this up.” And as we all know, when a campaign doesn’t say something, it can resonate just as much as when they do.

So what do you think?

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  • mw

    The most likely scenario, is that the pictures came from Republican operatives to Drudge with a spoofed heading.

    This site traced the picture to the Republcan Free Republic site two days before it was released to Drudge. An e-mail header is stupidly easy to spoof. Drudge has never produced the e-mail or a name, instead just saying that it appeared to come from the Clinton campaign. To this day, that is the only source for the claim that it came from the Clintons.

    The Obama campaign knew it was in their interest to smear the Clinton campaign. Obama supporters got played, including Justin. The real story here, is the smear of the Clinton campaign by the Obamites. Only Clinton was damaged by this.

    The Republicans that pulled this off are still laughing.

  • Justin Gardner

    Now wait a second…you’re saying I was played? Of course the Clinton people had to get it from somewhere. You don’t think they read Free Republic? Pleassssse…this is basic Oppo Research 101.

    The original Drudge story said that Clinton staffers were circulating it and that Drudge obtained it. So it’s completely plausible that these people were surfing Free Republic, saw the photo, passed around the link and then floated the link to Drudge. Otherwise, why tie it to Clinton? There’s no reason to. Drudge, who is known for pushing such stories without ANY attribution, would have just posted the photo of Obama himself.

    Also, let’s not forget that no additional information came out from the Clinton campaign. Why is this? Wouldn’t they have aggressively tried to prove that they didn’t send it around?

    Consider me unconvinced.

  • Bubbles

    Drudge frustrates me. I admire him for bringing stories to light on his website that would otherwise never be heard of (when they’re actually important)…. but I’m pretty sure the guy’s a total douchebag other than that.

    At the same time, I strongly doubt that the Clinton camp is going to be feeding anti-Obama stuff to the same guy who broke the Monica Lewinsky story.

  • mw

    The reason no additional information came out of the Clinton campaign or can come out of the Clinton campaign is because the information is not there. If they were not the source, what information could they possibly produce? It is asking them to prove a negative.

    Of course there is a reason to tie it to Clinton. It gets the Democrats fighting among themselves. Of course there is a reason for the Obama campaign to blame the Clinton campaign. The accusation that it came from the Clinton campaign was far far more damaging among Democratic voters than the picture itself. The pciture might have some negative effect on Obama in the general against a Republican, but among Democrats, I doubt if it changed even one primary vote. On the other hand, the smear that the Clinton campaign distributed it, was very damaging to Clinton.

    It was a two-fer for the Republicans. Clinton weas damaged in the primary, Obama was damaged in the general. If Clinton wins the nomination, her Dem support is damaged because Obama supporters believe this bs.

    It would actually have to be considered quite brilliant, if it was not so friggin easy to do.

  • Andrys B

    If someone sends you an email, Justin, do you then tell people you “obtained” it?

    Drudge never said he got an email from the Clinton staff, only that a Clinton staffer had ‘circulated’ it in email, which of course people of all persuasions would have been doing during those two highly active days on the Free Republic forums, and that he -obtained- a copy of it.

    The point was also that a member of Free Republic scanned the photo that was uploaded and reposted, on Feb. 23 and much discussed and, as I said in the blog entry, obviously would have been passed around in email for the two days before Drudge reported it.
    Drudge was long a member of that forum and has many e-friends there.

    The reason Clinton camp would not have had an interest in doing it was that her much anticipated foreign policy speech with endorsement of 32 former generals and other security heads was being made the day Drudge reported this, and the video of the occasion with her endorsement by all those guys was wiped out by the story about the photo. Today I saw for the first time a photo from that speech/event with the former generals (including Wesley Clark), and it was a speech almost not heard or seen outside the hall thanks to that photo news.

    They did provide the transcript but not too many people are interested in reading transcripts.

    Worse, after a -Debate- during which Obama said he accepted Clinton’s statement that she knew nothing about staff doing anything like that (they would have to polled all 700+ staffers through the US) and that they should move beyond that — weeks later on March 10 he told a Mississippi rally that Clinton had “leaked” the “photo of me” in that garb and furthermore (in another rally in Mississippi) complained to his crowd that she had NOT ‘defended’ him on 60 minutes about his faith.

    As you can see at
    she not only defended him, she did, 2 full times before being asked the question yet again and you can see the puzzlement on her face about still being asked what she thought and she added “as far as I know”…

    Obama and his supporters and media ignored the first two answers during their videoclips, concentrating only on that phrase on the third answer and then left out her FOURTH answer that came after the clause, which expanded on it:

    “Look, I have been the target of so many ridiculous rumors. I have a great deal of sympathy for anybody who gets, you know, smeared with the kind of rumors that go on all the time.”

    THAT was not enough for Obama! because what he needs to do is rile up his supporters against her (which he does very well) and so he told the crowd she didn’t defend him. He said it as if he were complaining to his parents or his teachers. It was embarrassing and also very low. He knew exactly what he was doing.

    How many people are asked to vouch for the personal faith of others anyway, especially, essentially, co-workers.

    I realize it might be fun or more gratifying if the Clinton staff ‘gave’ Drudge some ‘exclusive’ on the photo but there is nothing to indicate that and plenty to support several other scenarios.

  • Joel

    I bet there are a bunch out there now that wish that Drudge would have come up with more stuff back in the day. Oh well, on to 2012!!