On Obama, Drudge And Hillary

On Obama, Drudge And Hillary


Andrys Basten writes in the comments section of my recent post about the Drudge/Hillary/Obama muslim garb photo smear…

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.

That’s a fair point, but on a day that she was making a foreign policy speech about Islamic extremism, you don’t think some of her people would also try to attack the other candidate with an Islamic smear? One might think that this could draw even more attention to the speech, yes? And with the numerous strategic mistakes the Clinton campaign has made in message, tone and organization, it’s a completely plausible scenario.

In addition, here’s what I said in response to an earlier comment by mw in the aforementioned post, and I think it applies to what Andrys said as well…

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.

I stand by that feeling. And the reason being is that the Clinton campaign has been feeding Drudge stuff consistently for quite some time now. Like him or not, Drudge has the most popular gossip sites in the world and if something is splashed across the front page it enters the zeitgeist immediately. It’s a seductive thing for a campaign, and maybe this was a mistake by a lower level person, but again…nobody got fired.

I respect those who have a different opinion of the situation, but for anybody to say that my version isn’t as valid as theirs isn’t taking into account some well known political realities. I’ll be more than happy to say I was wrong if something else comes to light, but for now I’m sticking to my interpretation of the situation…which, again, has never been refuted by the Clinton campaign.

  • http://andrys1.blogspot.com Andrys B

    Hi, sorry my response was so long.

    Again, if you had a campaign staff of about 700 people spread out all over the US, how could you say in all seriousness that it’s impossible that one of those people sent it. So you don’t say something like that because you just never know. Very dangerous

    But it would not have been a campaign-staff “leak” because of the timing and because it wasn’t needed. It was going around like wildfire by Republicans. When you have others doing the dirty work, you can
    stay out of it.

    What is obvious was that nothing was sent by a Clinton staffer TO Drudge, per his own report. I did mention in my blog entry that this thing circulated for 2 days by that time and you know how that is also.

    I have no doubt people of all stripes were circulating that photo among themselves once they got it, as I’ve explained. I have friends on the Obama and Clinton sides and even on the McCain sides. But we all exchange info we find and it’s practically what the Net is these days.
    I don’t think, “Wait, should I send it to so and so, s/he’s on this or that side.” We just exchange emails with others who are info-addicted.

    As for Drudge’s general motives? Making trouble that is fun just from careful wording about obtaining a copy of an email that he won’t reveal despite how serious a charge it was for Obama supporters, which Obama took full advantage of even on March 10 since a primary was happening the next day. Drudge was the one who broke the Lewinsky stuff. And a headline like this one about the photo ensured tremendous traffic that day.

    It’s a matter of probabilities. You ask why he’d tie it to Clinton? I’m in many email groups, and if it hadn’t made Drudge within 2 days, for all I know, I would have received it from the many people who send out gossipy stuff as was done today with the McCain book extract with McCain’s endearing words to his wife etc. It’s already campaign fodder but it’s from a book, and I sent the Raw Story excerpt to friends. If I were on a campaign staff, someone could see the email and say a staffer was ‘circulating’ this… But it’s meaningless when just ‘circulated’ among friends. No “To:” was given or noted.

    You know? Some have speculated someone from Obama’s staff sent it to Drudge. I don’t believe that either. I think people need more before the certain finger pointing and damning that was done and which Obama himself encouraged.

    Don’t write to ‘convince’ you but just to cite the other (much more plausible, to my own mind) explanations. Thanks for the response.

  • Rob

    I agree with the op. Either clinton is a calculating politician that knows how to control the message and the campaign or she isn’t. You can’t have it both ways.

    Risking good press on a hot button issue in order to release a poorly shopped photo with an implied slight?

    It doesn’t even come close to passing the smell test.