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.

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