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McCain Camp Claims Politico's Ben Smith Is "In The Tank"

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As anybody knows who follows Ben Smith’s blog day in and day out, he has consistently reported the facts about everybody. In fact, he posted extensively on Obama’s connections to Reverend Wright.

In any event, Smith tried to clarify some facts with the McCain camp today, and they subsequently accused him of supporting Obama.

First, Joe Biden’s son Hunter…

Schmidt criticized the press for the relatively sparse coverage of the fact that one of Biden’s sons, Hunter, is a registered federal lobbyist.

“His son is a lobbyist for the credit card and banking industry,” Schmidt said.

But Hunter Biden’s lobbying clients don’t include any banks or credit card companies. He did work, as a vice president and then as a consultant, for MBNA, a Delaware-based bank and credit card giant to which Biden had close ties. But he does not appear to have lobbied for the firm.

Then, Obama’s ties to William Ayers…

Schmidt attacked Obama for his ties to William Ayers, who has spoken of his role in 1960s anti-war bombings committed by the Weather Underground.

“What we know for sure, and is beyond debate and argumentation is this: Senator Obama said that William Ayers is a guy that lives in his neighborhood. We know that that is a disingenuous and untruthful answer,” Schmidt said.

“Senator Obama began his political career in its early stages raising money at Ayers’ house,” he said.

Obama did hold a 1995 campaign event at Ayers’ house. It was not, however, a fundraiser, and Ayers did not contribute money to Obama’s first campaign, according to Illinois records.

And finally on Sarah Palin…

“As soon as Gov. Palin was nominated, one of Obama’s chief campaign surrogates, [Florida Rep.] Robert Wexler, went out and accused her of being a Nazi sympathizer,” Schmidt said. “Where is the outrage to that aspersion on the part of some of the biggest newspapers in the country?”

But Wexler didn’t call Palin a Nazi sympathizer. He called former presidential candidate Pat Buchanan a Nazi sympathizer, and attacked Palin for allegedly having endorsed him.

“John McCain’s decision to select a vice presidential running mate that endorsed Pat Buchanan for president in 2000 is a direct affront to all Jewish Americans. Pat Buchanan is a Nazi sympathizer with a uniquely atrocious record on Israel,” Wexler said.

(Wexler was apparently wrong: Though Buchanan claimed that Palin had supported him, she said she backed Steve Forbes in 1996 and 2000, and no evidence has emerged to the contrary.)

Yes, the McCain camp is angry at the press for not picking up their talking points and blindly parroting them back to the public. This is where we’re at now. No press access for Palin and randomly accusing reporters of being biased when they simply point out the truth.

So if you wonder why I’ve been consistently calling their claims about Obama “lies” as opposed to “distortions”, this is why. They’re obviously trying to intimidate the press into reporting their version of the facts, even when what they’re saying is provably false.

Nobody should stand for this. And I’m glad Ben Smith and the rest of the moderate, news-based blogosphere is talking about it.