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McCain Campaign Pushed Racist Anti-Obama Angle on Pittsburgh Mugging Hoax

News out now that the McCain campaign caught wind of Ashley Todd's racist hoax and was pushing racist anti-Obama angles on the story, spinning it against Obama and attempting to fan the flames of hatred.

Keep in mind, Ashley Todd is a McCain volunteer in their Pittsburgh office. So although I'm speculating here, there may well have been other McCain campaign volunteers and staffers involved in this hoax as well.

But what is coming to light is proof that McCain campaign staffers in Pennsylvania were actively involved in promoting the anti-Obama angle of this story in the press, trying to gain coverage on the incident that would be damaging to the Obama campaign.

John McCain's Pennsylvania communications director told reporters in the state an incendiary version of the hoax story about the attack on a McCain volunteer well before the facts of the case were known or established -- and even told reporters outright that the "B" carved into the victim's cheek stood for "Barack," according to multiple sources familiar with the discussions.

John Verrilli, the news director for KDKA in Pittsburgh, told TPM Election Central that McCain's Pennsylvania campaign communications director gave one of his reporters a detailed version of the attack that included a claim that the alleged attacker said, "You're with the McCain campaign? I'm going to teach you a lesson."

Verrilli also told TPM that the McCain spokesperson had claimed that the "B" stood for Barack. According to Verrilli, the spokesperson also told KDKA that Sarah Palin had called the victim of the alleged attack, who has since admitted the story was a hoax.

Spin provided by the McCain campaign was included in KDKA's story but subsequently removed after the Obama campaign privately complained to the KDKA management that "KDKA was letting the McCain campaign spin a racially-charged version of the story before the facts had been established, according to two sources familiar with the discussions."

Here's a screenshot of what was removed from the KDKA web site version of the story, captured by TPM:

KDKA-450w.jpg
After the story appeared on KDKA's site and this and other pieces in the local press started flying around the political world, an Obama spokesperson in the state angrily insisted to KDKA that it was irresponsible for the station to air the McCain spokesperson's incendiary version of events before the facts were fully known, according to two sources familiar with the discussions.

After that, KDKA went back to McCain's Pennsylvania spokesperson, Feldman, and asked if he stood by the story as he'd earlier told it, but he started backing off the story, a source familiar with the talks says. That prompted KDKA to remove the grafs.

I'm not surprised that right wing racists in the blogopshere jumped all over this, pushing their racist spin on this story hard and fast -- after all, that's what racists do -- but evidence that the McCain organization was also fanning the racist flames is absolutely shocking.


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Comments (12)

Allen:

Well Lee, they are desperate, and will say and do anything to win. Look at all the voter caging going on, electronic voting machines that flip the votes for McCain.

And it's just not the White House they are fighting for, it the whole Congress also. If every vote is counted correctly, WOW.

But you will never hear an apology from the right wing blogger's about this story and they swore was true. I wonder how many other supporters were involved? Hopefully none, but it wouldn't surprise me.

Also I hear there is some problems with the receipts from Sara's clothes. That is also interesting.

Mike:

It is a shame that McCain has done nothing to promote his candidacy except dengrade Obama. That is why he is losing. 100% negative, grouchy, hateful, angry, untruthful.

truthteller:

I think the only spinning is on this web site. There are archived pages that will show that the 'victim' is a member of a pro-Obama group of hackers. They are not above this type of stunt. This girl was an Obama plant. This was to create the perfect storm for the Obama campaign just days before Election Day. The Obama campaign is willing to do anything to get into the Oval Office.

I'm glad the girl has confessed and the police are taking it seriously. However, the heading for this entry is a little misleading. It was not the McCain campaign that pushed the angle, it was one person working in a campaign office. I would like to think he is no longer working there, and should be considered at least partially culpable in the perpetration of the hoax. Please don't paint all conservatives with the same blame brush this idiot deserves. It is just as despicable as when conservatives do the same to liberals. We are not all alike. My husband and I consider ourselves conservative, but not Republican. There is a major difference, and even we differ on our beliefs. We simply cannot blame an entire group for the actions of one or a few idiots.

Allen:

Denise, I have to agree with you on being conservative, but not a republican. I also am conservative, but not republican or democrat. But with all the lies the GOP is spouting, I can't help but expose them.

Some people think Obama isn't an American citizen, as they say he wasn't born in the US. They don't know what the law says pertaining to this is, and Senor McCain was born in South America. That same law covers him also.

But as the story develops, it sounds like someone in the McCain may, (MAY) be involved. Time will tell if they dig into it enough.

engineer:

Allen: McCain was born at a military base in the Panama Canal Zone. That is Central America, not South America. In terms of the seven continents, it is part of North America.

shawn:

I doubt anyone involved in the campaigns would risks an amateur stunt, on either side. Unfortunately there will be passionate people acting strange. I've heard about McCain and Obama signs being vandalized, and I hope everyone here would agree that sometimes good people, our friends and family for goodness sake, get carried away. I think Obama is fine, and of course a lot of people think he's phony as a 3 dollar bill, I get that. The last thing America should be about is bitterness and spite. I take McCain supporters at their word when they say they want the best for the country. Let's have a contest: whoever accuses the other untrustworthiness first loses!

Boing!:

I think the only spinning is on this web site. There are archived pages that will show that the 'victim' is a member of a pro-Obama group of hackers. They are not above this type of stunt. This girl was an Obama plant. This was to create the perfect storm for the Obama campaign just days before Election Day. The Obama campaign is willing to do anything to get into the Oval Office.

3. Posted by truthteller

So many Troofers are rightwingers like Ron Paul. Are you a troofer, too?

You have a lovely tin foil hat. Where did you get it? I think it may help with the transmissions I've been receiving from Illuminati and The New World Odor.

Allen:

engineer, I stand corrected. I should have said central American. But nevertheless, the law supports both of them. So why does the GOP try to make a big deal out of this?

Simple, they want to divide the country, us against them. And the more people they can stop from voting, the GOP will win.

All the voter caging going on, electronic voting machines not working, etc, is not going to be the way it goes this election like it did in the past. Same as the BS about ACORN, as much as they have been investigated over the years, not one person has been charged with a crime.

Now the sick gal that came all the way from Texas to Pittsburgh as an unpaid volunteer, yea, I believe that also. It shows the McCain camp is hurting, and they realize the election is lost unless they can disqualify enough legal voters. Then they might win.

Herman:

Speaking of the McCain campaign in Western Pennsylvania, here's a little gem from John McCain speaking himself, showing that he's losing it, and is now quite similar to Chimpy:

http://politicalhumor.about.com/od/johnmccainvideos/youtube/mccain-penn.htm

A snippet:

"You know, I think you may have noticed that Senator Obama's supporters have been saying some pretty nasty things about Western Pennsylvania lately. And you know, I couldn't agree with them more." -- John McCain

DAMN, JUST LIKE CHIMPY!

Chris:

A US military installation is considered US soil, so it doesn't matter where the base is. McCain was born on US soil.

Just my 2 cents.

Prentess:

So you're saying if Obama was born on a "U.S" military base in Iraq, no one would care? Get real. Just like those that are saying Obama could be a terrorist because he "has the bloodline". I haven't heard anybody mention McCain having a slave owner's bloodline. Why? Because that would just sound crazy, as crazy as it sounds when these people are talking about Obama and his bloodline.


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