Archive for ‘hoax’

October 26, 2008

Irony triumphant

Multiple layers of irony are being exposed in the denouement of this campaign, including “Cakewalk Ken” Adelman’s Obama endorsement and the choice of animal-rights kook Matthew Scully to write speeches for moosehunting Sarah Palin.

The latest irony? Remember John McCain’s screwball idea of naming Andrew Cuomo as SEC chairman?

“Andrew Cuomo has distinguished himself by going after wrongdoing on Wall Street — that’s exactly the kind of bulldog we need at the S.E.C. to fight for American investors and taxpayers.”
Peter Feldman, 9/22/08

Peter Feldman — that name ring a bell? He was the guy pushing the Ashley Todd hoax to the media. None of the liberal bloggers trashing Feldman for pushing the hoax seem to have noticed his previous role as the “Republicans for Cuomo” spokesman.

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October 25, 2008

Behind the Ashley Todd hoax

Over at the American Spectator blog, I’ve got a brief report based on an interview with a source who couldn’t speak for attribution:

There was “never any inkling” that Todd was dishonest or emotionally unstable, the source explained in a telephone interview. Todd reportedly told police that she has had prior mental health issues, but nobody at College Republicans — for whom Todd was one of about 50 volunteers working in this year’s campaign — was aware of that background.

Nor were College Republicans aware that Todd had been kicked out of a Ron Paul group in Texas. I’m thinking that would have been a deal-breaker because — let’s be honest — if you’re too crazy for the Paulistas, you’re just too damned crazy.

October 25, 2008

Ashley Todd a Paulista?

The College Republican volunteer who perpetrated the Pennsylvania hoax appears to be a former Ron Paul supporter:

Ms. Todd’s job as a field representative for the College Republican National Committee brought her to Pittsburgh about two weeks ago to recruit college students. She had worked for the committee since August. Yesterday, the organization fired her.
Ashley Barbera, the organization’s communications director, said workers initially were concerned for Ms. Todd’s safety.
“We are as upset as anyone to learn of her deceit. Ashley must take full responsibility for her actions,” she said.
In March, Ms. Todd was asked to leave a grass-roots group of Ron Paul supporters in Brazos County, Texas, group leader Dustan Costine said. He said Ms. Todd posed as a supporter of former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee and called the local Republican committee seeking information about its campaign strategies.
“She would call the opposing campaign and pretend she was on their campaign to get
information,” Mr. Costine said last night. “We had to remove her because of the tactics she displayed. After that we had nothing to do with her.”
About a month earlier, he said, Ms. Todd sent an e-mail to the Ron Paul group saying her tires were slashed and that campaign paraphernalia had been stolen from her car because she supported Mr. Paul.
“She’s the type of person who wants to be recognized,” Mr. Costine said.

A Paulista volunteering on the McCain campaign? I’d advise her lawyer to try an insanity plea. “Extreme ideological instability” might not be be recognized as a mental disorder in the DSM-IV, but . . .

October 24, 2008

Ashley Todd’s disgusting hoax

A lot of people jumped on this story with both feet, and now it’s exposed as a lie:

Police say a campaign volunteer confessed to making up a story that a mugger attacked her and cut the letter B in her face after seeing her McCain bumper sticker. At a news conference this afternoon, offiicals said they believe that Ashley Todd’s injuries were self-inflicted. Todd, 20, of Texas, is now facing charges for filing a false report to police.
Todd initially told police that she was robbed at an ATM in Bloomfield [Pa.] and that the suspect became enraged and started beating her after seeing her GOP sticker on her car.
Police investigating the alleged attack, however, began to notice some inconsistencies in her story and administered a polygraph test.

Fox News Vice President John Moody:

If the incident turns out to be a hoax, Senator McCain’s quest for the presidency is over, forever linked to race-baiting.

Exactly how a 20-year-old campaign volunteer came up with this stupid stunt — hey, they’ve got video cameras at ATMs, you moron — remains to be seen. (Ashley Todd’s “blog” is cached.)

Michelle Malkin thought the story was fishy from the start because Todd refused medical treatment.

UPDATE: Ed Morrissey:

The College Republicans will have some explaining to do here.

Thursday, Ed interviewed two top College Republican officials who defended Todd’s veracity:

I spoke with two executives at the College Republicans on the record about this story. Charlie Smith, the National Chair, and Ethan Eilon, the Executive Director, both say the photo is legitimate and that it came from Ashley Todd, the victim in this case. . . . .
Eilon spoke with her personally today about the incident and confirmed the above with me. He first met Ashley in June, when she came to DC for training with the College Republicans.

Did the training include how to file a false police report?

UPDATE II: Ace defended Ashley. Now, he’s disgusted:

It’s not just that she’s corrupt and crazy. I mean — obviously.
It’s also that she’s not even minimally competent at it.
The Republican Party is supposed to be Evil. Not “incompetent.”
I assure you, Ashley, there is a difference.

This reminds me of the argument I make against people who want to legalize drugs. If you’re stupid enough to get caught with dope, there is a Darwinian benefit to getting you off the street. If we can’t outlaw stupidity, we can at least criminalize its consequences.

UPDATE III: Perp walk! And this:

“She hasn’t really shown any obvious remorse,” [Pittsburgh Police Lt. Kevin] Kraus said. “She’s certainly surprised that it snowballed to where it is today.”

Stupid people are always surprised by the disastrous consequences of their stupidity. If they weren’t stupid, they would have foreseen the consequences. It is their lack of foresight that leads them to doing stupid things in the first place.