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October 24, 2008

McCain campaign worker confesses to making up racist mutilation story

The McCain campaign worker who claimed that a black Obama supporter carved a "B" into her face during a robbery in Pittsburgh now admits that she made the whole thing up.

Clarification: Initial media reports described Ashley Todd as a McCain campaign staffer, but that's not quite right. She is a full-time political operative, a field organizer for the College Republicans who has taken a year off from her studies to help the GOP.  She was phone banking for McCain the night she scratched the B into her face.


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She should be prosecuted.

This has echoes of a number of such stories, such as Tawana Brawley on which Al Sharpton rose to fame, the Morton Downey attack by "Neo Nazis" at the SF Airport, and the guy who killed his wife and blamed it on (imaginary) black assailants in Boston

Surprise, surprise.


Phantom, you're off topic. This is not a post about Tawana Brawley. This is a post about the McCain Volunteer. I know you're just a phantom, but do try and focus.

Context, honey, context

There have been many such incidents. Hope you weren't involved in any of them

Stay on topic, and don't call me honey, baby.

One should recall Fox news executive vice-president John Moody's statement:

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

McCain Spokesman Implicated In Mugger Hoax

And Palin called Todd:

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.

McCain also called the hoax-merchant. Is this the kind of judgment you want in a president?

By all accounts Todd is simply unbalanced. She wasn't acting at the behest of anyone else, there was no plot, no conspiracy. Sadly the only thing members of the McCain campaign appear to be guilty of here is believing and repeating Todd's story.

So when is the Bush administration going to hire her for some prestigious post?

You stupid girl
All you had you wasted
All you had you wasted

You stupid girl
You stupid girl
Cant believe you fake it
Cant believe you fake it

You stupid girl
You stupid girl
Cant believe you fake it
Cant believe you fake it..

(Stupid girl, such a stupid girl).

I would say that the McCain campaign is guilty of a bit more than believing Todd. She is part of their campaign, after all. Her mindset reflects the group of people she has been working with. And they have been resorting to race-baiting for quite some time now. Is the campaign innocent if one of their own believes their propaganda?

McCain and Palin have been whipping up the hatred for weeks. So no, I don't think they should escape blame.

Do you think this woman would have pulled this stunt if she were not part of such a nutty, hate-filled campaign? If McCain had set the tone of respect and dignity months ago, would this have happened? He's been the one poisoning the well.

"Sadly the only thing members of the McCain campaign appear to be guilty of here is believing and repeating Todd's story."

Sadly, no:

McCain Communications Director Gave Reporters Incendiary Version Of "Carved B" Story Before Facts Were Known
By Greg Sargent - October 24, 2008, 5:12PM

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.


phantom: context? tawana brawley made up the story of being raped by a group of men in order to avoid punishment from her stepfather. (at least that's the best reason the evidence points to) the group hurt most by her hoax would be real rape victims, especially african american women raped by a white rapist.
morton downey, jr.'s hoax was a pathetic attempt to save his show from terrible ratings. the only one hurt was morton downey, jr. himself.
charles stuart's hoax was to cover the MURDER of his pregnant wife. and, once again, the outcome was another set-back in race relations in the united states.
explain what the context would be to tie those 3 hoaxes to ashley todd's, please. if something merely being a hoax is enough to compare one to another - why not mention the feejee mermaid? or the piltdown man? seems to me, you just wanted to mention tawana brawley, just wanted to make sure we all remembered that an african american woman once pointed a finger at white men (back in 1987), and it was all a hoax.


You want some more context? Let's not forget all the "noose" and "African church burning" virals that explode periodically, a recent and noted one being an African American women who was justly fired from her professorship at Columbia University for plagiarism. Check in with Michelle Malkin in a few days; I'm sure she will have compiled a list 100 incidents long. Fact is for every bogus claim made by some right winger we can easily find 100 or so asserted by the left. Get real.



betty brown

The Tawana Brawley hoax is by far the most relevant. Because the ringleader of the media circus, which had terrible racial/other effects in NY and elsewhere, Al Sharpton remains a respected figure in NY and national Democratic Party circles, despite the fact that he has never been man enough to admit that the entire thing was a fraud, even after all these years have passed, even after he had to pay damages to the Mr. Pagones.

You won't see Ashley Todd sitting next to McCain, the way Sharpton routinely sits next to Clinton, Obama, all the Democrat leaders.

Lets have no faux outrage from those who have never condemned Al Sharpton for the damaging hoax he orchestrated on my city.


The Obama/Biden campaign made a statement I believe condemning the "attack" and expressing hope that the perpetrator would be punished. So don't blame McCain for believing it when Obama himself gave the story credibility.

Let's not forget all the "noose" and "African church burning" virals that explode periodically

Like the Jena hoax?

It's sick how gleefully the rightwing jumped on this story - like they were happy it happened because it might give the GOP and McCain some traction.

Why use the hyphenated "RACIALLY-TINGED"? It was RACIST!

All McPalin supporters should be required to have "B's" scratched on their backsides: Then maybe, using both hands, they could locate it. "Oh, that must be my ass..."

Phantom, unfortunately, many McCain campaigners will end up having jobs and remaining respectable people in the near future. Andy McCarthy and his whacked out claims about Obama's birth certificate will retain his job. The jokers who continue to claim that Obama is a terrorist sympathizer can enjoy a productive career in politics. The people who fed Republicans the "real Virginia" and "pro-American parts of the country" talking points will continue to find willing employers for their speechwriting suggestions.

In a just world, they'd never work in politics again. The best we can do is continue to remind them all what immoral, hateful human beings they are in service of a hideous ideology. The problem with Ashley Todd is that she merely told a story that fit the worldview of the McCain campaign staff: they really believed that Todd was in an anti-American, traitorous part of the country that was crawling with terrorists and their sympathizers.

Obama himself gave the story credibility.

Obama himself only said that the perpetrator should be brought to justice and did not express any speculation about who the perpetrator was. It was the McCain campaign that was pushing Todd's political claims as true.

Yes, it was racist. Bad writing on my part. I'm going to change it.

Time for Answers

It is time for the McCain campaign to come clean about what role any of its staffers may have had in hyping or pushing the press to hype the charges stemming from Ashley Todd's vicious and reprehensible hoax.

As Greg Sargent reported yesterday, McCain Pennsylvania communications director Peter Feldman pushed reporters on a highly incendiary version of Todd's hoax -- providing reporters with quotes from the fictitious attacker and telling them the the "B" scratched on Todd's face stood for "Barack." As the Washington Post's Eugene Robinson aptly put it, Feldman's actions showed "not just a willingness to believe it but an eagerness to incite a ... racial backlash against the Obama campaign."

Brian Williams: McCain Campaign Spread 'B' Hoax To Reporters

It was racist. pure and simple

"McCain campaign over as is Drudge's career..."

"Forget the woman who made this up for a moment. The two bigger questions are:

# Was the McCain campaign behind the creation of this hoax? (because how could they have the details of the case, enough to create an even more incendiary version of the story, before all the facts were known?)
# If the McCain camp was not behind this attack, then why was their most immediate concern not for the victim, but instead, for how to best make a tragic (if true) situation that could split the nation over the issue of racism into a political score for themselves?

The McCain campaign is over. Period. I don't care what the explanation is, a leader does not pour gasoline on a racial fire for any reason. A leader's first concern would be how to best deal with the crisis and how to best help the victim, while minimizing the anger in both the white and black communities. A leader does not rape a nation for a score. John McCain is not a leader. He is an opportunist, at best."

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