Remember how the right-wing media, led by Tucker Carlson’s The Daily Caller, tried for months to get the mainstream press to pick up on an accusation concerning Dominican prostitutes and a Democratic senator, New Jersey’s Robert Menendez — and remember how that accusation fell apart when the prostitutes admitted to reporters for the Washington Post that they were paid to lie about Menendez and had never actually met him?
Remember how the WaPo followed up on this coup by finding a top Dominican law enforcement official who said that a Dominican lawyer, Melanio Figueroa — who was the only named Dominican source in the Caller‘s story — has reported being paid by someone claiming to work for the Daily Caller to find prostitutes who would lie and say they had sex for money with Bob Menendez?
Well, Tucker’s Smear Shop isn’t backing down — and it seems to have acquired the aid of its fellow Republican stenographers at The Politico, who are trying to turn this into a mere he-said-she-said story between the Caller and the Washington Post, whose reporters first punctured holes in the anti-Menendez smear, as if the WaPo was the only legitimate news source that found fault with the smear. But, buried at the very end of the Politico’s apologia for the Caller, we find this passage, tacked on seemingly as an afterthought, showing that at least one other major news organization had its doubts about the veracity of the smear:
The Post wasn’t the only news organization publishing on the story Friday: ABC News came out with a report stating that Polanco is seeking to identify “Carlos” [the man apparently behind the smear] and noting that a man named “Carlos” briefly appeared in a video it recorded last October during interviews with three women regarding Menendez. One of the women said during her interview with ABC that “Carlos” claimed “he works for a newspaper or something like that.
ABC News, along with several other news organizations, investigated prostitution allegations against Menendez before the Caller’s Nov. 1 report, but did not publish a story at the time. “ABC News did not report on the women’s allegations at the time because of doubts about their identity and veracity, later proven to be well-founded,” ABC News’s Rhonda Schwartz and Brian Ross wrote in Friday’s story.
Let’s have a look at that ABC News story mentioned in the above tacked-on passage. From the ABC news piece [all emphases mine]:
At the time, “Carlos” was described to ABC News by the lawyer Figueroa, as an associate who was in charge of organizing the interviews via a Skype hook-up. There was no mention made of any connection between “Carlos” and The Daily Caller.
The Skype address used by ABC News to make contact in the Dominican Republic included the names Carlos and Martinez. A message sent by ABC News Thursday to the same Skype address seeking comment has not been returned.
A Republican operative who insisted on anonymity made the introduction between ABC News and Figueroa and “Carlos.“
That’s rather interesting, don’t you think?
Now, the two Republican dirty-tricks artists most known for the sex-steeped nature of their work are Roger Stone and James “fuzzy handcuffs” O’Keefe, he of the debunked cut-and-paste ACORN tapes. And, we find, Roger Stone has had a hate-on for Menendez dating back to at least January of 2009, as his Rumpus piece from that time indicates.
Did Roger Stone and/or The Daily Caller suborn perjury to smear Bob Menendez? Paging Peggy Noonan! After all, she’s the one who said that it’s irresponsible not to speculate.
Meanwhile, even Mistah Kurtz, Sheri Annis’ hubby, says it’s time for Tucker Carlson to apologize. Let’s see how long it takes before Carlson does so.
(Crossposted to Mercury Rising.)