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November 10, 2008

HOAX: Martin Eisenstadt Admits He's One of Palin-Smear Leakers; Threatens to "Reveal" More

The claim:

By now you’ve all heard the Fox News report last week that “unnamed” former McCain advisers leaked that Sarah Palin was confused about whether Africa was a continent, and which countries were in NAFTA. I was perfectly happy staying under the radar as an anonymous source for Fox News‘ Carl Cameron, but now that Palin has accused her accusers of being “unprofessional…jerks…cowards… taking things out of context, and then tried to spread something on national news” and begun to cast doubt on the Fox News report, maybe she’s right to a certain extent. For those of us on the McCain campaign who thought that she acted like a rogue diva and lost John the election, maybe we DO have a responsibility to come out in public. But Sarah… careful what you ask for: some of us may have more to reveal.

So yes, to be clear, last week I was the one who leaked those things to a producer at Fox News who works with Cameron. Carl and his producers are good guys, and I don’t want them to have to worry about protecting their sources (and going through the wringer ala Judith Miller or Matt Cooper) on something like this.

As you know, I was one of the foreign policy advisers on the McCain campaign who worked with Randy Scheunemann to help prep Sarah on her debate with Joe Biden. Did we outright give her a geography quiz when we started the prep? No, of course not. But yes, in the context of the prep, it slowly became apparent that her grasp of basic geo-political knowledge had major gaps. Could she have passed a multiple choice test about South Africa or NAFTA. Probably. But it was clear that she simply didn’t have the ease of knowledge that we come to expect from a major party political candidate.

Now that I've linked it, I'm informed by Allah in no uncertain terms the blog is a hoax.

There's apparently no evidence on the internet he exists or works for McCain. Allah's especially troubled by his claim to work for the hitherto unknown "Harding Institute," named after, Allah notes, one of the worst presidents in history.

Sorry, I blew this one.

Hoaxster: "Eisenstadt" has been pretending to be a McCain insider for a while, getting media to take his made-up stories seriously.

No "Canoodling" With Wiig: IreneFingIrene points out that this is the same guy who who made claims about Joe the Plumber and SNL's Kirsten Wiig "canoodling."

He appears to just go to places and make stuff up.

Now that I put a face to the made-up persona, I can see it seems a bit unlikely that a 28 year old NYC hipster-wannabe is a major McCain foreign policy adviser.

Well, he got me.

TNR Retracts... But refuses to credit Allah for alerting them to the hoax.

Note: A dinky site would notice the Hot Air traffic. Not only is Michael Crowley a dupe (as I was), but now he's a dishonest one, pretending that he discovered the hoax on his own.






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