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Saturday, March 26, 2016

Roger that

Donald Trump has "denied" being behind the National Enquirer story which alleges that Tex Cruz has had affairs with five women. Note the quotation marks around "denied." The following reads less like a denial and more like a signature.
Likewise, I have nothing to do with the National Enquirer and unlike Lyin’ Ted Cruz I do not surround myself with political hacks and henchman and then pretend total innocence. Ted Cruz’s problem with the National Enquirer is his and his alone, and while they were right about O.J. Simpson, John Edwards, and many others, I certainly hope they are not right about Lyin’ Ted Cruz.
Translation: Donnie dunnit.

Thanks to this report from the Daily Beast, we now know a lot more about the National Enquirer's smarmy tale of Ted Cruz's alleged affairs. The story originally came from the Rubio campaign, which apparently was willing to fight filthy. They shopped the claims to the Breitbarters, but the evidence was too thin even for them.

Obviouisly, Rubio has nothing to do with the present outbreak. Why would he, or anyone close to him, spread this story now? He has nothing to gain; he seems to prefer Cruz to Trump.

I think that it is fair to presume that someone loyal to Trump got hold of the allegations and took them to the Enquirer. And that "someone loyal to Trump" appears to be our old friend Roger Stone, about whom I've written so much in the past.
In this case, the only person quoted by name in the entire National Enquirer Cruz story is Roger Stone, a longtime Trump advisor, who said, “These stories have been swirling around Cruz for some time. I believe where there is smoke there is fire. I have to believe this will hurt him with his evangelical Christian supporters.”
Recall that Stone's partner-in-slime, Robert Morrow, spread very similar sex stories about Rick Perry. No evidence ever festooned those tales.

Some of you may have come across a recent story -- absurd on its face -- which claimed that Sidney Blumenthal (a civilian) somehow got hold of Top Seekrit NSA material and then, for no good reason, quoted this stuff verbatim in an email to Hillary. This evidence-free allegation traces back to a single article, which reverently cites but one named source: Roger Stone, the Nixonian dirty trickster and protege of Roy Cohn.

Stone is a scavenger. A dreck-dealer who fancies himself a Dapper Dan.

The Enquirer is part of an empire run by the gloriously well-named David Pecker, who publishes other tabloids, as well as various fitness magazines. Trump and Pecker are good friends. See, for example, here:
Earlier this month, the Enquirer published a cover story on Carson headlined “Bungling Surgeon Ben Carson Left Sponge in Patient’s Brain!” The article called Carson a “White House wannabe” and claimed he “brandished a scalpel like a meat cleaver!” It went on to quote angry former patients saying he botched surgeries that left them disfigured and in pain; one patient who sued Carson said he forgot to remove a surgical sponge from her brain after a procedure. “His presidential campaign should be dead on arrival!” Enquirer reporter Sharon Churcher wrote.

Trump and Enquirer CEO David Pecker have been friends for years. “They’re very close,” said a source close to the Enquirer. In July 2013, Trump even tweeted that Pecker should become CEO of Time magazine, which at the time was being spun off from its corporate parent, Time Warner. “He’d make it exciting and win awards!”

This person also said that Trump’s campaign was a source for the article: “His campaign provided information that was used,” he explained. A Trump friend said that in the days leading up to the article’s publication Trump was telling people that Carson “had a lot of medical malpractice suits” and “almost killed a guy.”
Trump also denied being behind the Carson smear. Does anyone truly believe that denial?

Mind you, I don't think that these smear campaigns come from Trump personally. He has a way of keeping himself distant from the dirty work done on his behalf -- the distance of a Stone's throw.

On his Twitter feed, Roger Stone pushes the Cruz smear. But he tops that one with a preview of what we may expect during the general election:
Danny Williams: Man Claiming To Be Bill Clinton’s Illegitimate Son Could Mean Big Trouble For Hillary Clinton’s …
Here's the story.
Danny’s mother, a prostitute working in Arkansas in the mid-1980s, claimed that she had sex with Bill Clinton when he was the governor of Arkansas. Though her allegations date back to the 1990s, Danny Williams is now reviving the story in what appears to be a bid for attention and acknowledgement.
The story goes even deeper. Alex Jones, who often espouses conspiracy theories on major events, once hosted guest who claimed that Hillary Clinton was actually pulling the strings and threatened that Danny Williams and Bobbie Ann Williams would be sued if they continued to talk about the case or pursued Bill Clinton.
Actually, a DNA test cleared Bill Clinton of this charge back in 1999. Danny Williams is not the son of the former president.

You would think that every drop of juice has already been squeezed out of this hoax. But right-wingers don't care very much about all of that science stuff, and they've tried very hard to revive the hoax in recent months.
While the allegations date back to the 1990s, they were supposedly already settled back when the issue first emerged in 1999. Accuracy in Media noted that evidence seemed to oppose Danny’s claim, writing, “In reporting that the DNA test had cleared Clinton, The Washington Post gave none of this background. Referring to it as a ‘love child story,’ it did not reveal that the mother was a black prostitute.”
Notice the wording: This paragraph isn't just smarm, it's Smarm Concentrate. The writer implies that the WP engaged in a pro-Clinton cover-up because the paper courteously refrained from mentioning the mother's profession. But her background has nothing to do with anything. The DNA evidence is the story here; nothing else matters.

There was no cover-up. But there is a continuing smear:
Regardless as to whether the allegations hold truth or otherwise, they are still a blow against the Hillary Clinton 2016 presidential campaign. As it is, Hillary as a candidate is already a polarizing figure, and to have her husband’s alleged illegitimate son thrown in the mix could only hurt her chances in the overall election.
In other words, Hillary Clinton somehow bears responsibility for a provably false story promulgated by enemies of her husband.

We often saw this kind of sleazy mudslinging throughout the 1990s, as chronicled by The Hunting of a President, by Conason and Lyons. First, the right would come up with an outrageous falsehood. Later, after the fakery was proven, pseudojournalists would use tortured language to convey an Orwellian message: "Yeah, the whole thing turned out to be a hoax. Nevertheless, you should presume that it's all true." 

Has any candidate not named Clinton ever had to deal with this kind of nonsense? No. Even Barack Obama has had a much easier time of it. And the smears have come from all sides, from the left and the right, from the highborn media and from the low. (Peckerland is about as low as it gets.)

I'll say it again: If Hillary poses no threat to the Establishment, why does the Establishment smear her?

2016 will go down in history as the election in which we all got Peckered and Stoned.
There doesn't seem to be a topic upon which you do not have at least an uninformed opinion. After proving that the Anthony Weiner story was a fraud, I would think that you would wait a while to see what evidence exists before jumping to a conclusion. I have no idea if Cruz is a serial cheater, though I would not be shocked if he were. I don't particularly care, I wouldn't vote for him if he were the only guy on the ballot. I did find it odd that he sent $500,000 to Fiorina's campaign, but at this point it is just that, odd. I think the best think to do in circumstances like this is wait a bit to see what evidence there is. The story will be there in a couple of weeks.
DUH-Of course this is coming from Trump! He does not even play remotely fair, if you think it's bad now-get ready-it's going to be a blood bath. That's kind of what makes this whole issue of play nice almost comical. The only thing we can hope for is someone gets honest about Trump's mobbed up history. Come on Joseph--get into that.
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