No, “Martin Eisenstadt” wasn’t Fox News’s source for the Palin Africa smear

posted at 1:00 pm on November 13, 2008 by Allahpundit

There’s enough confusion on this point that I feel obliged to throw Campaign Carl a lifeline, even though he probably doesn’t deserve it. What is true: “Martin Eisenstadt,” the McCain advisor who claimed to have fed FNC the scoop about Palin’s foreign policy idiocy, is a big fat hoax cooked up by a pair of tools to stir some buzz and torment lazy fact-checkers. What isn’t true: Speculation that “Eisenstadt” was indeed Cameron’s source and that CC got duped the same way MSNBC did. Tain’t so, per HuffPo:

However, while MSNBC — which ran with Eisenstadt’s story, along with The New Republic and Mother Jones — has retracted the story (that Eisenstadt was the McCain camp leak), Fox News won’t be retracting Carl Cameron’s original report about the Palin/Africa flap, because it did not come from Eisenstadt — which the Huffington Post was told on background earlier this week and which the filmmakers confirmed to TVNewser Thursday

The good news: Fox’s reporting on the smears isn’t based on a lie. The bad news: Fox’s reporting on the smears isn’t based on a lie — at least, not vis-a-vis the sourcing. As for Cameron, he admits to Howard Kurtz that “To the degree people thought I was enjoying my reporting — some thought I looked overenthusiastic — I may have blown the execution.” Which isn’t the issue at all; the issue is why he ran with scandalous allegations that are not only preposterous on their face, but which have since been challenged publicly by people in a position to know (as well as competing networks). Exit question: The same Kurtz piece quotes Mike Allen of Politico as saying this about his source for the infamous comment that Palin’s a “whack job.”

Allen says of the whack-job portrayal: “I found it illuminating because it came from an extremely senior McCain person, clearly reflecting the views of others in the inner circle. I would not have used it from the peanut gallery, internal or external.”

Who would qualify as “extremely senior”? Rick Davis, Schmidt, Salter… Anyone else?

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Until such time that Cameron identifies his sources, why should anyone believe that he wasn’t hoaxed also? Because “he said so?” Given how enthusiastically he reported this smear it seems unlikely that he would eagerly admit that he got duped like others.

katiejane on November 13, 2008 at 3:06 PM

With his report, Carl Cameron descended to the level of rumormongering Shepard Smith, and loss any respect I had for him. Why does Fox employ such tools?

jdwatson on November 13, 2008 at 3:23 PM

If Sarah would simply appear ONCE before the adult media (instead of professional flatterers), and present herself as an informed thoughtful person, these “smears” would become moot.

Kinda makes one wonder why she refuses to do so.

Have you been living in a cave? She has said repeatedly that these claims are false. She has been interviewed three times, plus has given a press conference, was on CNN Blitzer and will be on Larry King tonight.

Seriously have you been living in a cave?

Geochelone on November 13, 2008 at 3:41 PM

It does not really matter who did what any more. What matters now is that we get our act together!!!! So we need to start at 0 – we have done that before. We can only get better, because I really don’t know how it could get any worse!
But this fighting within our own ranks is not good. We all have ideas of who lost what and who is at fault for what. So lets go on and just make sure those same people don’t get another chance!
Sarah Palin has energized many of us, and there are other bright stars on our horizon! Lets concentrate on them and make sure they are in position! Also, lets not forget that there are midterms coming up in two years! We can change this around if we make sure our party concentrates on what is important to US!!!! We need to start AT HOME, in our own communities! Have you seen the map Rush has on his website? It is so very RED – sure the big cities are blue and that is what cost the election – but county by county, the more red we get on that map, the better it is!

mkosin on November 13, 2008 at 3:43 PM

Carl appears decidedly less gleeful these days. Heh.

I am loving it. Anytime the MSM steps in it I am overjoyed with rapture.

Carl Cameron is some kind of lame journalist.

Let’s never let him forget this unless his licks Sarah’s boots from here on out.

Geochelone on November 13, 2008 at 3:52 PM

It remains unethical to refuse to name names.

Femlin on November 13, 2008 at 3:52 PM

Carl “Bob Woodward” Cameron should admit he made it all up for a self-promoting publicity stunt and be done with it.

viking01 on November 13, 2008 at 3:56 PM

Carly Cameron’s nutsack has shrunk and retracted into his abdomen.

Has he apologized or retracted his statement yet?

Geochelone on November 13, 2008 at 4:15 PM

Have you been living in a cave? She has said repeatedly that these claims are false. She has been interviewed three times, plus has given a press conference, was on CNN Blitzer and will be on Larry King tonight.

Seriously have you been living in a cave?

Now … now … Sarah did WELL in those interviews, so they obviously don’t count. Didn’t you get the memo?

PackerBronco on November 13, 2008 at 5:39 PM

One thing here is true. Cameron did enjoy reporting this crap entirely too much. He can spin it all he wants but he was literally jumping up and down while dishing the dirt.
Release him and let him join MSNBC or CNN where he fits the profile…

stacman on November 13, 2008 at 5:57 PM

Mark Salter is the leaker — pretty clear from reading Monday’s WaPo and WashTimes.

PrestoPundit on November 13, 2008 at 7:02 PM

I wonder how the weasel leakers define “whack job.” I’ll bet when it all comes out in the wash, what we’ll learn is that Governor Palin is merely dedicated and conscientious and expects those around her to be as well — and perhaps is pretty blunt at times in articulating her expectations. In other words, if she were a man behaving the same way, she would be known as one who likes to run a tight ship, but because she’s a woman, it makes her a whack job.

NoLeftTurn on November 13, 2008 at 8:37 PM

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