Howard Kurtz writes about the Is-Hillary-Shopping-Dirt-On-Osama’s-Old-Madrassa story, and indicates skepticism, until named sources come forward.
Thus, in the first media controversy of the 2008 campaign, two of the leading candidates find themselves forced to respond to allegations lacking a single named source.
“The allegations are completely false,” says Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs. “To publish this sort of trash without any documentation is surprising, but for Fox to repeat something so false, not once, but many times is appallingly irresponsible. This is exactly the type of slash-and-burn politics the American people are sick and tired of.” Obama, aides note, is a Christian and belongs to a Chicago church.
Clinton campaign officials were relieved that what they regard as an absurd allegation was not picked up more widely. “It’s an obvious right-wing hit job by a Moonie publication that was designed to attack Senator Clinton and Senator Obama at the same time,” says Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson. Insight, like the Washington Times, is owned by a company controlled by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon. No one answered the phone at Insight’s office yesterday and its editor did not respond to an e-mail request for comment.
If Insight stands by its story, it would probably help if they replied to inquiries. If they don’t stand by their story, they ought to say so and say why.