Hartford Headline Spins Blackface Photo for Lamont

You're a Connecticut resident, a good citizen but not a political junkie. You scan the Hartford Courant - the state's largest paper - this morning and see the following headline:

'Lamont Spokesman: Blog Photo Offensive'

Quick: which campaign did something wrong, and which is rightly outraged? Based on the headline, you could certainly be forgiven for assuming that Lamont was the injured party.

As it turns out, the facts are just the opposite.

As detailed here, Jane Hamsher, a self-described 'progressive blogger' very closely tied to the campaign of Ned Lamont [shown here with Lamont at a campaign photo shoot], yesterday wrote a column at Huffington Post containing a doctored photo of Joe Lieberman in blackface. The photo quickly made the rounds of the internet and was yanked a few hours later.

But this was the first day of coverage of the event by the Connecticut newspapers. You would have thought the headline would have been along the lines of the one in the Washington Post: Lieberman Assails Lamont Over Supporter's Blog Post. Yet the Hartford Courant's headline is virtually the diametric opposite. To be sure, the facts emerge in the body of the article, but even there the lead focuses on Lamont's condemnation of the photo rather than the offense to Lieberman.

A pro-Lamont current at the Courant?

By the way, for whatever reason, Hamsher has blackface on the brain. Her blog item of September 13th, 2005 contains yet another blackface photo. Hat tip to NewsBusters poster Caring White Guy.

Watching the first half-hour of the morning news shows on the broadcast networks today yielded no mention of the incident. Think Today/GMA/Early Show might have found time for coverage if it were a campaign insider supporting a conservative Republican, rather than liberal Dem Lamont, who had, er, tarred an opponent with a fabricated blackface photo?

Update - more on Lamont/Hamsher connection [from Outside the Beltway]: "Dan Balz points out in today’s WaPo, 'She is not on the campaign staff but has actively promoted Lamont’s candidacy and helped raise money for him through her blog.' Later in the piece, Lieberman spokesman Dan Gerstein notes that, 'She travels with him, she’s raised money for them and has become the primary mouthpiece for him in the blogosphere.' But even that substantially downplays Hamsher’s role in the campaign. She has, for example, produced a television commercial for Lamont. That featured Lamont. Tom Maguire has the details. View it on Flickr (via Malkin)."

Mark Finkelstein
Mark Finkelstein is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.