Jim Taranto at the Wall Street Journal's Best of the Web caught the Washington Post either misrepresenting the motives of an anonymous informer in connection with Ron Paul's long-ago newsletters, getting duped by said informer, or trying to dupe its readers. Perhaps it was a bit of all of the above, all of which worked out to conveniently smear Paul without giving him -- or readers -- a chance to know who was going after him.
The 1700-word story by Jerry Markon and Alice Crites ("Paul pursued strategy of publishing controversial newsletters, associates say") concerned the degree of knowledge the presidential candidate had of allegedly racially charged material in his newsletters published during the 1990s. The contradiction follows the jump:
A person involved in Paul’s businesses, who spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid criticizing a former employer, said Paul and his associates decided in the late 1980s to try to increase sales by making the newsletters more provocative. They discussed adding controversial material, including racial statements, to help the business, the person said.
“It was playing on a growing racial tension, economic tension, fear of government,’’ said the person, who supports Paul’s economic policies but is not backing him for president. “I’m not saying Ron believed this stuff. It was good copy. Ron Paul is a shrewd businessman.’’
The articles included racial, anti-Semitic and anti-gay content. They claimed, for example, that the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. “seduced underage girls and boys’’; they ridiculed black activists by suggesting that New York be named “Zooville” or “Lazyopolis”; and they said the 1992 Los Angeles riots ended “when it came time for the blacks to pick up their welfare checks.’’ The June 1990 edition of the Ron Paul Political Report included the statement: “Homosexuals, not to speak of the rest of society, were far better off when social pressure forced them to hide their activities.”
As Taranto wrote:
Wait a minute: He "spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid criticizing a former employer"? That is exactly the opposite of the reason he spoke under condition of anonymity.
Really. Imagine how harsh the critique would have been if the anonymous person had decided to really hurt Paul's reputation.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.