DEAN BARNETT HERE, ON THE STORY:
NED LAMONT MAY become America’s first politician to feel the negative effects of lying with blogs.
Were it not for the antics of one of the Lamont campaign’s favorite bloggers, yesterday would have been an unqualified success for Joe Lieberman’s challenger. A Quinnipiac University poll came out that showed Lamont boasting a hefty 13 point lead. Quinnipiac is in Connecticut, and its polling efforts are highly respected.
But as Lamont toured the Nutmeg State with the less respected Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson in tow, blogger Jane Hamsher showed some of the poor judgment that the progressive blogosphere is justly famous for. On a post appearing on the widely read Huffington Post, Hamsher displayed a doctored photo that showed Bill Clinton with his arm around Lieberman. Lieberman’s appearance had been altered so he was in black face, minstrel style.
Someone at the Lamont campaign apparently had the good sense to realize that making a playful joke based on one of American history’s most hateful racist images was a bad idea. According to Lamont’s campaign manager, upon becoming aware of the image the campaign “took immediate action.” Hamsher removed the photo. (You can view the image here.)
IT’S INSTRUCTIVE TO review Lamont’s relationship with the progressive blogosphere at this moment of controversy. Lamont has not only received the embrace of the netroots, he has reveled in it. One of his campaign spots featured a prominent role for Markos Moulitsas, the proprietor of the Daily Kos. Moulitsas was more the star of the spot than Lamont; the last shot of the ad showed Moulitsas proudly modeling a Lamont t-shirt.
And Jane Hamsher isn’t just an anonymous member of the blogging hordes who supports Lamont. A producer of the Oliver Stone vehicle “Natural Born Killers,” Hamsher is apparently something of a fixture of the Lamont campaign apparatus. According to the Hartford Courant, “She was part of the entourage accompanying Lamont to New York on Monday for the taping of