First, credit where credit is due to bloggers on the right, like Michelle Malkin, who right at the outset acknowledged that something sounded awfully fishy about Ashley Todd’s now-infamous tall tale about being violently assaulted by an enraged Obama fan. That said, however, I’m a little dismayed by the number of conservative bloggers who appear to think that the most dismaying thing about a hoax claim that enraged black men are carving up white girls with McCain bumper stickers is… that it provides the liberal media with fodder to use against McCain.
Maybe—I hope—they just regarded the other offensive aspects of this hoax to be too obvious to require much discussion or condemnation. Still, it seems a little unseemly to react to a scam perpetrated by a fellow traveler, and seemingly calculated to stoke ugly racial tensions, by whining preemptively about the liberal media fallout.
Had the story been true, it would have been proof that there are some really vile or crazy people out there, some of whom are Obama supporters. The hoax reminds us that there are vile or crazy people out there, some of whom are McCain supporters. But we already knew those things, which is why I suspect the only real lasting impact of the story will be to inspire some last-minute Halloween costumes. The response to the hoax, however, may tell us something about the somewhat distorted perspective of partisan pundits.