The left was super, super excited to find out that Deaspin.com discovered that Cory Gardner, the Republican candidate for senate in Colorado, lied about playing football for his high school football team in the 1980s. The left went wild pushing the Deadspin.com story until… well, until the Deadspin story turned out to be false in every way.
Gardner is currently a Congressman in the Centennial State but he decided to run against incumbent Colorado Senator Mark Udall–a Democrat. At first the left didn’t worry over much about Gardner because they assumed he couldn’t beat the long time incumbent Democrat. But recently Gardner has surged ahead of Udall in the polls, seriously worrying the left.
So, when Deadspin.com, a sports-centric website run by the extremely left-wing Gawker.com, published a story yesterday revealing that Gardner lied about playing football in high school, the left was over the moon with the story.
For Deadspin, former Washington Post sports reporter Dave McKenna claimed he found one of Gardner’s old teachers who told him that Gardner never played football in high school. On the basis of that interview with a 70-year-old teacher, McKenna made the startling claim that Gardner was a liar.
Noah Rothman has a great collection of the Tweets from liberals who immediately jumped to the story to flog Deadspin’s story on Gardner.
But almost immediately after the story went live and leftists started flogging it thinking they had the story that would end Gardner’s campaign, the story began to fall apart.
First came a Tweet from Gardner himself with a photo showing a teenaged Cory Gardner in his school football uniform.
Then came the 70-year-old teacher to say that he was horribly misquoted. In fact, far from calling Gardner a liar, the teacher said that he respected Gardner and thought of him as one of his best students.
Worse, throughout the constant updates undermining the story, Deadspin avoided issuing clear updates with the corrected information, further making the lefties look bad for flogging the story.
Noah Rothman is exactly right with his assessment of this incident. The hit piece was a result of Democrat opposition research that was badly sourced and it was given to a pliant “journalist” who took the info for granted.
“Whoever is to blame for this debacle, the story has backfired spectacularly,” Rothman wrote. “It made Udall’s supporters look small and desperate, and it provided an opportunity for the Gardner campaign’s rapid response operation to test their mettle. This was a textbook example of a hit piece, likely based on an unverified oppo tip, boomeranging on the publication that printed it. By not being cautious, Deadspin accomplished the opposite of what they set out to do and only advanced Gardner’s political prospects.”