-By Warner Todd Huston
Apparently, a video I made in Denver is at the heart of a controversy in a race for the House of Representatives in Florida.
While at Blogcon 2011 I had the opportunity to interview Karen Harrington, a Republican candidate for the 20th District House seat now held by Debbie Wasserman Schultz — who is also the Chairman of the Democrat National Committee. I made a video of that short interview as I have so many other candidates.
In our interview Harrington, recently endorsed by GOP Presidential candidate Michele Bachmann, went through some of the points she’s been campaigning on and since the 20th District has a large and active Jewish community, the issue of Israel naturally came up. It was during that segment of our little video that she said a few things that the media are attacking her over.
What got Harrington some special focus was her reply to my question about Israel:
Debbie’s latest thing as well as her lack of support for Israel — is ’cause she has to stand by this president — she also has blamed the Republicans for the creation of Hamas — that’s been her latest thing. This president asked them to stop building in the settlements, asked them to return to the ’67 borders and just the other day was caught with (French President Nicolas) Sarkozy saying negative things about Israel. This is a country and a nation that needs to stand by Israel as our history has shown us to. And Debbie supports this president and his policies, and you are right — Israel has become more endangered over there because of our approach and lack of strong support of Israel.
The St. Petersburg Times took issue with various parts of Harrington’s statement but the paper’s main problem was with the claim that Wasserman Schultz has blamed Republicans for the creation of Hamas. Of that they rated Harrington’s claim “false.”
I’ve been told that the St. Petersburg Times did not ask Harrington about the statements, nor did the paper ask what she meant. Harrington has since said that she misspoke.
According to TheSharkTank blog, a Florida-based blog owned by Javier Manjarres who is close to the Harrington campaign, Harrington, “misspoke when she said that Wasserman Schultz said that Bush was to blame for the ‘creation’ of Hamas. Harrington’s campaign specifically told PolitiFact that she was referencing the Shark Tank video in which Wasserman Schultz blamed Bush for the rise to power of Hamas.”
One has to wonder how the St. Petersburg Times was alerted to my video, anyway? It isn’t likely that there are many secret Warner Todd Huston fans at the St. Petersburg Times. Isn’t it more likely that Harrington’s opponent Debbie Wasserman Schultz was the one that tipped the Times? After all, word is Schultz is shopping this story around. She tried to interest CNN in the story and the venerable cable newser didn’t bite. It might seem that the Schultz campaign is worried over Harrington’s encroaching campaign.
Of course, I’d like to thank the St. Petersburg Times for being so kind as to print my name in their partisan attack against Harrington. After all, if my interview was newsworthy enough for the paper to mention a mere blogger like myself it is nice that these “journalists” actually gave me credit by name. Yeah. Naturally I was merely identified as “a blogger.” Thanks real journalists. What about that whole concept of “who, what, when, and where,” buddies?