My blogging partner at Article VI Blog, John Schroeder, commented today on this excerpt from Ankle-Biting Pundits:
There is growing concern among high-level evangelical leaders that the Romney campaign may have duped them after it was revealed by the Globe that Romney’s team has constructed a Mormon political machine in secret after repeatedly stating in private to them that Romney would not run with the Mormon Church’s backing.
Again with the unnamed "high-level evangelical leaders" - why won't these people stick their heads above ground? This piece from the normally reliable Ankle-Biting Pundits errs first by buying the Globe's hype - What machine? What secret? Charges implied by the Globe coverage, but never directly made, let alone proved. . . . I'm disappointed; good blogs like ABP are supposed to find the press's problems, not join them. . . .
The Ankle-Biting Pundits piece is a breathtakingly nasty, disingenuous, and dirty slam. It clearly tries to gin up a story out of nothing-- recycling old quotes (at least one of them out of context) that were not even made in reference to the Boston Globe story. It really looks like something a political consultant for one of Romney's likely opponents would cook up.
Well, what do you know? Even as we were wondering why Ankle-Biting Pundits would post such an attack, we received this e-mail from our reader Daniel Tenney (I have inserted some links):
I would ask you to remember that Patrick Hynes, founder of Ankle Biting Pundits and writer of the post in question, has recently been outed as working for McCain. On July 26, Jim Geraghty wrote about it in length at the National Review Online. Here's the link.For a guy who has run something called StraightTalk America, McCain certainly seems to tolerate some forked tongues among his campaign operatives. In fairness to Hynes, he buries this disclosure at the end of his post. But it's not a failure to disclose that is so disappointing: It's the dirty religious politics.
In his post, Geraghty also notices the marked increase in anti-Romney posts from Hynes since joining McCain's staff. The McCain camp is using every trick in the book to discredit Romney (see also Mosteller, Cyndi) and hiring bloggers that look credible is not beneath them in the least. So it comes as no surprise that Hynes ran with the Globe story despite its obvious inconsistencies and plain shoddy journalism. Expect more of the same from Ankle Biting Pundits with every new non-scandal about Romney.
(The real punchline: Hynes has repeatedly criticized others for trying to buy off the blogosphere, including . . . you guessed it! Romney!)
Update: As long as we're talking about disclosures, I have one: I'm a Romney supporter and have donated to his PAC. But I'm sure not being paid by him.
Update 2: More about this here. The comment thread is especially interesting. Also, this. When a blogger starts using the "Slick Willard" appellation, it might be seen as clever; when it's a paid McCain consultant, it starts to look like something else.
Welcome, NRO readers. There's more detail on this subject at this post.