Mud-slinging works

Chris Suellentrop thinks that the rumor, which despite the blackout by the decent media was all over the airwaves, probably accounted for Kerry’s worse-than-expected finish in Wisconsin. Throw enough mud, some of it will stick.

Meanwhile, Ryan Lizza, who was there when Wesley Clark discussed the potential Kerry scandal off the record with a bunch of reporters, says that Matt Drudge’s account of what Clark said was false:

I was there when Clark spoke, and just to make sure I didn’t miss anything, I’ve also checked with other reporters who were there. Since it was off the record (sort of), I can’t get into what Clark actually said (let’s just say it was not his finest moment on the campaign trail), but I can report that the quote Drudge attributes to him–“Kerry will implode over an intern issue”–is not accurate. He never said that.

If I were Clark, I’d authorize Lizza to break the “off the record” and report exactly what it is that I said. But of course it wouldn’t do any good. No one will bother to correct, and everyone will now remember that Clark said what he didn’t say.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com