The rumor of the hour is that Roger Stone, a Republican dirty trickster who goes back to the Nixon days, is behind the fake memos. This has some wonderful possibilities (both from the perspective of of creating chaos where it is most needed and from a purely entertainment perspective). Unfortunately I'm on the West coast and still at work. I won't get to sit down and go over this for several hours yet. Damn this eastward spinning globe of ours.
Update: So far we just have rumors.
For days now the GOP, its allies, and Right Blogistan have been behaving as if the dubious provenance of the Killian memos was enough to prove that the Kerry campaign and the liberal media were plotting to defraud the election. Most demand Dan Rather’s head on a stick and some have already declared the election of. This despite the fact that no one has shown any proof that the memos were anything other than a fraud committed against CBS.
Meanwhile the thought that this sounds like a typical Karl Rove trick has been getting some mileage. Bill Burkett, CBS’s source of the memos, is almost custom-made for the role of a Rove patsy. The fact that Burkett was in touch with Joe Lockhart, one of Kerry’s advisors, after delivering the memos to CBS has been bloody meat to the right’s feeding frenzy. Lockhart did a solid job of explaining himself on CNN. But even as Scott McClelland was announcing, “It is clear that there's been an orchestrated effort by Democrats in the Kerry campaign to try to tear down the president and use old recycled attacks,” the New York Post was mentioning the Stone rumors.
Now, our side gets to crow. This afternoon Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe issued this statement:
In today’s New York Post, Roger Stone, who became associated with political ‘dirty tricks’ while working for Nixon, refused to deny that he was the source the CBS documents.
Will Ed Gillespie or the White House admit today what they know about Mr. Stone’s relationship with these forged documents? Will they unequivocally rule out Mr. Stone’s involvement? Or for that matter, others with a known history of dirty tricks, such as Karl Rove or Ralph Reed?
The Bush team helped the rumors along by canceling the appearances of their people on talking head shows tonight and canceling a call scheduled to discuss the issue.
At this point we still just have rumors. Though for a rumor target, Stone works even better for our side than Burkett does for theirs. Lambert and Digby have some of the ugly details from Stone’s past. Atrios has the pictures. Stone, of course, denies everything.
Keep in mind that so far this is all just rumors--our rumors vesus their rumors. I imagine real people are getting quite sick of this by now, but it’s far from over. Who knows, maybe they'll get sick of us all and elect Nader.