Brian Lockhart, the Hearst investigative reporter who today published an in-depth story on the subject, has blogged “A few loose ends from the McMahon bankruptcy story.” See http://blog.ctnews.com/politicalcapitol/2010/09/30/a-few-loose-ends-from-the-mcmahon-bankruptcy-story/. Good work here, across the board.
I’m going to take the liberty of quoting at length what Lockhart has to say about the grossly irresponsible interview of McMahon in The Daily Beast. Then I’ll show how the lies propounded there remain current in McMahon’s campaign narrative and need to be aggressively stamped out.
[The Daily Beast profile] raised new questions about the bankruptcy because of the following sentence: “At one point, when they were living in Gaithersburg, Maryland, in the 1970s, they went bankrupt and briefly depended on food stamps.”
Democrats jumped all over that line because it appeared that McMahon either could not get the story that she has been telling on the campaign trail to connect with voters straight or because the family had actually gone bankrupt twice and this was the first time it had been mentioned during the Senate race.
“Neither Linda, nor the campaign, has ever insinuated there were two bankruptcies,” McMahon spokesman Ed Patru told me in an e-mail. He said Daily Beast reporter Lloyd Grove “mistakenly noted in a recent report the McMahons went bankrupt while living in Gaithersburg. I have made Grove aware that the political world is turning on its head over this issue … They did not declare bankruptcy in Gaithersburg. They were just poor.”
I e-mailed The Daily Beast asking them to confirm they had been contacted by Patru and that Grove had made a mistake.
Andrew Kirk with The Beast replied, “We have no comment on the private discussions that have taken place between Lloyd Grove and Mr. Patru.”
I asked if The Beast had issued an update/clarification/correction, because I hadn’t seen one.
“No. We clearly state if an article has been updated on the piece,” Andrew wrote back.
The article has yet to be updated.
Lockhart, unfortunately, ignores the emotionally volatile reference to “food stamps.” This is important because later in appallingly inept writer Lloyd Grove’s account, government food stamps seem to be conflated with S&H Green Stamps, a well-known customer-loyalty reward program of a supermarket chain.
And the Linda McMahon propaganda machine has run fast and hard with that confusion. The “Mothers for Linda” section of her campaign website uses it. Today, in a New Haven Register story about the support for McMahon from Darnell Goldson, a Democrat, Goldson is quoted as citing “her past challenges, which include going through bankruptcy and being on food stamps, as part of her strengths.”
So, back to work, Connecticut reporters. What’s the deal with “food stamps” and “S&H Green Stamps”?
Full background on this and other fantastical dimensions of the Linda McMahon biography is in this blog’s archives.