For all the media attention he’s received and damage control he’s done since his infamous “legitimate rape” remarks in August, U.S. Rep. Todd Akin’s campaign has apparently not learned a bit about dealing with the press. Or maybe this is a case of a little learning being a dangerous thing. In any event, the decision to post to his Senate campaign website an exchange with a reporter seeking comment for a story about Akin’s arrests during abortion protests in the eighties is entirely weird and counterproductive.
The exchange relates to a story by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Kevin McDermott that reveals Akin was arrested three times during anti-abortion protests in the eighties, rather than the one time he’s acknowledged. It’s certainly newsworthy, though not exactly a campaign-shattering revelation, especially for a guy who continues to incur the wrath and ridicule of the national media using only his mouth. But the Akin campaign’s response to McDermott’s request for comment was just baffling.
They posted the e-mail exchange between McDermott and Akin spokesman Rick Tyler (of “Bullshitsu” fame), apparently in an attempt to ensure that Tyler’s comments chastising the Post-Dispatch for not covering Akin got seen somewhere. But Tyler just winds up looking evasive in the face of a direct question of whether Akin had a responsibility to reveal he’d been arrested more times than he said. Tyler’s response, partially copied below, doesn’t even mention Akin:
Claire McCaskill has a current sexual harassment suit filed against her flagship company Sugar Creek realty. The court date is October 30. So the the Post-Dispatch is going to cover something that happened quarter century ago over something that is relevant now. Claire has made the “war on women” the central theme of her campaign. An active sexual harassment suit seems very relevant. Does Claire have a responsibility to reveal the full scope of her activities in how she collects millions of taxpayer dollars for her companies?
One unnamed GOP strategist told Roll Call, “I guess when you’re down double-digits and your campaign is the laughingstock of the election cycle, maybe they figure they have nothing left to lose. But it doesn’t say a lot about their integrity and seriousness as a Senate campaign.” No surprise there. Akin’s last fetus-themed offensive against the “liberal elitist media” pretty much did away with any integrity and seriousness he may have once been able to salvage.