The Mark Cenedella blogging controversy is entering its day of life today with state Democratic Party chair Jay Jacobs issuing a statement comparing the CEO of TheLadders.com and the likely challenger to Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand with another recent statewide Republican nominee.
“Marc Cenedella has taken a page out of the Carl Paladino playbook, ” Mr. Jacobs says. “This kind of behavior wasn’t acceptable for New York last year, and it’s not acceptable now. After 24 hours of excuses that were more confusing than a Hitchcock movie, he finally took responsibility for publishing this filth while trying to hide behind the ‘someone else wrote them’ defense.”
For those of you scoring at home, the news that Mr. Cenedella had authored blog posts about such things as pondering the possibility of men having more than one wife and a special holiday where women provided steak and oral sex to men. At first, Mr. Cenedella’s team said that the posts were on staging site for The Ladders and were randomly pulled from the Internet; later, they revealed that they came from a group blog called “Stone” that Mr. Cenedella used to keep. He has taken full responsibility for them, although he has said that he did not write all of them and that they were mostly commenting on other things online.
Continues Mr. Jacobs:
After initially telling Nick Langworthy he was ‘hacked’, and these tweets coming to light, it raises such serious doubts it strains credibility to the point of being pure nonsense. There are serious questions that remain about Marc Cenedella’s character and lack of judgment. Why did he think this material was appropriate to publish? Why doesn’t he see any need to apologize to New York women? Will Ed Cox stand by this clearly offensive behavior?
Also, let me dispel just a couple of the myths that Marc Cenedella has taken responsibility for perpetuating – no, not ‘all black women behave in that manner’, whatever ‘that manner’ is, and fertile women don’t judge other women’s looks more harshly. And your own offensive blog in the public domain is not a ‘smear’ – it’s your own offensive blog.
The Gillibrand camp has naturally started running with this information, and twice this week the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee came out with statements slamming Mr. Cenedella, while the left-leaning Huffington Post put out slideshow of his most offense Tweets.
This leads Bill O’Reilly, a spokesman for the state GOP and an advisor to Mr. Cenedella, to smell a rat.
On his personal blog he writes:
Ms. Gillbrand’s campaign hunted for the most salacious stories Stone contributors ever linked to — linked to! — and shopped them to The Times as Mr. Cenedella’s opinions. Under that argument, Ariana Huffington or any other publisher is presumed to agree or endorse whatever her publication links to. It is a preposterous suggestion. It is a dumb assertion.
How do we know it was the Gillibrand team that did this? The Times gave them up. A newspaper virtually never does that. It almost never sources negative material to a rival campaign, but in this case it did, presumambly because it was not entirely comfortable with the story. The New York Observer noticed the hedge, investigated it, and wrote this excellent “debunk” piece last night on what was behind Kirsten Gillibrand’s hit-piece here.
The Times published its story Monday, and within hours the Gillibrand smear-job machine was in full action. Fundraising and advocacy emails began pouring out of the political Left from EMILY’s List, NOW New York State, the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee, and Ms. Gillibrand herself. Examples of those email blasts arehere, here, and here. Mr. Cendella was portrayed as a monster because he was the publisher of an online site that linked to other people’s weird opinions. (I’m afraid to peer in the mirror. I’ve now linked to a link to a link of that material, too.)
The rest of the news world took a peek at this story and passed on it. They saw it for what it was. But the Times ran it, and its story will serve as a link for copious left-wing fundraising mailers, and the citation — in size four font — at the bottom of nasty television ads.
The smear job was done, but Kirsten Gillibrand and her “oppo team” made a huge mistake. They left their fingerprints behind. Allowing the general public to see nasty, modern American politics in action.
Needless to say, Mr. Cenedella is surely anxious for this news to pass over. When it does remains an open question.
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