In the critical early days of September 2008, after Sarah Palin was nominated as the Republican Party’s candidate for Vice President, the National Enquirer ran a cover story alleging that the Alaska governor had an adulterous affair.
Palin, and Sen. John McCain’s presidential campaign, immediately and unequivocally denied the story. “The smearing of the Palin family must end,” said McCain campaign manager Steve Schmidt, as quoted at the time. “The allegations contained on the cover of the National Enquirer insinuating that Gov Palin had an extramarital affair are categorically false. It is a vicious lie. The efforts of the media and tabloids to destroy this fine and accomplished public servant are a disgrace. The American people will reject it.” The campaign also threatened legal action.
The article goes on to make the case that the Enquirer story was based on flimsy evidence, and so was easily dismissed, and that the Ted Cruz story is even flimsier.
Of course the problem with that particular argument is that the Hanson affair actually did happen, and everybody up here knows it.
In fact Joe McGinniss proved as much when he came up here to do research on "The Rogue."
When that story came out in Joe's book there was a statement supposedly from Hanson in which he denied the affair, but when the National Enquirer confronted him about the story he seemed to have no idea that he had issued a denial:
When ENQUIRER reporter ALAN BUTTERFIELD went to speak to Hanson yesterday at his home in Alaska, Hanson seemed surprised that an official statement had been issued on his behalf.
Butterfield said Hanson appeared perplexed and confused when asked about the statement.
After being asked several times if he had released the statement, Hanson finally told Butterfield: “I think so,” and then he added, “Let me know what you think about it.”
Look I have no idea if Ted Cruz had five mistresses, or didn't have five mistresses.
But what I do know is that using the Palin/Hanson affair story as evidence that the Enquirer engages in shoddy journalism, fails to make that case.
By the way I can only imagine how thrilled Palin is with Breitbart for dredging this old story up to make their point. I can almost hear the cans ricocheting off of the old refrigerator now.