The conservative blogosphere gets a gotcha wrong, again

Blog ››› ››› OLIVER WILLIS

Stop me if you've heard this one before: The conservative blogosphere appears to catch a progressive politician in a gotcha, saying or doing something in the past which seems to contradict their current words or deeds, only to have the charge unravel mere moments later because it was simply too good to check.

Today's case is this post by conservative blogger Dan Riehl discussing the "Vote Different" YouTube video that attacked then-Senator Hillary Clinton in 2007. Riehl billed it as an "early Obama commerical". The link to Riehl's blog post was then promoted by Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit, whose post apparently prompted Reason's Nick Gillespie to describe the clip as "a pre-2008 Democratic primary season ad from future Nobel Peace Prize winner Barack Obama". That Reason post was then re-amplified by Reynolds with a later blog post.

The only problem is, the ad didn't come from the Obama campaign.

The ad was created by Phil de Velils, who described his connection to the ad and the Obama campaign in a post on The Huffington Post three years ago:

Let me be clear: I am a proud Democrat, and I always have been. I support Senator Obama. I hope he wins the primary. (I recognize that this ad is not his style of politics.) I also believe that Senator Clinton is a great public servant, and if she should win the nomination, I would support her and wish her all the best.

I've resigned from my employer, Blue State Digital, an internet company that provides technology to several presidential campaigns, including Richardson's, Vilsack's, and -- full disclosure -- Obama's. The company had no idea that I'd created the ad, and neither did any of our clients. But I've decided to resign anyway so as not to harm them, even by implication.

This ad was not the first citizen ad, and it will not be the last. The game has changed.

When people wonder why the conservative blogosphere has such a hard time being taken seriously, it's for episodes like this, and as my colleague Ben Dimiero pointed out earlier, this isn't even the sloppiest incident in the conservative blogosphere today.

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