John McCain’s campaign threatened legal action against the National Enquirer today for running a story about McCain’s running mate, Sarah Palin, allegedly having an affair with her husband’s business partner.
“The smearing of the Palin family must end. 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,” said McCain senior adviser Steve Schmidt.
“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 Enquirer also alleges that Palin unjustly fired a public safety official while she was governor of Alaska, but the story is based entirely on unnamed sources.
...like every other news story out there.
The thing is, the National Enquirer has a very good track record on such claims, which are invariably backed up by multiple sources. Why? Because, they don't want to be sued to death. And they're quite good at reporting on affairs, because it's something they cover with an obsessive, invasive, sordidly detailed passion. They literally dig for the truth... in garbage cans, sometimes.
The National Enquirer has responded to the lawsuit threat, as follows:
"The National Enquirer's coverage of a vicious war within Sarah Palin's extended family includes several newsworthy revelations, including the resulting incredible charge of an affair plus details of family strife when the Governor's daughter revealed her pregnancy. Following our John Edwards' exclusives, our political reporting has obviously proven to be more detail-oriented than the McCain campaign's vetting process. Despite the McCain camp's attempts to control press coverage they find unfavorable, The Enquirer will continue to pursue news on both sides of the political spectrum."
Can it just be said that the Democrats had nothing to do with this?! Maybe Sarah Palin should've patched things up with her enemies before her big public premiere, because all the dirty laundry is going to come out.
But given that she threw every crappy allegation she could against her former brother-in-law to get him fired, and then canned the Head of Public Safety when he didn't fire him... well... it seems sort of appropriate, really.