The Beltway Consultants' Final Gift to the Lieberman Campaign

Ok, I'm listing the reporters who have screwed up and put forth the 'he said she said it's all relative' storyline.  In all likelihood, Lieberman's people are just incompetent at web hosting.  bobkopp noticed that is still up, it's only their original web site that's down.

Also, apparently the top hosting plan of their web host seems to cost a paltry $15/month, and you get what you pay for.  This hasn't stopped the ridiculous accusations and stenography from some members of the press.  

Here's something that a knowledgable web consultant sent me over email:

At the end of the day, if you're paying $15 for your web hosting and have a 10GB hosting limit, one shouldn't expect to have their website up and operational when traffic spikes. Bandwidth alone just costs more than that, plain and simple. In contrast, I don't want to go into any specific numbers, but if Lamont had a 10GB cap on his bandwidth, he'd have been down at the first of the month. Plain and simple.

Paul Kiel is by far the worst, which is surprising.  Now granted he's doing original reporting, but he's not even bothering to verify whether there in fact was a hack in the first place.  He's just going on what Dan Gerstein says.

Then we have the following:

AP Reporter Sue Haigh
MSNBC reporter Michael Smerconish.
CNN reporter Betty Winn
MNNBC reporter Bob Sullivan
I don't recognize this Fox News anchor. Do you?  If so, please leave a message in the comments.

I hear there are more stories in the works.

On the plus side, Caroline McCarthy of CNet wrote a fairly good piece, pointing out that this just looks like incompetence on Joe's part.  And Political Wire has a nice round-up.

Why focus on this?  Well, it's not because it's important for this race; no one is choosing candidate based on fake accusations of hacking.  I just want to know which reporters are willing stenographers in politics. What's going on here is that the Lieberman campaign is completely and totally out of control, using dirty tricks and baseless accusations to cover up massive incompetence. The Lamont campaign has offered to help the Lieberman campaign with their webhosting problem, but apparently, the Lieberman campaign would prefer to have their system-wide email and website be dark. If they're telling the truth about any of it, which is impossible to know. Again, these are well-paid three year olds.

Update: Greg Sargent does on Sue Haigh.

My guess is that there's a good deal of laughter on Joe's Tomorrow Tour bus towards the Lieberman campaign, though I have no idea what's going on in these reporters' heads. By the way, if anyone out there gets an email from a email address, then let me know. I'll keep it private. The Lieberman folks are apparently claiming that evil hackers have taken out their whole email system. Not that I don't trust these people wholeheartedly or anything, I just want to know if some of them might be able to somehow get over those dastardly problems and send a few emails here and there.

Tags: Connecticut, CT-Sen, Joe Lieberman, Ned Lamont (all tags)



reporter or journalist

I think that is the question.  All those who spew back press releases are hair-dryer reporters.  Those who call this for bullshit, are journalists.

by Robert P 2006-08-08 12:08PM | 0 recs

Kiel finally posted that the Lieberman campaign has no proof to back up their allegations.

by andy k 2006-08-08 12:11PM | 0 recs
Kiel's doing fine

He's just a little behind the curve.  Stenography is ok in the short term -- where you can find someone to say something on the record and tell us what they said.  With a breaking story, such "facts" are a big improvement over what the big media does.  He's got Gerstein on record saying he has no evidence -- his next phone call should be to the sort of internet experts Stoller has been quoting.

The problem with the Steno Sues of the world is that they put out what purports to be a balanced story in the name of their supposedly neutral organization, then give you only the quotes from one side (often anonymously).  Kiel isn't pretending to do anything other than make phone calls to get statements onto the record that are of some interest.

by DaveMB 2006-08-08 12:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Kiel's doing fine

Actually looking at the TPMMuck site I would fault Kiel a little more, particular for the lack of a colon in the headline "Lieberman hacker attack 'disrupted entire campaign'" which would be sensible if there were only a colon after "Lieberman".

They did some honest reporting to shoot down the initial "forgot to pay the bill" theory, but now they need to report the more plausible "their cheapass website buckled under the traffic" theory.  As I said, behind the curve.

by DaveMB 2006-08-08 12:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Kiel's doing fine

They did some honest reporting to shoot down the initial "forgot to pay the bill" theory, but now they need to report the more plausible "their cheapass website buckled under the traffic" theory.

No, Kiel has been making an ass of himself and the two theories you point out above are one in the same. "Forgot to pay the bill" means that you aren't paying for enough bandwidth to cover what is necessary, which is the exact same thing as the "cheapass website buckled" result. Lieberman didn't pay for enough bandwidth, his campaign didn't plan to scale, and the site crashed.

While Greg Sargent at Election Central has done a great job during this campaign, today Kiel has given a blackeye to Josh's whole program.

by Bob Brigham 2006-08-08 12:32PM | 0 recs
Re: The Beltway Consultants' Final Gift

FWIW: the CNN reporter uses the Vietnamese spelling on her last name, Betty Nguyen.

by robertearle 2006-08-08 12:19PM | 0 recs
Re: The Beltway Consultants' Final Gift to the Lie

Your link to the CNet story isn't correct. That post is here.

by jnfr 2006-08-08 12:20PM | 0 recs
Re: The Beltway Consultants' Final Gift to the Lie

Why do people like these even want to become journalists in the first place?? Have they got no soul, no honor, no sense of duty?

Scumbags. Idiots. Incompetents.

by Populism2008 2006-08-08 12:27PM | 0 recs
The Mail Server

a message can come from, but you'd have to look at the headers to see if was used as the smtp server.

by ignu 2006-08-08 12:32PM | 0 recs
Re: The Beltway Consultants' Final Gift to the Lie

Chris Matthews has now posted on Hardblogger that the Lieberman site has been hacked and alludes that it was the Lamont campaign that did it. This is such BS! I wrote him and challenged him to a $100 bet to my favorite charity that when this is over it will be discovered Lamont had nothing to do with it. If he is right I said I would donate the money in his name, if I am right he will donate the money to the   charity in the name of the Lamont campaign. I asked him also if he could smell a rat any longer or was he too stuck inside the beltway - and where is the proof of his allegations, the Lieberman campaign. As a former journalism student I know the first rule of reporting is that you need at least two solid sources before you report any allegations, where are MSNBC's? I'm sure he won't be responding anytime soon! Thanks for letting my vent on my first post here at My DD! I'll stop lurking and post more often as this is just a prelude for November.

by craybee 2006-08-08 12:34PM | 0 recs
Re: The Beltway Consultants' Final Gift to the Lie

Don't put it past the JoMo campaign to have realized how useless their website was and shut it down in order to accuse Lamont of it.

by Sitkah 2006-08-08 12:53PM | 0 recs
Re: The Beltway Consultants' Final Gift to the Lie

Don't put it past the JoMo campaign to have realized how useless their website was and shut it down in order to accuse Lamont of it.

I mean, we're talking about DC operatives and College Republicans here.

by Sitkah 2006-08-08 12:58PM | 0 recs
Re: The Beltway Consultants' Final Gift

Lieberman has apparently referred this to the CT Attorney General. These days, prosecutorial offices have forensic people who understand computers and the web, so they would be able to trace quickly what happened.  If it is as Kos and Matt say, a problem of trying to do the website on the cheap, it will be readily apparent and the Lieberman people are going to look really stupid.  

The odds of this continuing as a story beyond today increase vastly if Lieberman maintains his Indie run.  Also, other campaigns are going to want to find out what happened, how, and who was responsible to avoid the same problems.  Again, the responsible parties, and this includes the trigger-happy Gerstein and Steinfels, are going to look very foolish.

Dumb and dumber.

by Mimikatz 2006-08-08 12:36PM | 0 recs
Add WTIC to the List


WTIC gave Dan Gerstein a good 5 minutes to continue making his baseless accusations that Lamont supporters hacked their website. The whole thing reminds me of when Karl Rove bugged his own office so he could accuse his opponent of dirty deeds. In today's media, accusations are reported as fact.

Anyway, the host (I think it was Colin) did a fairly decent job in the interview. Gerstein condemned the Lamont campaign for not telling their "netroots" supporters to cease and desist. He claimed that it must be coming from Lamont supporters because Lamont gets so much support from internet activists. So in one fell swoop, he smeared Lamont and the netroots.

I called the Lamont campaign and suggested that they get on WTIC and rebut. Don't know whether they will or not.

On the plus side, Colin just reported the mydd post that explained the possible problem, and also just reported the DailyKos post doing the same - suggesting that possibly the Lieberman campaign may not have enough bandwidth.

Thanks for the quick debunking of this. I am outraged yet again of the tactics of the Lieberman campaign.

by CTPatriot 2006-08-08 12:43PM | 0 recs
Re: The Beltway Consultants' Final Gift to the Lie

This is even funnier than when Stoller and others accused Cox of blocking Craigslist...

by WADem 2006-08-08 12:46PM | 0 recs
And another horrible CNN story

You can add Robert Yoon at CNN to the list of he-said-she-said hacks.

"Lieberman blames 'dirty politics' for Web site disruption." What a nice, balanced headline. It was on the front page of, too, until someone changed it to "Lieberman and rival spar over Web site disruption."

Yoon manages to get a comparison to Karl Rove right into the lead. Impressive.

by Buck B 2006-08-08 01:41PM | 0 recs
Re: The Beltway Consultants' Final Gift to the Lie their provider-- doesn't come up at all-- says "suspended page". What's that mean?

I wonder if the whole server went down.

by indydem 2006-08-08 01:56PM | 0 recs
Someone needs to go on tv
Someone campaign staffer technically proficient should go on TV and put this issue to rest once for all. I liked the direct breif condemnation in the morning. But the way the press still makes it out to be an issue someone needs to go
and explain the following
  1. First of all, even if attacked by someone malicious, there is no good reason for a rich campaign to have a site this down so long. Blame their bad decision making in choose a web team and a bad hosting site.
  2. Then go right ahead and explain the 15 dollar issue and explain that why its doubtful it was even an attack. So why is the press spending so much time on an iffy issue when they dont even know who did it.
3)This shows how whiny the Lieberman campaign is as they keep running and whining about aplogies while their people have indulged in stolen signs, and disrupting events and never even bothered to apologize for confirmed incidents while they want one for a hypothetical one.
by Pravin 2006-08-08 02:09PM | 0 recs
Real Reason Joe's Web Site Down

Don't you know how long it takes to scrub the Ds off so many pages?

by BBCWatcher 2006-08-08 02:13PM | 0 recs
Awful, awful NYT story

The story is undergoing revision as I write this, but it's still a mess of uninformed innuendo. Here's my exchange with one of the reporters, Patrick Healy:

Patrick Healy's top story on the website, "Lieberman Camp Blames Rivals for Web Site Crash", is highly inflammatory and behind the story.

The number one fact it fails to mention is that the Lieberman campaign has zero evidence to support their claim of illegal behavior by the Lamont campaign. None, and they've admitted that for the record.

Furthermore, from available online evidence, the Lieberman campaign has been running on a $15-a-month cohosted web server with limited bandwidth; a reasonable and likely explanation is that the site exceeded its traffic limits last night due to the interest in the race.

Printing scurrilous accusations without any check during the polling of a close and tightly-fought race goes way beyond any standard of journalistic ethics I can think of.

But it does make for an exciting headline, doesn't it?

Thanks very much for the note and the call. I've alerted the web site, which writes the headlines, and they've changed "rivals" to "foes" -- the Lieberman campaign blamed unnamed "political opponents," while rivals, as you rightly point out, is the wrong word because it fingers Lamont specifically.

As for the $15/mo. point, we continue to investigate.

Best, Patrick

by The Cunctator 2006-08-08 02:21PM | 0 recs
Re: The Beltway Consultants' Final Gift to the Lie

They reported this on CBS.  

by Reece 2006-08-08 03:01PM | 0 recs
Re: The Beltway Consultants' Final Gift to the Lie

Just to clarify.  CBS evening news.  the reporter was the rather attractive Trish Regan.  

they also have it on their front on

by Reece 2006-08-08 03:02PM | 0 recs
Re: The Beltway Consultants' Final Gift to the Lie

Chris Matthews interviewed Lamont on the first Hardball episode and asked him at least half a dozen times if he would cooperate with the investigation into the "sabotage" or halt the sabotage by asking whomever is doing it to stop. Not once did he offer an alternative explanation for the web site crash. He just kept hammering the sabotage scenario. Something changed before the next show, however, because not one word was mentioned and the interview with Lamont didn't include any of the earlier questions.

by kansi 2006-08-08 03:24PM | 0 recs


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