Reluctantly Defending Paladino


It's open season on Carl Paladino, the homophobic, racist email-forwarding Republican candidate for governor of New York. And much to the delight of the Cuomo campaign, everyday seems to bring a new scandal. Now Paladino stands accused of using salty language about Attorney General Eric Holder, apparently telling a voter that he would say "fuck him" if he attempted to try terrorists in a Manhattan court.

National Journal broke the story, with reporter Jeremy Jacobs stating categorically that the tape shows Paladino saying "fuck him." CBS News correspondent Lucy Madison says "a video has surfaced that will force New York Republican gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino to confront his own delivery of a different kind of message—to Attorney General Eric Holder." Mediaite writes of Paladino's "expletive-filled assessment of Holder." The Atlantic's Chris Good declares, in a headline, "Paladino on Eric Holder: 'F**k Him,'" but hedges in his post, noting that the Republican hopeful "appears to respond" with an expletive. And so on.

The only real skepticism (that I have seen) comes from AOL News contributor Steven Hoffer, who spots (as I did!) "the discrepancy in voice when the camera pans away from the questioner back toward Paladino. The second utterance of 'F— him' clearly conflicts with Paladino's actual voice as he begins his response." After repeated listens, it seems pretty clear that Hoffer is right. And that the media simply expected this to be true.

So, Hit & Runners, is Paladino getting a bum rap on this one? And if National Journal et al., turn out to be wrong, as I think they will, can we expect a) a raft of corrections and b) something like this Dave Weigel post, ripping those in the media who went with the story before nailing it down.

The exchange starts at about 2:03.

UPDATE: John McCormack and Allahpundit both also cast doubt on the National Journal story.

NEXT: The Hudson River Tunnel: Victim of Obamacare?

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  1. How does saying Fuck Him about Eric Holder hurt anyone?

  2. Wait, it’s cool when Eliott Spitzer calls himself a “fucking steamroller”, but Paladino saying “fuck him” is a problem?

    1. That’s different. They’re in different political parties, don’t you know?

      1. Aren’t they both Republicrats?

        1. Yes, but I understand that there is some obscure, technical distinction between the variety of Demopublicans that they are. Probably something relating to the tax code.

  3. Isn’t “fuck him” the only correct response when Eric Holder’s name is mentioned?

    “Dude, I heard Eric Holder nurses orphaned kittens back to health and gives them to crippled children!”
    “Eric Holder? Fuck him.”

    Also, a search for “fuck him” on youtube yields only a Ke$ha song. Even I can’t inflict that on you people. I assume you’ve all heard this, though.

    1. Why would you assume that?

    2. What about jabroni?

      “You keep on using this word ‘jabroni’ and…it’s awesome.”

      1. Jabroni? Nice word.

        1. Yeah, I think it’s some dego word.

          1. Except that it’s spelled giabroni.

            It’s sort of the Italian version of schlub or schmendrick.

            1. I know that. I’m not fakakta in the head.

  4. Jesus titty fucking christ politicians swear just like everybody else. How is that a scandal?

  5. is Paladino getting a bum rap on this one?

    Yes. Is Holder?

    1. If Holder were being sodomized by Brooklyn cops, I’d say so. Short of that, I don’t it’s possible for the fucking weasel to get a bum rap.

      Especially since he is charge of the department that hands out bum raps.

      Oh, and fuck Paladino, too.

  6. This one’s gonna end up in the “definitely spit on black Congressman during march to Obamacare passage” file.

    Fuck ’em, Carl, you know damn well Holder grinds Obama when Rham isn’t watching.

  7. Question: Why is Guiliani so against running for New York Senate or Governor when his chances are better than average, yet was so enthusiastic about running for President when his chances were much practically non-existent?

    1. Good question.

    2. Because then he wouldn’t be able to focus all his time and energy on preparing for another fruitless presidential run in 2012.

  8. Fuck it, Dude, let’s go bowling.

    1. They peed on my fucking rug, Walter.

  9. So, it’s either Prick #1… or Paladino.

    Cue Tony’s usual “false equivalency” argument in 3… 2…

  10. Well, if he DID say it, can you imagine how many MORE votes he’d get when confronted by a puritanical reporter if he said, “Goddam right, I said it!”


    1. I sure as hell hope you’re real, and I hope you stick around.

  12. I have a stake in how this plays out. I’m thinking of running as an independent for town council rep in the suburbs of NYC next year. If I win, my acceptance speech will be, “Fuck! I actually won!?”

  13. Um, that looks like bad dubbing to me at around 2:25. I can’t believe reports went to press with this without looking at the sound wave for a break first. They could get a definitive answer back in less than a day.

  14. They may as well try them on Judge Judy. It’s not like they’re going to release them even if they’re acquitted.

  15. Fuck Paladino. He’s actually making me hope that Cuomo wins (of the Republicrat candidates, I’m voting for Redlich). Paladino is such a fascist d-bag.

    Oh and he’s likely innocent here.

  16. Hmmm, sounds like he said “Macaca” to me.

  17. It’s obviously someone in the audience that said “fuck him”. Paladino is chuckling about it, along with everyone else, but he didn’t say it.

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