That, and other news, in today’s Political Panorama.
A hit mailer is taking on John McCain in South Carolina by suggesting, among other things, that he’s been too cozy with the media and that they’ve been all too willing to push his hero status.
One flier that has been circulating says, “For years McCain has been an unchecked master at manipulating an overly friendly and biased news media. The former POW turned Congressman, turned US Senator has managed to gloss over his failures as a pilot and his collaborations with the enemy to become America’s POW hero presidential candidate.”
As Jake Tapper reports on ABC News.com, “McCain ally and former POW Orson Swindle slammed the allegations, saying that while “the group claims that John McCain turned his back on his fellow POWs in order to save his own skin…Nothing could be further from the truth. I know because I was there.
“The truth is, the North Vietnamese offered John McCain early release, and he refused. He stuck to the time honored military code of first-in, first-out, and stood by his fellow POWs until the end — even at the risk of his own life as he was severely injured…”
And Another: Obama’s Hollywood donors are among the recipeints of an anonymous e-mail sent out on Tuesday that claims that Obama is a Muslim, among other things. It also claims that he carried a copy of the Koran when he was sworn in to the U.S. Senate. “It’s all lies, all slander,” says Irena Medavoy, an Obama fund-raiser who received one of the e-mails. Obama was asked about the e-mails at last night’s debate, and the leaders of 9 Jewish groups released an open letter on Tuesday condemning the messages.
“Attempts of this sort to mislead and inflame voters should not be part of our political discourse and should be rebuffed by all who believe in our democracy,” the leaders said, according to the New York Times. “Jewish voters, like all voters, should support whichever candidate they believe would make the best president.”
Anti-Hillary Movie: Citizens United, a group that is promoting its anti-Clinton “Hillary: The Movie,” must abide by campaign finance laws if it plans to run advertisements, a federal court ruled on Tuesday. That means that they must disclose the names of donors if they plan to promote the picture in key primary states.
Penn Not Amused: Sean Penn is calling the San Francisco Chronicle “lamebrain.” Penn has been filing dispatches for the paper, including a 2005 series on his travels to Iran. But he was upset with an article that poked fun at celebrity interest in Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez. Penn objected to the characterization of Chavez as an authoritarian figure, noting that he was democratically elected.