Many on the left were excited this week to find a story at Deadspin.com claiming that Colorado GOP Senate candidate Cory Gardner supposedly lied about playing football for his high school football team in the 1980s. The left went wild pushing the Deadspin.com story but almost immediately the Deadspin story collapsed and turned out to be false in every way.
Gardner is currently a Republican congressman in the Centennial State but he decided to run against incumbent Democrat Senator Mark Udall. At first the left didn’t worry over much about Gardner because they assumed he couldn’t beat the long time incumbent Democrat. But recently Gardner has pulled ahead of Udall in the polls, seriously worrying the left.
So, when Deadspin.com–a sports-centric website run by the extremely left-wing Gawker.com–published a story yesterday purporting that Gardner lied about playing football in high school, the left was overjoyed with the story.
For Deadspin, former Washington Post sports reporter Dave McKenna claimed that he found one of Gardner’s old teachers who told him that the GOP candidate never played football. On the basis of that interview with this 70-year-old teacher, Deadspin made the startling claim that Gardner was a liar; he never played football in high school.
As soon as it was posted, the left rushed to push the claim. Noah Rothman has a great collection of the Tweets from liberals who immediately jumped to the story to flog Deadspin’s story on Gardner.
Liberals were sure that they now had the story that would end Gardner’s campaign. But almost immediately the story began to fall apart.
First came a Tweet from Gardner himself featuring a photo showing a teenaged Cory Gardner in his school football uniform.
Then came the 70-year-old teacher to say that he was horribly misquoted. In fact, far from calling Gardner a liar, the teacher said that he respected Gardner and thought of him as one of his best students.
Worse, throughout the constant updates undermining the story, Deadspin avoided issuing clear updates with the corrected information, further making the lefties look bad for flogging the story.
Ultimately, it appears that this was a misfired hit piece that was a result of badly sourced Democrat opposition research and it was given to a pliant “journalist” who took the info for granted and ran with it.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org