The gloves are off in a bizarrely emotional battle in New Hampshire, where everyone is scrambling to win second place in the primary. For former Governor Jon Huntsman, who has made the state his only focus, and Texas Congressman Ron Paul, who has been watching his second place standing erode, things became even more personal, as a video allegedly posted by a Ron Paul supporter attacked Huntsman over his connections to China, including his adoptive children.
Paul has been defending himself from other accusations of racism as the endorsement process continues, and this is only the latest incident to be used against him. But although the candidate has defending himself against the racist newsletters and other items thrown into the media, his campaign has had a different response to the Huntsman video.
They say it was a plant, and that it was actually created by the Huntsman team, itself.
According to Politico, the Paul campaign hired a web consulting firm that analyzed the video and its traffic patterns, and says it has determined that the most likely originated with Huntsman or a supporter of Huntsman. “Since no direct link to the video exists on Jon2012.com, how could YouTube show Jon2012.com as the referring site? Our best guess is that someone used a server on the Jon2012.com domain (such as webmail) to read an email that contained the link to the video. It is also likely that the first mobile views at that same time originated from links in emails. Clicking on a link from a webmail system on Jon2012.com would provide the needed headers for YouTube to record the link….Based on the evidence above and the coincidental timing of the release and subsequent events, it seems likely that a party close to the Huntsman campaign posted and distributed this video impersonating a Ron Paul supporter in order to cast Ron Paul and his campaign in a negative light.”
Huntsman’s campaign denies the allegations and responds that their twitter account automatically links and tweets content that mentions Huntsman, which could have provided the referral mentioned.
But other Paul supporters aren’t willing to let it go that easily. Some are hitting comment threads with alleged screenshots they claim are of Huntsman supporters laughing about their prank and the backlash Paul is receiving. ”I cant believe how stupid these people are. As campaign insiders many of you are aware we created the fake video herehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tZeVqj-t1U0 and made it look like it came from the ron paul people. This is a suprise it went viral. And the good news is paul is getting blamed for it.”
If a video is easy to fake, how about a screen shot? In the age of online campaigning, it’s hard to ever know what to believe.
Photo by R. DeYoung