Dispatch to Travis Childers – Using anonymous commenter “unfair” and “lame”

One of the joys of the newspaper business is we’re inundated with spam e-mail on a daily basis — and during a heated election season, much of it is political.

Such is the case in the 1st District congressional race, pitting incumbent Rep. Travis Childers, a Democrat, against his Republican challenger, state Sen. Alan Nunnelee, a Republican.

Each camp, and some national players, is doing its best to spin the other candidate’s record. “Childers plays politics with Mississippi jobs,” is the headline on one recent e-mail from Nunnelee. “Nunnelee Lies About Taxes, Social Security, Health Care, and More,” screams an e-mail from Childers’ campaign.

In reality, the source was an anonymous commenter to a story on our website. The story itself was about a Childers visit to a Columbus business, and nothing about Nunnelee or taxes.

That’s lame.

In an interview with The Associated Press, “Childers campaign spokeswoman Dana Edelstein defended the ad’s citation of the anonymous comment by saying the Columbus newspaper itself is ‘a reputable news source.'”

Also lame.

Columbus Dispatch
9/17/10

h/t/ Majority in Miss.