As the SKWAWKBOX revealed last night, the US Democratic Party in New York State tore a page straight out of the anti-Corbyn playbook by launching a campaign to smear TV star and left-wing candidate for the party’s nomination for state governor, Cynthia Nixon. The smear triggered a huge backlash among Ms Nixon’s supporters and in many media outlets that saw incumbent governor Andrew Cuomo and the party’s state apparatus scrambling to disavow the defamatory flyer that was sent to voters.
But now both governor and party have been further embarrassed by the revelation of a leaked email by the New York Post – an email that shows Cuomo’s campaign attempting to persuade the newspaper to one of the same smears to those in the leaflet\;
The Post reports:
The attempt to tar the former “Sex and the City” star over the divisive issue was made in an email to a Post reporter that casts doubt about Cuomo’s repeated claims he had nothing to do with the 11th-hour hit job.
The smoking-gun email, sent Friday afternoon from an official “andrewcuomo.com” account, suggested that The Post publish a story about Nixon’s support of the pro-Palestinian “Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions” movement against Israel.“Nixon has supported insidious BDS campaign, signing onto letter boycotting Israel,” it says.
“Obviously something you guys have reported on a lot and right before the jewish high holidays!
“Can get you folks on the record slamming her as well,” the aide added.
The email also included excerpts of news reports from 2010, detailing how Nixon was among about 200 American celebrities — including many Jews — who signed a letter supporting a boycott by Israeli actors, directors and playwrights of a new theater in Ariel, one of Israel’s largest Jewish settlements in the West Bank.
A statement from Cuomo’s campaign team attempts to turn the issue into one of journalistic ethics:
Asked for comment about the Nixon-BDS story pitch, Cuomo’s campaign press secretary Abbey Collins said: “The off the record email forwarded to the New York Post contained published articles and publicly available information on Cynthia Nixon’s positions on issues concerning Israel sent for the Post’s information — those articles have nothing to do with the wrong and inappropriate mail piece that went out and shouldn’t have.”
“It is apples and oranges, and to disclose an off the record exchange that had been agreed to by the New York Post is a violation of journalistic ethics,”
The veteran Democratic Party campaign staffer who spoke to the SKWAWKBOX for the earlier article laughed at the attempt to use ethics as a diversion and went on to comment:
The backlash indicates that the antisemitism smear won’t be given oxygen by our media, which is a surprise given the UK media’s reverse obsession with eating it up.
But this does not mean the DNC [Democratic National Committee] will abandon the use of the smear, especially against Bernie Sanders in the coming 2020 primary because (a) they’re incompetent and (b) the only way they’re likely to abandon it is if Cynthia Nixon produces a shocking win.
Ms Nixon is some twenty points behind according to the latest polling, so a win in tomorrow’s primary would be a seismic event.
Perhaps distance will allow UK observers to recognise the anti-Corbyn modus operandi as it plays out on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean – and the left to better understand how to resist it.
And just as the smears here have boosted Labour’s membership and seen the party lead in polling, it is to be hoped that they will boost Cynthia Nixon to a shock victory tomorrow. It would be karma – and it might just knock some sense into a UK Establishment that seems concreted into a cycle where when one smear fails to work, they can’t think of anything but to try more, bigger smears.
Wonder what ‘pitch’ emails are on the phones or computers of the UK mainstream media…
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