Where is the Red? – a group dedicated to telling the truth about the alleged youth vote- reported about a CNN story (which can be found: here) which widely questions McCain’s ability to appeal to young voters. The story quotes an Eric Perlmutter, “a Republican and student at the at the University of Southern California,” making disparaging statements about McCain’s lack of popularity on campus compared with Obama.
However, ‘Where is the Red?’ asserts this source was fabricated. Their announcement is as follows:
Yesterday, CNN released a story claiming that no young voter would support John McCain for President. They spoke to one Eric Perlmutter, a “College Republican” at the
University of Southern California, who said, “We try to get people out
to our College Republican meetings, but we can’t seem to get the same
amount of support.”
The only problem? None of CNN’s reporting is true, and we called them out on it.
Ben Myers, the president of the USC College Republicans, has never seen
Perlmutter in his life. He said, “As far as I know, he could be a
Democrat.” (LA Times, 7/24/08)
In fact, this whole story could be phony. No Eric Perlmutter is
affiliated with the USC College Republicans, though there is a CNN
producer named Bruce Perlmutter. Even worse, some of Perlmutter’s
quotes are taken directly from a story in the Washington Post! (The blog CitizenSugar has the whole story.)
While the mainstream media publishes fiction about fake College Republicans, four real College Republicans are working their way across America telling the truth about the youth vote.
Fox and Hounds Daily, a site dedicated to “keeping tabs on California business and politics,” published a story by Michael Antonopoulos, Chairman of California Students for McCain. Antonopoulos states as follows:
Yesterday morning, I awoke to concerning news – someone claiming to be
linked to Students for McCain and the USC College Republicans had been
quoted by CNN as stating that McCain does not appeal to youth,
Republicans included, and will struggle to carry the youth vote on both
sides of the aisle. The CNN story was one of the top headlines on their
website, and even made the front page of Yahoo.
Later in the day, CNN posted a video clip of the interview, showing
supposed College Republican Eric Pearlmutter elaborating on how Senator
McCain was far less appealing to young voters, and as a result, how the
College Republicans at USC were having trouble getting students to even
attend their meetings.
Right off the bat, something seemed a bit off – given the fact that
USC is currently not in session, it was strange to have a College
Republican commenting on meeting attendance, and I hadn’t ever met the
individual in the CNN article and video despite working closely with
leaders at our USC chapter in the past.
Confirming our suspicions with two of our contacts at the campus,
USC College Republicans Chairman Ben Meyers and California College
Republicans Chairwoman Cheyenne Steel (daughter of F&H Blogger
Michelle Steel), we found that Mr. Perlmutter was not, and had never
been, a member of the USC organization. No one affiliated with the
chapter that I spoke with had even heard of him prior to the
publication of the CNN article, and there was no record of him ever
attending a College Republicans meeting.
Students for McCain’s California youth effort has so far been a huge
success, with our membership growing every week. I do concede that
Senator Obama has an obvious appeal to a good portion of the youth
vote. However, Students for McCain, throughout the state and at our USC
chapter, has proven that there is active and growing support in the
youth electorate for Senator McCain as well.
We chose to respond yesterday afternoon by issuing a press release
to media outlets throughout the state — as seasoned veterans of the
press along with a handful of political bloggers took note of the
obvious discrepancy and began to investigate, a lot more was revealed.
Theories began multiplying at a startling pace — They ranged from
standard accusations of CNN carrying a liberal bias to an investigative
claim that Mr. Perlmutter was in fact a relative of a CNN producer who
was used to fabricate quotes for the purpose of the story. Although it
is too premature to speculate on CNN’s motivations in this matter, the
bad press forced them to ‘admit an error’ via the Los Angeles Times
Political Blog and invite the Students for McCain Chair at USC to tell
his side of the story on an upcoming edition of their morning show.
I don’t think the real question is why they chose to fabricate a source to hurt McCain’s campaign. I think the real question is how shameless CNN intends to be in promoting their political agenda over actual factual reporting.