Suppose you were told that a candidate for congress, while serving as the county DA some years earlier, had gone to New York City for a conference. While there, records show that he made a call to a phone sex number. The DA, in response, does not deny that the call was made but asserts he didn’t make it, but rather an aide did, and besides, it was a wrong number. Who would you believe? What if the source of the information to begin with was the National Republican Congressional Committee? Well, if you had already seen this article, you might just reflexively ignore the NRCC.
What? Ignore it? Doesn’t the “wrong number dialed by an aide” defense sound weak? Well, what if the DA produced phone records showing that the “phone sex call” lasted one minute, was immediately followed by a call to the New York State Department of Justice Services, and that the final seven digits of the two phone numbers are identical? Not so crazy after all. Of course, this would not prevent an NRCC spokesman from claiming that the ad is “totally true”. Hitting a new low in the tight race for New York’s 24th congressional district, the NRCC ad prompted the DA to call it libelous and threaten a lawsuit, prompted his opponent to say it was “way over the line”, and prompted at least seven TV stations in the district to refuse to run it.