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More on Sparkman: "Fed" Was Written Ashley Todd-Style
Anatomy of a smear.
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Remember Ashley Todd?

She was the young Republican hate crimes hoaxer who carved a backwards “B” on her face and tried to blame it on an Obama supporter last fall. I took a lot of crap from from my own commenters for doubting her fishy story straight out of the box.

At least you guys and gals had the intellectual honesty to admit that you were wrong.

The nutball blogger who wrote on September 26, “No Suicide: That’s the one thing we know for certain now in the case of the Kentucky lynching”…

…and who stoked the criminalize-the-conservatives meme with bald and righteous pronouncements about the cause of death (“the murder seems even grislier the more you examine it…”):

…refuses to acknowledge his own role as a rhetorical lynch mob leader. Yes, he has the added nerve to pompously “correct” me and deride my credentials.

What a waste of bandwidth.

Folks in Clay County, Ky. are still steaming from the nutroots-perpetuated smears and the hoax tactics that Sparkman successfully used, including writing the “FED” red herring on his chest Ashley Todd-style:

Many people felt the speculation and coverage of the death played on Appalachian stereotypes and gave Clay County an undeserved black eye.

“Everybody was saying, ‘It’s bad, but why are they saying this without letting the investigation go forward?’ ” said state Sen. Robert Stivers, a Republican who lives in the county.

Many in the media owe the county an apology, Stivers said.

The census suspended some work in Clay County after Sparkman’s death. The agency has been notified of the findings in Sparkman’s death and plans to resume normal operations, Beyer said.

If there had been no writing on his chest and his identification hadn’t been taped to him, police could have concluded more quickly that Sparkman’s death was a suicide, Rudzinski told the Herald-Leader.

Instead, it took considerably more investigation to rule out homicide. Investigators even analyzed the writing on Sparkman’s chest to see how the letters were applied, in order to determine whether he wrote on himself or someone else wrote on him.

Forensic tests showed that the letters were applied from the bottom to the top — not the way an assailant facing Sparkman would write them. Police concluded that Sparkman wrote on himself, Rudzinski said.

Here’s a round-up of reax round-ups at The Other McCain, who unlike High Judge of Journalism Andrew Sullivan, actually went down to Kentucky and reported from the scene in search of the truth.


Well, look at that: A Daily Kos diarist shows Andrew Sullivan how to be accountable and express regret:

Many in this community rushed to judgment when we first learned of the death of Bill Sparkman. How quickly we were willing to think the worst of “southern Appalachian anti-government wingnuts”.

Now that the truth is out, I believe we owe an apology to the residents of Clay County, Kentucky and others who were slandered by another example of Hyperventilating Bulls*** on Daily Kos.

I second the diarist’s sympathies for Sparkman’s family and all those around him who have to live with the hoax and its aftermath.

(Republished from by permission of author or representative)