Much of the far right’s smear campaign against 12-year old SCHIP recipient Graeme Frost was driven by the right-wing blogosphere. One blog in particular, Redstate, featured especially vitriolic comments. A poster there wrote of the Frost family:
If federal funds were required [they] could die for all I care. Let the parents get second jobs, let their state foot the bill or let them seek help from private charities. [...]
I would hire a team of PIs and find out exactly how much their parents made and where they spent every nickel. Then I’d do everything possible to destroy their lives with that info.
Rather than distancing themselves from the smear campaign, the White House today decided to embrace RedState and reward the blog with an official White House posting.
In a post entitled “Democrats’ SCHIP Budget Gimmick,” Nicholas Thompson, a staffer in the White House’s Office of Strategic Intiatives, rallied the conservative troops around Bush’s hard-line stance, reminding them that “we are less than one week” from Congress’ veto override vote.
In today’s New York Times, columnist Paul Krugman writes:
All in all, the Graeme Frost case is a perfect illustration of the modern right-wing political machine at work, and in particular its routine reliance on character assassination in place of honest debate. [...] Leading conservative politicians, far from trying to distance themselves from these smears, rush to embrace them.
The White House’s tacit endorsement of a blog that promoted baseless attacks against a 12-year old boy serves as a perfect illustration of Krugman’s point.
UPDATE: According to RedState, the poster who smeared Graeme was actually a respected voice in the right-wing blog. “As it turns out, it was the well-known contributor mbecker who posted that now famous comment.”