Mark Block: Schmuck or Liar?

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Nov. 9 2011 9:00 AM

Mark Block: Schmuck or Liar?

Let's concede Fred Thompson's argument. Let's say that sexual harassment doesn't matter; that even if it does, you can't trust claims that come up during a presidential race; even if you trust them, it's unfair for Herman Cain to get rougher treatment than [Insert Name of Democrat].

David Weigel David Weigel

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. You can reach him at daveweigel@gmail.com, or tweet at him @daveweigel.

Okay: Allowing all that, what does it say about Cain's management skills that he keeps Mark Block in charge of his campaign, and keeps letting him go on TV to make things up? Our latest example comes from last night, when Block told Sean Hannity something that wasn't true -- that one of the named accusers in the Cain affair sired a Politico reporter.

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BLOCK: Karen Kraushaar had come out as one of the women. And we’ve come to find out her son works at Politico, the organization that originally out the story out.
HANNITY: Have you confirmed that? I've been hearing that all day, rumors about that. You've confirmed that.
BLOCK: We've confirmed it that he does indeed work at Politico, and that's his mother, yes.

There is literally no portion of this that's true.

1) Josh Kraushaar, a reporter, is not the son of Karen Kraushaar.

2) Josh Kraushaar, formerly of Politico, has worked at National Journal since 2010.

3) Block didn't "confirm" anything. I asked Kraushaar last night if the Cain campaign had asked him about this.

"Nope," said Kraushaar, "not at all. And I emailed Mark Block ASAP requesting correction around 9:20." At the time we emailed, around midnight, Block hadn't responded.

This would be funny if it happened once, but we're talking about Mark Block, who said just six days ago that Rick Perry's campaign leaked the story, and never backed that up. We're talking about a guy so inept at managing a campaign that he has an independent counsel looking at whether he broke campaign finance law. There's got to be a breaking point for the conservative base's dislike of the media. How about we start with outright lies?

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. You can reach him at daveweigel@gmail.com, or tweet at him @daveweigel.