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How a Political Operative Sneaks In Under the NYTimes Radar


Reader Anne asked about the campaign that has "border wall" supporters sending bricks to Congress.  Seems the NYTimes has an article about the "Virginia girl" who started the campaign all by her lonesome and its blossomed to a grassroots miracle.

Well, sort of

She’s later described as "Ms. Heffron, who has been active in political campaigns and public affairs…" Well, that clears that up! Of course, Michael Moore has been active in political campaigns and public affairs –the same could be said of David Duke, Jane Fonda, and Jerry Falwell, so that doesn’t really narrow it down.

The truth is out there about Kirsten Heffron, and it’s not far out there at all. In fact, when it comes to investigative reporting, we’re not talking "All the President’s Men" here — it took this intrepid reporter literally five minutes of Googling to learn the following about the spokeswoman for the Send-a-Brick Project.

— In the heat of the 2004 presidential campaign, writing as "Kirsten Andersen Heffron" on the Web site, she penned a hate-filled attack on John Kerry — "’Thank You, John Kerry,’ A Dear John Letter" — that goes way lower than the notorious Swift Boat Veterans for the Truth, calling the former Vietnam Vet "a treasonous scumbag." Her letter suggests — without any supporting evidence — that Kerry forged documents and raises "the questionable circumstances surrounding your three Purple Hearts."

— On the Send-a-Brick Project Web site, Heffron boast of working for conservative GOP presidential candidate Steve Forbes (would that have been hard for the Times to squeeze in the article — it’s only 11 letters!) but adds that she served as "Public Affairs Director for a 2-million-member national grassroots advocacy group."

For some reason, she won’t tell you what it is, so we will: It was the anti-union National Right-to-Work Committee. We guess that if it came out that Heffron worked against both unions and illegal immigrants, people might get the idea that maybe she just doesn’t like working people….

There is a lot more. Will Bunch at Attytood has the scoop — and thank goodness someone remembers how to do that lost art I like to call "journalism." You know research. Reporting. The whole story, not just the one that paints a purty picture for your readers.

As for why the NYTimes picked up the story in the first place?  I’m guessing Kirsten’s contacts that she made while working for Steve Forbes presidential bid were useful.  Carl Hulse of the NYTimes meet a Republican PR flack — next time, try digging a bit below the surface.  Someone explain that whole liberal media bias thing to me again…

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com