In the Dark on Wesley Clark

In a piece today that looks at several of John Kerry’s choices for a running-mate, Nedra Pickler of the Associated Press writes, “[Retired Gen. Wesley] Clark’s standing also is not helped by Kerry advisers’ belief that the former general helped spread rumors that Kerry had had an affair with a young woman.”

But as the New Republic’s Ryan Lizza — who was in the room when Clark made the comments in question - pointed out three months ago, there just isn’t anything to the Drudge Report-fueled notion that Clark floated the rumor about Kerry having an affair. Inspired by Pickler’s piece, Lizza, writing today on his New Republic blog, again affirms Clark’s innocence.

Pickler’s phrasing may technically be accurate: Some Kerry advisers (those who don’t read the New Republic, perhaps) may continue to believe that Clark helped spread the rumor. But given that it appears he didn’t, is it too much to ask of the AP to point that out?


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Zachary Roth is a contributing editor to The Washington Monthly. He also has written for The Los Angeles Times, The New Republic, Slate, Salon, The Daily Beast, and Talking Points Memo, among other outlets.