Meet the Leader of Eliot Spitzer’s Smear Campaign

October 13, 2010

On Fox TV and at the New York Post, a peculiar detail is the subject of endless fascination: Did Eliot Spitzer, ex-governor of New York and newly minted CNN show host, really insist on wearing knee-high black socks during his encounters with high-priced escorts? A far more important question is this: Where did the story come from and why?

The answer to that question is important because it reveals much about political bloodsport in this country and how the media are routinely manipulated by clever political operatives who are paid to attack their enemies by “leaking” damaging rumors in ways that quickly enter the mainstream media as fact.

The tale of the Luv Gov’s black socks was originally penned by Roger Stone, the amanuensis of the dark side and perhaps the Republican Party’s best-dressed and most ruthless dirty trickster. He first introduced the hosiery motif in a letter he claims his lawyer — Paul Rolf Jensen — sent to the FBI, as a story heard, second-hand, from an off-work call girl at an “adult-themed club.” (Don’t you just love the detail?)

Read more on Alex Gibney’s blog at The Atlantic >