The leaker who "revealed" to Carl Cameron of FOX News that Sarah Palin didn't know that Africa was a continent or which nations were in the North American Free Trade Agreement has outed himself. First of all the leaker turned out not to be Mitt Romney nor one of his associates as some have suspected. More importantly, the leaker's own revelation does not show that Sarah Palin didn't know that Africa was a continent nor that she didn't know which countries were in the NAFTA. Okay, so who is the leaker? Drum roll please, maestro! And the leaker is....Martin Eisenstadt, a McCain campaign adviser. Eisenstadt revealed himself to be the leaker and his reasons for leaking in his blog:
By now you’ve all heard the Fox News report last week that “unnamed” former McCain advisers leaked that Sarah PalinAfrica was a continent, and which countries were in NAFTA. I was perfectly happy staying under the radar as an anonymous source for Fox News‘ Carl Cameron, but now that Palin has accused her accusers of being “unprofessional…jerks…cowards… taking things out of context, and then tried to spread something on national news” and begun to cast doubt on the Fox News report, maybe she’s right to a certain extent. was confused about whether For those of us on the McCain campaign who thought that she acted like a rogue diva and lost John the election, maybe we DO have a responsibility to come out in public. But Sarah… careful what you ask for: some of us may have more to reveal.
She's right to a large extent in that the accusations against her are untrue. Even Eisenstadt does not refute her:
So yes, to be clear, last week I was the one who leaked those things to a producer at Fox News who works with Cameron. Carl and his producers are good guys, and I don’t want them to have to worry about protecting their sources (and going through the wringer ala Judith Miller or Matt Cooper) on something like this.
Thanks for the admission, Martin. Too bad your leak was mostly incorrect.
As you know, I was one of the foreign policy advisers on the McCain campaign who worked with Randy Scheunemann to help prep Sarah on her debate with Joe Biden. Did we outright give her a geography quiz when we started the prep? No, of course not. But yes, in the context of the prep, it slowly became apparent that her grasp of basic geo-political knowledge had major gaps. Could she have passed a multiple choice test about South Africa or NAFTA. Probably. But it was clear that she simply didn’t have the ease of knowledge that we come to expect from a major party political candidate. Other slights came up, too: Not knowing the difference between Hezbollah and Hamas. Or the difference between the Shiites and Suni. Or when it came to international terrorist organizations, knowing that the IRA was in Northern Ireland, and ETA in Spain.
Hey, Barack Obama thought there were 57 states in the union and Joe Biden thought FDR delivered his Fireside Chats on television so Palin's errors were relatively minor. Oh, and glad to see you are not standing by your absurd claim in your leak that she didn't know Africa was a continent. Your admission that she could have passed a multiple choice test on that subject as well as NAFTA comes a bit late after you let the original charges hang out there without correction. And what's with that implied threat that you might have more to reveal? So far your revelations have failed to pass the veracity test.
UPDATE: It turns out that Carl Cameron might have been scammed by a hoaxer. Here is information about "Martin Eisenstadt" from SourceWatch:
HOAX WARNING RE "M. THOMAS EISENSTADT" AND THE "HARDING INSTITUTE FOR FREEDOM AND DEMOCRACY"
"M. Thomas Eisenstadt" is a pseudonym used to describe someone who claims to be a "Senior Fellow at the Harding Institute for Freedom and Democracy in Washington, D.C. A "bio" note claims that "Eisenstadt" is the "founder and president of the campaign consulting firm The Eisenstadt Group and was an advisor to the Rudolph Giuliani presidential campaign in 2007-2008."
According to the "bio" note, "Eisenstadt" was described by the Wall Street Journal as "one of the foremost commentators on issues of U.S. policy towards the Middle East and is one of the bright lights of the neoconservative movement." He cites National Journal’s The Hotline as referring to himself as “a rising GOP pundit” and “a clear-spoken advocate for Rudy Giuliani.”
In June 2008 blogger William K. Wolfum concluded that "M. Thomas Eisenstadt (who originally started a blog named www.michaeleisenstadt.com and was referred to as "Michael") was a hoax. As was his "think tank" called "The Harding Institute for Freedom and Democracy" (which seems to be a joke, being that Warren G. Harding is widely considered to be one of the worst Presidents in U.S. history)." After being outed, the "biographical" note was changed to "Martin Eisenstadt."