Palm Beach Post Misses Own Charlie Crist 'Pinocchio Moment' Scoop

October 4th, 2010 12:01 PM

Updated with correction below.

How embarrassing is it when a senatorial candidate sits down with your own editorial board and issues a statement so absurdly mendacious that the video clip of the "Pinocchio moment" becomes a big hit in the blogosphere yet your own story about the interview completely misses it? Such was the case with the Palm Beach Post. Charlie Crist sat down for an hour long interview with its editorial board and declared that he would still have left the Republican party even if polls had shown that he was running 20 points ahead of Marco Rubio in the race for the U.S. Senate seat from Florida. Here is a transcript of that memorable magic moment:

Q: But if you had been 20 points up in the polls over Mr. Rubio would you have left the party to run as .an independent?

A: Absolutely. Yes. I absolutely would have. Because I think it's that important. Sure. I would have...

That astounding Pinocchio moment video clip, which is destined to go down as one of the most notable quotable moments of the 2010 congressional elections campaign, seems to have slipped the notice of Post writer George Bennett who wrote a story about that editorial board interview with Charlie Crist despite the fact that it happened at the 12:15 mark of the Post's own video. Look carefully at Bennett's summary of the interview and the notable moment is notable for being missing. However, at least Bennett did focus a bit on Crist's ever-shifting mendacity:

At one point in the editorial board interview, Crist referred to Rubio as “a Jeb Bush guy.”

Afterward, Crist was reminded that he once called himself a “Jeb Bush Republican.”

“Yeah, well, that’s changed,” Crist said. “I think Jeb and I both agree on that. I’m not even a Republican.”

Good catch, George, but you let the really big one get away from right under your nose.

UPDATE:  As shocking as this might seem to many people, your humble correspondent was wrong about the Palm Beach Post overlooking Crist's "Pinocchio moment." Although not mentioned in George Bennet's Monday summary of the interview, it was covered by the Post's Jane Musgrave in a story about the interview last Friday. Here is what she wrote:

Both rival camps said the most stunning claim Crist made during Friday's hour-long editorial board interview was insisting he would have left the Republican Party even if primary polls had showed he was leading Rubio by 20 percent. When reminded that he had repeatedly insisted he wouldn't run as an independent, he said: "Things do evolve and they change."

And congratulations to the interviewers of the Palm Beach Post editorial board for getting Charlie Crist to issue what has to be one of the most notable quotes of this historic campaign season.