Fictitious McCain Adviser Exposed

Martin Eisenstadt, who describes himself as a former campaign adviser to John McCain and a Senior Fellow of the Harding Institute, has been in the news a lot lately. First it was for outing himself as the guy who leaked the story about Palin not knowing Africa was a continent. Now it's for being non-existent.

The NY Times has the details. Turns out that Eisenstadt is a fictitious character created by two filmmakers, Eitan Gorlin and Dan Mirvish.

Media outlets fooled: MSNBC, The New Republic, the Huffington Post, Mother Jones, and the Los Angeles Times, among others.

Additional details at the Huffington Post.

Identity/Imposters Politics

Posted on Wed Nov 12, 2008


Is anyone genuinely surprised that MSNBC, The Huffington Post and the L.A. Times were fooled?

A drunken bum with a doctor's note stapled to his chest declaring him clinically insane could burst into their offices and claim, "Aliens from inside the sun are reading our minds and controlling us through cats!" and they'd probably publish it as front-page news...
Posted by JDK  on  Wed Nov 12, 2008  at  11:54 PM
Wait. Which New York Times? The real one or the fake one?
Posted by Tah  in  Idaho (Yes, Idaho)  on  Thu Nov 13, 2008  at  12:40 AM
Wow, great week for hoaxes and hoaxers, huh? I'm SO proud of my hobby/profession right now.
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Thu Nov 13, 2008  at  01:45 AM
Hah. The Huffington Post says:
"... But it's not at all clear that Eisenstadt exists."

What's HP doing here, trying to save face over being taken? In fact, it's very clear that Martin Eisenstadt doesn't exist and never existed. The New York Times article gives full details of the hoax.

What's interesting is that major news organs (Fox, CNN) keep getting taken in even months after the first exposure of one of the "Eisenstadt" hoaxes.

Much of the success of the hoax project is probably owing to the selection of the name "Martin Eisentstadt." It just sounds smart (echoes of Albert Einstein, Sergei Eisenstein, Alfred Eisenstaedt, Dwight Eisenhower, etc., with the European-intellectual-sounding "Martin," after the Roman god of war). Even more, it sounds like someone who would be (a) a Senior Fellow at a think tank; and (b) a Republican foreing policy adviser.

It's especially amusing that none of the journalists checked whether there really is a Harding Institute, named for the Republican president whose main accomplishment was to avoid facing corruption charges by dying of food poisoning while in office.
Posted by Big Gary  in  Uncertain, Texas  on  Thu Nov 13, 2008  at  07:42 AM
I'm not sure this isn't being misunderstood by some readers.

Nothing I've seen suggests that 'Eisenstadt' was actually Fox's source: 'Eisenstadt' claimed to have been Fox's source, and this was the hoax.

Fox news itself has reported,

'The hoax was limited to the identity of the source in the story about Palin -- not the FOX News story itself. While Palin has denied that she mistook Africa for a country, the veracity of that report was not put in question by the revelation that Eisenstadt is a phony.'

As I said before, I'm deeply sceptical of the truth of these claims about Palin - but this revelation has nothing to do with the truth or otherwise of those claims.
Posted by outeast  on  Fri Nov 14, 2008  at  01:28 AM
You're right, Outeast. For people who haven't followed the story all that closely, it's worth repeating that the story (Palin's alleged ignorance) itself has NOT been shown to be false-- only the report that an adviser named "Martin Eisenstadt" was the source of the story was revealed as a hoax.

Even Palin's denial of the story was quite mushy and equivocal-- if you read her exact words (also on video, so I don't doubt the accuracy of the quotes) she never actually claims that she really DID know things like which countries are in Africa and which countries are party to the North American Free Trade Agreement. (Hint: Which three countries are in North America?) Her implied argument is more to the effect that it doesn't matter whether she knows these things or not, so talking about it is just mean.
Posted by Big Gary  in  Palo Pinto, Texas  on  Fri Nov 14, 2008  at  07:39 AM
Classic hoax. Like the BS I heard in the military: just believable enough to be taken seriously and a fertile ground of people who want to believe it. I'm not defening Palin, though. She can stay put in Alaska.
Posted by Charles  in  Michigan  on  Fri Nov 14, 2008  at  12:53 PM
Of course a unpatriotic so called military vet won't defend Palin shes smart and being smeared by an idiot. Once agin the left has to lie about their lies and continue the garbage. Eisenstadt was Fox's bullshit source for the "info" he is a liar and a left-wing one at that. A fraud hired by the left to create myth. After the elction of course his crap is no longer being used by insane democrats to justify their smears.

Apparently these idiots don't know the progressive routine, lie, forge, fabricate, construct insane templates, and hire imposters and liars to engage in astroturfing and setups/scam, break in to the watergate and continue to do so until caught, all the while having your hooked wife work for the DNC, and then smear Nixon with lies and crap, and then orchastrate a "cover-up" by telling Halderman to tel Nixon something, lie about that, and after puppeting the events with the help of your democrat buddies murder a presidency with a Silent Coup all paid for by democrat money and conducted by democrat operatives the same operatives who were caught bugging Goldwater's campaign and doing similar shit with the Mullen company.
Posted by LCpl Mosley  in  Mobile,AL  on  Sun Aug 30, 2009  at  07:53 AM
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