By John W. Lillpop
On Thursday afternoon, a television station in Pittsburgh reported that a 20-year old woman had been attacked because of a McCain-Palin bumper sticker on her automobile.
The story was carried on major news outlets throughout the nation.
However, on Friday the police held a news conference to report that the accusation was, in fact, a lie by Ashley Todd, the woman involved.
The story has updated by the source as follows:
"Pittsburgh police said a 20-year-old woman who originally said she was robbed and assaulted at knifepoint in Bloomfield because of her political views made the story up.
Ashley Todd - who has a backward letter "B" scratched into her right cheek - confessed to faking the story and will be charged with filing a false report, Assistant Police Chief Maurita Bryant said at a news conference Friday."
POSTED: 4:03 pm EDT October 23, 2008
UPDATED: 5:01 pm EDT October 24, 2008
See the full story at the link.
The report seemed valid at the time; in fact both the John McCain and Barack Obama campaigns commented on the story as if it were real.
The Obama campaign issued the following comment:
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the young woman for her to make a speedy recovery, and we hope that the person who perpetrated this crime is swiftly apprehended and brought to justice."
In addition, John McCain personally contacted Ashley and her family and said:
“She is a volunteer for the McCain-Palin campaign,” said campaign spokesman Peter Feldman. “Sen. McCain has reached out to her via telephone and has spoken to her and her family,” as has McCain’s running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Feldman said. “Out of respect for her privacy we’re not going to comment further.”