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Another 60 Minutes Scandal?

We wrote here about one aspect of the recent 60 Minutes story alleging that Karl Rove had something to do with the fact that former Alabama governor Don Siegelman was convicted by a federal jury of bribery and mail fraud. The claim seemed so silly on its face that I wrote that I “assum[e] that it is another 60 Minutes hoax.” Now, Gateway Pundit has been doing some digging, and it seems that 60 Minutes may have been duped by its star “witness,” Dana Jill Simpson.

CBS describes Simpson as a “former Alabama GOP operative,” but no one in the Alabama Republican Party appears to have heard of her. Simpson says that she was repeatedly tapped by Rove for secret but unspecified spy-missions; again, the claim seems ridiculous, and CBS doesn’t seem to have done anything to try to verify Simpson’s stories.
The will to believe is powerful, and it is hard sometimes to distinguish between a news outlet that is fooled, and a news outlet that actively perpetrates a hoax. I suspect that as more facts come out, we will once again be debating whether CBS and its 60 Minutes crew negligently fell for an implausible story that they desperately wanted to believe, or deliberately perpetrated a fraud.
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