As a political columist for a right-wing tabloid, it’s tough to know just which Democrat to hate on. The confusion revealed itself yesterday in the ramblings of New York Post columnist Andrea Peyser, who completely reversed her views on Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton from one edition of the paper to the next. That’s right: Two different versions of the same column appeared in the paper on the same day—one supporting Obama, and the other slamming him.
Depending on which version of her rantings readers encountered, Peyser either praised the Illinois Senator and probable 2008 Democratic presidential candidate as a “rock star” who has admitted to coke and pot use (“About time,” she said), or chided him as “The Rev. Al Obama.”
Post owner Rupert Murdoch is a reliable Republican propagandist, but he has a pragmatic streak that sometimes cuts against his politics. Murdoch famously threw a fundraiser for Clinton and bestowed his paper’s endorsement upon her for Senate, but the Post‘s marquee gossip column is unsparing when it comes to the Clintons’ personal lives.
The later version of Peyser’s column, which is featured on the Post‘s website, slams Obama as a lefty extremist with no chance of beating Hillary. Could it be that the only thing the Post‘s puppetmasters might fear more than another Clinton is a skinny kid with a funny name?
FIRST EDITION: “To most New Yorkers who’ve heard of the guy, Barack Obama is a presidential contender saddled with a ‘Say what?’ name. But to me, the senator from Illinois is a rock star with a megawatt smile who admits he inhaled. And liked it.”
SECOND EDITION: “Barack Obama, the presidential contender with the ‘Say What?’ name and megawatt smile, came out last night to electrify New York. He stuck his finger in the socket instead.”
FIRST EDITION: “Obama, who zoomed deep into Hillary Country last night for a charity appearance, is capable of drawing a crowd big enough to make Hillary whine. And he doesn’t organize a focus group before opening his mouth.”
SECOND EDITION: “Obama zoomed deep into Hillary Country for his debut in our moneyed midst—making sure to quote both Bobby Kennedy and Ronald Reagan. But his message sounded more Al Sharpton.”
SHE LOVES HIM, SHE LOVES HIM NOT Peyser’s deuling takes on Barack Obama
UPDATE: One of the Peysers speaks: “The answer to your question is that no one told me or even suggested to me what to write. I wrote a first-edition column based on my impressions of Obama, then re-wrote it after a live, 8:30 p.m. event in which I got a chance to see and hear the man in person.”