Peter Daou of The Daou Report has posted this dispute of Jeff Gannon’s insinuation that the Kerry campaign cut Joe Wilson loose during the campaign. Gannon’s insinuation was picked up by Robert Novak in his column a few days ago.
Fact-checking Jeff Gannon on Wilson/Kerry — Jeff Gannon writes on his blog: “So potent is the story I wrote last year posts [sic] about the Kerry campaign cutting Joe Wilson loose that when columnist Robert Novak referenced it a few days ago, liberal talking points were released in an effort to refute it. A pair of “journalists” took to the task of rewriting history, one of them being Tim Grieve at Salon.com. Peter Daou, who worked on Kerry’s site, denied that the campaign was consciously distancing itself from the disgraced diplomat.” Gannon goes on to write that “the online community was abuzz about how completely any reference to Wilson had been scrubbed from the Kerry site.”
Gannon’s insinuations to the contrary notwithstanding, there appears to be only one piece of evidence cited to support the contention that Joe Wilson was “discarded” from the Kerry campaign, namely, that www.restorehonesty.com (Wilson’s page endorsing Kerry during the Democratic primaries) no longer appeared on the Kerry campaign site after April 2004. But as I explained when asked about the missing page by journalist Robert Parry, Wilson’s page was one of many that didn’t make it into the newly redesigned – and evolving – general election website…
I first became aware of the missing page in April 2004, when Wilson’s Politics of Truth was released. As the liaison between the Internet and Communications teams, I searched the newly redesigned Kerry site for references to Wilson. I was told by the senior Kerry web development team that as we moved into the general election campaign, many early primary endorsement pages and issues-oriented pages were rendered obsolete by Kerry’s primary victory and were being removed or revamped as the site was updated for the fall campaign.
In fact, in response to my request, the web team created a new page with the text of Wilson’s endorsement letter in the event that Wilson’s publishers wanted to link to a page with the Kerry site’s new design elements. The web address for that new page contradicts the notion that the campaign was distancing itself from Wilson by removing website references: http://www.johnkerry.com/features/wilson. Hardly a repudiation of Wilson.
As I told Robert Parry, I was given no directive from senior communications or foreign policy staff to “discard” Joe Wilson, and the demise of restorehonesty.com was, to the great disappointment of Gannon, Novak, and other Wilson detractors, an innocuous outcome of Kerry winning the Democratic nomination.