In an effort to pre-empt and discredit The Daily Caller’s reporting, however, ABC also leaked to sympathetic news outlets and liberal bloggers that TheDC was working on Wednesday’s story. Those leaks came prior to that report’s publication, in a statement that included the assertion that “nearly the entire law review” was in attendance at the Raddatz-Genachowski nuptials.
TheDC pressed ABC’s Ford again Wednesday for specific numbers to justify that statement, but he did not respond.
Some members of the media class, perplexed by the relevance of making information public about President Obama’s past relationships, instead parroted ABC’s line of attack that The Daily Caller’s reporting was “absurd.”
For example, Politico blogger Dylan Byers attempted Wednesday to discredit TheDC’s report, having a head start with ABC’s leak Tuesday night.
When asked Wednesday, after by TheDC’s report was published, whether he bothered to verify the information ABC had passed along to him, Byers answered, “No, I didn’t.”
Specifically, he could not and did not verify Ford’s claim that “nearly the entire [Harvard] law review” attended the Raddatz-Genachowski wedding.
Erik Wemple, The Washington Post’s media critic, wrote that he at least waited for TheDC’s piece to be published before launching into his own attack.
Carol Platt Liebau, a former Harvard Law Review colleague of Obama and Genachowski’s, told TheDC that ABC’s notion that “nearly the entire law review” attended the wedding did not make sense given the ideological infighting of the publication during those days.
Obama and Genachowski were staunch liberals, she recalled, and leftist colleague Christine Lee pressured the future president to stack the publication with minority members.
Ultimately, Lee, cited in a 1990 story about Obama’s tenure at the law review, expressed her disappointment in him for becoming too much like those “in the Establishment.” That story also explored the political tensions that consumed the publication.
“The Harvard Law Review was a hot bed of ideological infighting,” said Platt Liebau, “so this is not like it was a second grade birthday party where everybody’s friends were invited.”
She emphasized the closeness of the friendship between Obama and Genachowski, saying they kept their relationship private, not often socializing with other Harvard Law Review members.
Genachowski and Raddatz’s relationship was also kept low-key, she said, although she was aware they were a couple because she worked in close proximity to Genachowski on the publication.
“You never saw her at the Review,” she said, speaking of Raddatz.
Reflecting on ABC spokesman David Ford’s statement that many law review staffers from 1991 went to successful careers in the George W. Bush administration, she said she could name only one — Bradford Berenson, who served the Bush administration as Associate White House Counsel.
Platt Liebau said she couldn’t imagine Berenson and Genachowski being friends, as they were nearly always at odds with one another, but added in an email after this article was published that “if Brad says he was at the wedding, he must have been.”
“Brad is the only Bush administration appointee that was likely to have been at the wedding,” she added in that email. “I was very close to all the others (as personal friends) and would have been likely to know had they been invited. Brad, unlike the others, was a year ahead of me.”
“He showed up in power and great glory to lead the occasional body meeting,” she said.
“In many ways, President Obama was an absentee leader of the review,” she said. “Supposedly, he was editing law review pieces from home.”
“The president was not unpleasant to me,” Platt Liebau told The Daily Caller, even saying in 2007 that Obama had reached out to advise her when she had become the Harvard Law Review’s first female managing editor.
“He was not out to make enemies,” she said. “He just clearly always had his eye on something bigger.”