From Michelle Obama’s lingerie to a Romney aide’s ‘Anglo-Saxon’ line: Did the Telegraph make it up?

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor
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The Telegraph, a media outlet from Britain, raised eyebrows this morning when it accused — via anonymous sourcing — an aide to Mitt Romney of “remarks that may prompt accusations of racial insensitivity…”

What was the offending remark?

“We are part of an Anglo-Saxon heritage, and [Romney] feels that the special relationship is special the adviser said of Mr Romney, adding: “The White House didn’t fully appreciate the shared history we have”.

The Romney camp has denied this story, describing it as a “desperate ploy” that served to “divert voters’ attention with specious shiny objects.”

And while it’s unclear to me whether or not the words were even uttered, if the Romney camp is right, and the Telegraph did fabricate this story, it wouldn’t be the first time their faulty reporting resulted in contretemps.

Just this past February, it was revealed that the Telegraph had fabricated a story about Michelle Obama’s supposedly expensive taste in lingerie. Their statement revealed an embarrassing lack of sourcing and attention to facts:

Further to our article “First Lady’s luxury buys boost Agent Provocateur” (Jan 30), we would like to make clear that the “shopping spree” involving Her Highness Sheikha Moza and Michelle Obama that we referred to in fact never occurred, and that Her Highness has never been shopping with Mrs Obama, at Agent Provocateur or otherwise, and has never sought to have any part of New York closed off to enable her to shop undisturbed. We apologise for the distress and embarrassment this article caused.

It remains to be seen whether or not a similarly embarrassing apology is forthcoming. Either way, remember to take the Telegraph with a healthy dose of salt.

Matt K. Lewis