Whereby the Daily News’ Dan Friedman recounts the origin of the “Friends of Hamas” rumor he unwittingly started, by thinking he was sufficiently over-the-top as to be obviously satirical. He would have been for most folks, but not the mini-Breits:
On Feb. 6, I called a Republican aide on Capitol Hill with a question: Did Hagel’s Senate critics know of controversial groups that he had addressed?
Hagel was in hot water for alleged hostility to Israel. So, I asked my source, had Hagel given a speech to, say, the “Junior League of Hezbollah, in France”? And: What about “Friends of Hamas”?
The names were so over-the-top, so linked to terrorism in the Middle East, that it was clear I was talking hypothetically and hyperbolically. No one could take seriously the idea that organizations with those names existed — let alone that a former senator would speak to them.
“No one could take eriously the idea that organizations with those names existed — let alone that a former senator would speak to them.” No one, of course, except for Ben Shapiro and the rest of the right-wing blog world (NRO, Huckabee, etc.) who fell for this “story.”).
Reached Tuesday, Shapiro acknowledged “Friends of Hamas” might not exist. But he said his story used “very, very specific language” to avoid flatly claiming it did.