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Sunday, October 31, 2004 / News / Boston Globe / Opinion / Op-ed / The anatomy of a smear campaign: "Thus, the 'pollsters' asked McCain supporters if they would be more or less likely to vote for McCain if they knew he had fathered an illegitimate child who was black. In the conservative, race-conscious South, that's not a minor charge. We had no idea who made the phone calls, who paid for them, or how many calls were made. Effective and anonymous: the perfect smear campaign.

Some aspects of this smear were hardly so subtle. Bob Jones University professor Richard Hand sent an e-mail to 'fellow South Carolinians' stating that McCain had 'chosen to sire children without marriage.' It didn't take long for mainstream media to carry the charge. CNN interviewed Hand and put him on the spot: 'Professor, you say that this man had children out of wedlock. He did not have children out of wedlock.' Hand replied, 'Wait a minute, that's a universal negative. Can you prove that there aren't any?'"

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