This is just plain hilarious.
“Senate sources told Breitbart News exclusively that they have been informed that one of the reasons that President Barack Obama’s nominee for Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, has not turned over requested documents on his sources of foreign funding is that one of the names listed is a group purportedly called ‘Friends of Hamas,’ ” the Web site reported, noting a White House spokesman “hung up,’’ when asked about it.
The hang-up was apparently enough of a confirmation to give the report ample attention, especially among conservative pundits.
“There was a report that came out last week, not confirmed yet,” Andrew McCarthy, a National Review contributing editor and former federal prosecutor, said on “Lou Dobbs Tonight’’ on the Fox Business Network, “that one of the groups behind the speeches may have been an outfit called ‘Friends of Hamas.’ ”
Yet, there has been no evidence that any such group exists. And on Wednesday, a reporter with the New York Daily News, Dan Friedman, said he believed he was the inadvertent source of the rumor, born of a joke he made while speaking with a Republican aide on Capitol Hill.
“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,” Mr. Friedman wrote.
The Breitbart report, he said, hit the following day, leading him to check back with his initial Capitol Hill contact. “The person denied sharing my query with Breitbart but admitted the chance of having mentioned it to others,” Mr. Friedman wrote.
Ben Shapiro, who wrote the original Breitbart post, is strenuously denying that his report came from a joke originated by Mr. Friedman. “Our Senate source denies that Friedman is the source of this information. ‘I have received this information from three separate sources, none of whom was Friedman,’ the source said.”
Hey, Ben, pull my finger.