August 18, 2016

Aaaaah! Moss might be Maass, the apparent Republican in a possible plot against Russ Feingold.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has the story:
An apparent Republican activist tried to join Democrat Russ Feingold’s team this week in what Feingold’s campaign suspects was a plot to dig up dirt on him.

In an interview with Feingold staff on Wednesday, she initially said she wanted to work on issues affecting women’s health care and unions, but clammed up when confronted about whether she had worked for conservatives and tried to infiltrate Democrat Hillary Clinton’s campaign in Iowa last year....

The woman signed up to be a volunteer as Allison Moss on Tuesday, but was let go Wednesday after the Feingold campaign asked her if she was actually Allison Maass. Maass is a writer with Campus Reform, a project of the conservative Leadership Institute aimed at exposing liberal bias at universities....
Why change your name only just that much — Maass to Moss? Perhaps it is inherent in the nature of moss, not to change much, which is why very reactionary conservatives are called mossbacks
Mossback..seems to have originated in the swamps of North Carolina, where a particular class of the poor whites were said to have lived among the cypress until the moss had grown on their backs.
ADDED: A bit more information at Yahoo News, with references to Project Veritas, (the James O’Keefe operation) and the spokesman's statement: “Regarding the person you named below, Project Veritas will neither provide nor confirm the identity of any of our undercover journalists, real or imagined."

We were just talking about the ethics of undercover journalism the other day — after a Daily Beast writer did a story on gay male athletes at the Olympics. So check out that post if you are wondering how bad it is for journalists to misrepresent themselves to get a story. I don't know if the Feingold incident — if it was indeed a trick of some kind — was an effort at journalism or some kind of political spying or sabotage.

AND: The Feingold campaign ought to be careful about what it is doing to the real Allison Maass. Here's her page at Campus Reform, where you can see her picture and links to articles she's done. She's a real person: "She is a senior at the University of Minnesota studying professional journalism and graphic design and is Editor-in-Chief of the student publication The Minnesota Republic." Her page links to her Twitter feed, which was only set up this month and has no tweets yet.

19 comments:

MadisonMan said...

The news story at Yahoo is a bit more involved. Link.

Curious George said...

So she was Maass no mas.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Gosh, what could those moral, ethical Democrats be afraid of? Why don't they just open the kimono and let Moss, Maass, or anybody else see just how the sausage is made?

Nothing to hide, right?

Bad Lieutenant said...

Apparently this is D's notion of security and on that basis, is pretty good.

"Who sent you?"

Let a real headchopper with beheading videos on a real FB page appear, though, with real D roots, wanting to help...

Veritas needs to take a little more pains, I guess. This is just at the level of locks keeping honest people honest.

rehajm said...

Why change your name only just that much

Plausible deniability.

eric said...

They are finally getting wise to the tricks!

I suspect not everyone is that wise though. Fun videos coming.

The answer to groups like Project Veritas now, the boilerplate, standard answer, no matter how much wrong doing is exposed, is, "The video was heavily edited."

This has worked so well, the DNC is now trying to use it in advance for future email leaks, "Maybe they changed the text?"

David Begley said...

Somalis change their names all the time. Maybe she is Somali. Get used to it. Names are flexible when you have a breakdown in the Rule of Law.

traditionalguy said...

No Maas. No Mass, repeated the secret agent from Iowa. Her accent had given her away.

rhhardin said...

In an interview with Feingold staff on Wednesday, she initially said she wanted to work on issues affecting women’s health care and unions, but clammed up when confronted about whether she had worked for conservatives and tried to infiltrate Democrat Hillary Clinton’s campaign in Iowa last year....

Clammed up is a sexist joke.

MadisonMan said...

The Feingold campaign ought to be careful about what it is doing to the real Allison Maass

What?

It seems to me that the story is the real Allison Maass tried to infiltrate Feingold's campaign by posing as Allison Moss. Exposing that truth is somehow doing something to the real Allison Maass?

Ann Althouse said...

"It seems to me that the story is the real Allison Maass tried to infiltrate Feingold's campaign by posing as Allison Moss. Exposing that truth is somehow doing something to the real Allison Maass?"

Is it true though? I don't know. It better be true if the Feingold campaign has gone as far as it has, but how do you know that the person who used the name "Allison Moss" (assuming that happened) wasn't somebody else trying to play off the name Allison Maass. That would be a cleverer trick than Allison Maass just calling herself "Allison Moss," which seems lame. Why cover yourself but do it iinadequately?

Ann Althouse said...

"Clammed up is a sexist joke."

Yes, that's what I thought too! Didn't want to come right out and say it, so I limited myself to the boldface. Thanks for being my voice.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

How was video of Mitt Romney talking about "the 47%" obtained? Pretty sure it was surreptitiously recorded by a bartender working the event, then given to Mother Jones.
The specifics escape me but I remember last cycle there was an incident where a Democratic operative recorded audio of a meeting/conference call by hanging out just outside the door of the conf. room--that audio was then given wide play in the Media.

Anyway, my point is that the Left has successfully used espionage-style tactics against the Right and the Media doesn't object. Both sides have gotten smarter about leaks, I think (I know they all treat "internal" conference calls with donors and the like as though they're public now since several of those were penetrated), so it shouldn't be treated as shocking that organizations are trying to go undercover for a scoop or political advantage.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Here's a fun one from a while back: FL Democrat Operatives Secretly Record Cell Phone btw Gingrich and Boehner

They used a scanner to intercept the phone call, recorded it, then sent it to Dem. Rep McDermott--he leaked it to the NYTimes and AJC, and also turned it over to the Ethics Committee [which he was on] (ha!).

They were eventually charged with a low-level invasion of privacy crime and both paid $500 fines. No big deal.

Curious George said...

"Ann Althouse said...
"Clammed up is a sexist joke."

Yes, that's what I thought too! Didn't want to come right out and say it, so I limited myself to the boldface. Thanks for being my voice."

No it's not. http://www.word-detective.com/2008/03/clam/

“Clam” is an interesting word. Most uses in English refer back in some way to “clam” as the name for the shellfish (as Merriam-Webster puts it, “any of numerous edible marine bivalve mollusks living in sand or mud”). The origin of “clam,” however, lies far from the beach, in the prehistoric Germanic root word “klam,” which meant “to press or squeeze together” and also gave us “clamp.” It was the tightly clamped shut shell of the aquatic “clam” that gave it its name.

“Clam” has developed numerous slang and figurative uses over the years, from “to clam up” meaning to remain silent, lips pressed together like a clam’s shell,

Matthew Blaine said...

The mossback has outlived countless species who may have had a temporary, advantageous adaptation, but turned out to be evolutionary dead ends.

Gabriel said...

@Ann Althouse: Why cover yourself but do it inadequately?

Ah, the "criminal mastermind" logic.

Granted people should wait until there is more evidence besides coincidence of names before accusing someone of something, but there are any number of cases of smart people getting caught because they did something dumb. Doing something dumb does not necessarily mean you are dumb, it might mean you are careless or ignorant or arrogant, and even criminal masterminds don't think of everything all the time.

Ann Althouse said...

@Curious George

I don't think you're seeing how the joke of calling it a joke came into being.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

We can go deeper: "beard" can be slang for a person acting as cover for else, in am attempt to deceive others, and clam-like mussels have "beards" the must be removed before they are cooked, and the verb "to beard" means to boldly confront, but "bearded clam" is an idiom for female genitalia, so by metonymy and or synechdoche could represent a woman or be shorthand for "women,” so, ah...no, no, I lost it.