Seriously. Here’s the Post story, which once you get past all the history they try packing into it that has nothing at all to do with Rick Perry, is about a hunting lease that Gov. Perry’s family used, and which once had an offensive name that his family did not give it, but which was unfortunately somewhat common once upon a time. Once Perry’s family leased it, they painted over a rock with the offensive name on it to cover it up, and eventually turned the rock over to cover it further. So the Post has devoted its resources and space to tell the world about…a rock way out in West Texas.
Perry’s campaign disputes much of the detail in the Post story.
“A number of claims made in the story are incorrect, inconsistent, and anonymous, including the implication that Rick Perry brought groups to the lease when the word on the rock was still visible,” Sullivan said. “The one consistent fact in the story is that the word on a rock was painted over and obscured many years ago.
“Perry’s father painted over offensive language on a rock soon after leasing the 1,000-acre parcel in the early 1980s. When Governor Perry was party to the hunting lease from 1997 to 2007, the property was described as northern pasture. He has not been to the property since 2006.”
Sullivan also specified that the family has never “owned, controlled or managed” the property.
Just so we’re all clear, a hunting lease isn’t property you own or really have any meaningful control over. You lease it for hunting, and only visit it periodically. For hunting.
The Post knows all too well how this game is played. The original story will get major play, and while the follow up and its own climbdown will attract less attention, a lot of dust gets stirred up and most of it ends up on the Post’s target, in this case, Perry. What’s left in the mind of those who don’t follow the facts is that Perry is somehow associated with racism.
The Post, which ran dozens of stories over a single word in 2006 to sink George Allen, can be expected to stretch out this non-story about an old rock for the next year and a half. Just when Perry starts making a move in the polls or lands a solid punch on Obama, out will come some new revelation about the stupid rock in West Texas. It’s what they do.