That thought occurred to reporter Alex Seitz-Wald on the day that then-Daily Caller reporter Matthew Boyle introduced the public to allegations that Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) had engaged prostitutes on a trip to the Dominican Republic along with friend/donor/doctor Salomon Melgen. The story featured interviews with unnamed Dominican women who said that Menendez had underpaid them for sex. Exactly how Boyle found these women wasn’t terribly clear in the story.


Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) (J. Scott Applewhite/Associated Press)

So Seitz-Wald, then with Salon magazine, went to work on a hypothesis. He found this piece from The Record (Bergen County, N.J.), which summarized findings of author Robert Eringer in the book “Ruse: Undercover with FBI Counterintelligence.” Cuban officials, wrote Eringer, were eager to discredit Menendez, who for years has been a staunch opponent of the communist regime in Cuba.

Nearly two years after it sunk into the Twittermasse, Seitz-Wald’s tweet was excavated by BuzzFeed’s Andrew Kaczynski after The Post published allegations that … Cuban intelligence may have been involved in planting the story about Menendez and prostitutes.

Seitz-Wald, now with National Journal, says via e-mail that he was “just trying to think of who would possibly concoct such a performance. Seemed beyond the pale of normal political operatives. If it was indeed a ruse.”

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.