Well, this is unfortunate.
The conservative news site Breitbart.com suffered a rather awkward pants-down moment when a media watchdog site pointed out Breitbart had confused its Loretta Lynches when publishing an attack on the woman President Obama has nominated to be the next attorney general. The site said the 55-year-old nominee served as one of President Bill Clinton’s defense attorneys during the Whitewater investigation of 1994.
She didn’t. That was a different Loretta Lynch.
If confirmed, nominee Lynch would be the first black woman to occupy the post. She is the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York and has faced Senate confirmation twice — the first time she was nominated to the post by President Clinton and served from 1999 to 2001, and the second time in 2010. She began working as a federal prosecutor in 1990. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Harvard College and her law degree from Harvard Law. Her father was a Baptist minister in North Carolina.
The Loretta Lynch Breitbart was referring to — the Whitewater attorney — was also a former California public utilities commissioner. She worked as the director of policy and research for California Gov. Gray Davis (D) and obtained her undergraduate degree from the University of Southern California. Her law degree is from Yale.
California Lynch is 52.
With blue eyes.
Soooooooooo, ah, definitely not the same woman.
On Saturday, Breitbart published a post by Warner Todd Huston about nominee Lynch, unveiling what might have been, at worst, a conspiratorial cover-up or, at best, an overlooked “fact”: It claimed “few are talking about” the fact nominee Lynch “was part of Bill Clinton’s Whitewater probe defense team in 1992.” Huston cited a 1992 New York Times article that referred to Lynch as a campaign aide (she was a deputy policy director) and a lawyer working with Susan P. Thomases, the Clintons’ other defense attorney.
Okay, you say. That’s not so bad. There was, after all, no photo with the Times article.
What’s that about “if at first you don’t succeed?”
The connection to Whitewater ought to provide additional fodder for Republicans during Lynch’s confirmation hearings. It is odd that Obama chose someone so close to the Clintons — or perhaps not, given the prominent role played by Clinton insider John Podesta in the second term of the Obama White House. Lynch has been rewarded throughout her career for her political loyalty — not an unusual path up the career ladder for federal prosecutors, but certainly one that will allow the GOP, as well as Obama, to raise the political stakes.
While both Talking Points Memo and Media Matters reported that Breitbart had corrected and updated the posts to reflect the correct woman, the first one has since been taken down. Visitors are greeted with a “404-not found” error instead.
And just for future reference — and to prevent further confusion — this is country singer Loretta Lynn, who has also been photographed with Obama:
And California Rep. Loretta Sanchez of awesome Christmas card fame, who is also a Democrat:
OMG. SO MANY LORETTAS.