The Three Faces of Jon Huntsman

Someone is playing games on Youtube, and they’ve managed to fool an awful lot of people – mostly “reporters” and bloggers who hate Ron Paul – into falling for one of the more transparent hoaxes of this election season.

It all started with an incredibly stupid video posted on Youtube by “NHLiberty4Paul” accusing Jon Huntsman of being a Chinese agent — a “Manchurian candidate” — and making fun of his daughters. The Huntsman campaign was quick to pounce on this, responding very quickly with a blast of righteous indignation from Huntsman himself.

Of course, anyone can post anything on Youtube, and the content of the video – in the course of which Huntsman is called a “Chicom” – is not something an authentic Ron Paul supporter would say. The complete lack of evidence that the Paul campaign was behind it didn’t stop Huntsman, however, nor did it stop the Usual Suspects from glomming on to the video as “evidence” of Paul’s perfidy. The Huffington Post jumped on the “story,” as did Gawker (natch!),, and

There’s just one problem with this “story” – it has a sequel. Hours after the now-infamous video was put up yet another video was posted by “NH4MittRomney,” and, subsequently, by “NH4Santorum” – the same video that is supposed to be the work of Paul’s supporters. What’s funny is that “NH4Santorum” is posting comments under the other two Youtube pages. On the page attributed to “NHLiberty4Paul” he advertises his latest masterpiece: “Watch our ad about Huntsman on our chanel [sic] !!! rick also dislikes huntsman!” He (or she) also points out to one commenter on the Santorum page that “Rick has the same opinion as the Paul-supporters [sic].” Meanwhile, “NH4MittRomney” pays a visit to “NHLiberty4Paul”’s page and advertises his wares.

It’s the political version of “The Three Faces of Eve.”

So who is behind all this? Someone took a screen shot of the earliest statistics of the “NHLiberty4Paul” page: it clearly shows that one of the first four visitors to the page (aside from its creator) came from the Huntsman web site,

Pretty quick on the draw, those Huntsman people — a little too quick, wouldn’t you say? If you suspect this is a case of “The Three Faces of Jon Huntsman” — that the Huntsman campaign, or one of his supporters, is responsible — I won’t argue with you. It does seem odd that whoever posted the video just happened to have footage of Huntsman’s daughters — what appear to be home movies — that I haven’t seen anywhere else. However, the following scenario seems far more likely to me:

Some fool put up a nasty video and made it look like the work of a Paul supporter, and Huntsman immediately went nuclear, blaming the Paul campaign. Even as Huntsman was playing the victim, the same idiot was putting up the same  video trying to make it look like the work of supporters of Romney and Santorum. Huntsman has been hoaxed — but don’t hold your breath waiting for a retraction.

Question: if Huntsman flies off the handle this easily, and can be taken in by a transparently obvious prank like this stupid video, then do we really want his finger on the nuclear trigger?