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Interviewer concealing S.C. 'raghead' tape did work for Rep. Joe Wilson

UPDATE: I talked briefly to Wes Donehue about this -- the decision to keep the video offline, he said, was agreed upon by both co-hosts in order to protect their guests.

"The whole purpose of this show is to have fun with politics," said Donehue, "and this comment flew in the face of that. We had three legislators on the show and it would not have been fair to them to be tied to this."

On yesterday's episode of Pub Politics, a South Carolina politics webcast co-hosted by conservative Wes Donehue and Democrat Phil Bailey, GOP State Sen. Jake Knotts reportedly said this as a swipe at gubernatorial candidate Nikki Haley.

We already got one raghead in the White House, we don’t need a raghead in the governor’s mansion.

Video of the interview has been kept offline since its initial broadcast. In a statement, Bailey and Donehue say that "what Senator Knotts said on Thursday’s show does not fit with our program and its goals." Conveniently for Knotts -- who has been condemned by state Republicans anyway -- the lack of the video prevents the story from taking on more steam. What's interesting about this is that Knotts is a close political ally of Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.) -- and Donehue, according to FEC reports, has done work for Wilson.

Below the fold is a screenshot of Wilson's last FEC report, which shows that Donehue's firm received $3991.17 from the congressman -- whose campaign fund swelled after his 2009 "you lie!" outburst during President Obama's second address to Congress -- for web consulting and web development. Wilson's connection to Knotts is much stronger, as the state senator took his seat after Wilson left it to run for Congress; the two of them have been political allies for more than a decade.

Depending on how you want to read it, Donehue's decision to stash away the damaging tape of Knotts is an act of civility, a favor to a Republican who's in some hot water of his own boiling, or both.


By David Weigel  |  June 4, 2010; 2:33 PM ET
Categories:  2010 Election , Race  
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