Sorry, But Mitt Romney’s Nickname Is Not “The Stench”

Not everyone grasped that Paul Ryan isn’t really going around referring to Mitt Romney as “Stench,” as a Politico satire suggested. “Yes, the Stench!” exclaims O’Donnell.

When Roger Simon wrote in Politico Wednesday that Paul Ryan’s new nickname for Mitt Romney is “Stench,” a number of news outlets — from MSNBC to Mediaite — took it seriously.

Simon told BuzzFeed: “Some people always don’t get something, but I figured describing PowerPoint as having been invented to euthanize cattle would make the satire clear. I guess people hate PowerPoint more than I thought.”

Below, some of the more credulous examples. (More over at Bloomberg.)

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1. Lawrence O’Donnell

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Lawrence O’Donnell: “Yes, the Stench! That is what Paul Ryan is actually calling Mitt Romney, according to Politico.”

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2. Daily Kos

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From the Daily Kos: “Not sure if it’s snark or full of half truths - never know with Simon - but it seems Boy Wonder has decided to go rogue and started calling Romney “the Stench” to distance himself from the Romney team with over five weeks to go.”

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3. Mediaite

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Mediaite: “Simon’s anecdote has the recognizable (to the Beltway crowd) ring of truth that renders it canonical in political circles.”

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4. Comedy Central

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Comedy Central: “You can just feel the affection the two men have for each other pulsating through your computer screen, can’t you?”

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5. NewsOne

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NewsOne: “It doesn’t seem so long ago that Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan gushed all over each other and patted themselves on the back for all of the budget cutting and deregulation they had in the works. Now, according to Politico’s chief political columnist, Roger Simon, the thrill is gone.”

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6. Gawker

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Gawker: “Rather than decry Robinson’s comments or reaffirm his commitment to the Romney ticket since the Times story broke, Ryan has been running with the nickname, according to Politico, telling campaign staffers things like, ‘If Stench calls, take a message’ and ‘Tell Stench I’m having finger sandwiches with Peggy Noonan and will text him later.’” (Gawker has since updated their post, saying of Simon: “We’re a bit confused by his interpretation of satire, as he’s referring to a single false fact (concocted by him?) in an otherwise mostly accurate piece.”)

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7. Paul Krugman

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Paul Krugman: “Can I say that even though I’m not exactly a fan of Mitt Romney’s, this is just bad behavior? You’re supposed to wait until it’s actually over before you do this kind of thing.” (Krugman has since updated his post: “the word is that this was really clumsy satire.”)

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Rosie Gray is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, D.C. Gray reports on politics and foreign policy.
Contact Rosie Gray at rosie@buzzfeed.com.

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