Rep. Darrell Issa has refuted claims made by The Daily Beast's Howard Kurtz' that his former spokesman, Kurt Bardella, "impersonated" the congressman in an interview with the reporter last November.
Shortly after he moved from his longtime perch as media reporter for the Washington Post to Tina Brown's web site, Kurtz wrote a story that led off with a quote from Darrell Issa criticizing bureacracy. Trouble was that he wasn't speaking to Issa but rather his spokesman Kurt Bardella. Despite being told of error soon after the story was published, Kurtz waited six weeks to publish a correction attributing the mistake to his experience of hearing lawmakers "refer to himself in the third person." After Issa fired Bardella last week for sharing some reporters' emails with The New York Times' Mark Leibovich, Kurtz tweaked his interpretation to blame Bardella for actively trying to fool him. On his CNN show Reliable Sources, Kurtz said, "I had my own run-in with Kurt Bardella... I had asked for an interview with Darrell Issa, and he called and impersonated the congressman. And I said, 'Thanks for calling, Congressman.' He didn't correct me."
Even though Issa parted ways with his spokesman, he disputes that notion. But Issa disuptes the notion that his spokesman would do such a thing,
Talking Points Memo's Eric Lach reports. Issa asked, "What purpose would it serve for him to deliberately impersonate me? I believe Howard misunderstood, but I don't see a conflict between his misunderstanding and Kurt making statements on behalf of the Congressman every day and sooner or later someone not fully paying attention to who he was talking to."
Kurtz isn't buying it, though. "Bardella claimed, not very convincingly, that it was a misunderstanding," he told Lach, "And I should have corrected the record sooner."