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Update - I just spoke with Crawford, the manager. He will not reveal how many people were there with the campaign, but he said the bill was paid in full and the tip was left AT THE TIME. He says it's not the first time that a tip hasn't been dispersed properly. Lastly, he too says this is a preposterous story and wants to remind us that there are kids dying in Iraq and Afghanistan and that anyone who is proposing this as a valuable insight into a campaign, needs to think again. He used the word "shameful" to describe people who are pushing this story. But yes - for the record - the bill was paid and the tip was left that day.

Lots of brouhaha going on about this insane waitress tipping story. The Clinton campaign has produced a receipt for $157. Eight people with the campaign had hamburgers and shakes that day. And the Clinton campaign put the bill and the tip on the credit card. The manager of the restaurant has said, for the record, that the bill was paid and that a tip was received. He has also said that he may not have dispursed the tip. This hasn't stopped people from claiming that the waitress was stiffed.

More below the jump.

Brad Crawford, manager of the Maid Rite, said that a tip was left and a bill was paid.

"If the money didn't get dispersed properly, that happens sometimes," Crawford said. "Hillary didn't lay it on the counter."

Although he declined to say how much the bill or the tip was, Clinton campaign officials said that $100 was left on a $157 bill for shakes and burgers. Crawford said it "could have been" that Esterday simply did not get her share of the tip that day.

Got that? The manager who accepted payment is saying that the Clinton campaign paid a tip and that he may not have dispersed it properly.

So, how do we know the bill wasn't $157?

To that end, here is the link to the Maid-Rite menu.

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As you can see, sandwiches run from $2.89 to $4.29. Shakes are $3.50. A basket of food is $5.99 to  $7.99. Assuming that all Clinton staffers bought the biggest meal and the shake, the bill is still under $90. It validates the Clinton campaign story that the bill was $57 and a $100 tip was left.

This has been a shameful episode for the blogosphere. And yes, as of now, the blogosphere is in need of some ethics counseling. You were no better than the mainstream journalists you deplore. DH posting stories that have been debunked because they fit the meta-narrative is no different whatsoever than the kind of crap we get from maintstream journalism whatsoever. Kos posting stories saying they lied when the campaign has said definitively they paid a tip and produced a receipt to prove it, is just preposterous beyond belief.

All of us are refugees from mainstream news here because of the exact kind of sloppiness displayed in the above two front page stories. We came here to get away from that; all of us - whether you're supporting the top tier of candidates or the bottom tier.

Originally posted to lorelynn on Sat Nov 10, 2007 at 04:47 AM PST.

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