Did Norm Coleman's campaign fake a Web site crash?

The speculation has the local blogs quite worked up.

Earlier today, Coleman's campaign site was linked on the Drudge Report. The campaign says they were so overloaded with hits that their site crashed. Aaron Landry at MnPublius says it is a "completely fabricated lie" and does some nerdy Web digging to explain why.

Was this a terrible publicity stunt gone really wrong?

Here is what Coleman's campaign said when their site went down:
"Minnesotans and folks across the country are fed up with Al Franken's efforts to disenfranchise thousands of Minnesota voters, and the overwhelming response we received to making this information public is proof positive of that fact," said Campaign Manager Cullen Sheehan. "The Franken campaign's ongoing effort to quash votes is clearly not sitting well with Minnesotans, and we intend to continue fighting for each and every one of these voters who deserve to have their valid vote counted."
The new site has a searchable database where voters can check to see if Franken is trying to "disenfranchise" them.

Landry at MnPublius says the traffic wouldn't crash their site and it's simply a publicity stunt. He gets into some technical nerdage on IP addresses and site traffic, so read it all here.

And Minnesota Independent has an interesting take on the crash:
Tony Webster, a Minneapolis web developer, explained to me that the IP address the Coleman campaign used prior to today's "crash" (208.42.168.197) is responsive. Translation: "If the site was truly down, that IP wouldn't be responsive. If it wasn't, their story might have validity. In fact, I can see their last blog post today. The title is 'Senate Trial: Every ballot has a story.' If the site was down, I wouldn't see that at all."

He says he can also see that the campaign has a Google Analytics account. "If they wanted to be transparent, they could release those logs and graphs," he said. "Since it's a third-party source, they can't modify the data. If they changed that DNS [to 1.1.1.1] to mitigate a problem, you should see it."
Any other Web nerds out there with a take on this?



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