WSJ's joke finally gets Martin O'Malley some attention

Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Martin O'Malley
Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton and Martin O'Malley in last month's debate.

The Wall Street Journal was poking fun at Democratic presidential candidate Martin O'Malley when it described him in a photo as an "unidentified man," its editorial page editor says.

Twitter lit up on Thursday after the Journal ran an image of O'Malley and his Democratic presidential rivals above an Oct. 27 caption that identified "Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and an unidentified man." The image appeared atop a column by James Taranto which referred to O'Malley as the "other guy" in a primary contest between Clinton and Sanders.

Many critics on Twitter concluded that the Journal had simply failed to recognize the former Maryland governor, who has languished in the polls and received scant media attention when compared to his rivals.

But Paul Gigot, the editor of the Journal's editorial page, says it was all in good fun -- and that liberal critics need to lighten up.

"The caption is a joke about Martin O'Malley's obscurity as a Democratic presidential candidate," Gigot said in a statement. "The photo ran with a column by James Taranto, who sometimes refers to 'Martin O'Malley, whoever he is.' Liberals need a better sense of humor."

The caption first gained Twitter's attention after Matthew Gertz, the research director at Media Matters, the liberal watchdog group founded by Clinton loyalist David Brock, tweeted out a link noting the "brutal" caption.

On Thursday, Lis Smith, a spokesperson for the O'Malley campaign, accused Gertz of taking the "week old caption out of context."

"Unlike you, we got the joke," Smith wrote.

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