Late last week, a gay Republican staffer in Wisconsin claimed to be the victim of a hate crime over his conservative political leanings. Kyle Wood, a campaign volunteer with Wisconsin GOP U.S. House candidate Chad Lee, shared his story of an apparent hate crime with conservative news outlet The Daily Caller:

“I was getting ready for work and there was a knock at the door,” Wood emailed The Daily Caller late Wednesday. “I opened it, and a guy wrapped a ligature around my neck, slammed my head into the doorway, and smashed my face into a mirror, telling me ‘You should have kept your [f*******] mouth shut.’”

“He then kidney-punched me, while at the same time saying I was ‘warned,’ and continued to beat me,” he added.

Crying ‘hate crime’: Gay GOP campaign staffer fakes assault

But as it turns out, Wood made the entire thing up. The Daily Caller today ran a very short piece noting Wood recanted during a statement to police.

Lee is a straight Republican running for the seat being vacated by lesbian U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin. Baldwin left the House to pursue one of Wisconsin’s seats in the U.S. Senate. Mark Pocan, the Democratic challenger in the race, is also gay.

Complicated, I know.

Wood was trying to tie his boss’ opponent to a physical assault on one of his own, all over political ideology. But the damage he caused by making such allegations, only to recant them later, goes far beyond his boss’ image.

If people get used to hearing the gay boy who cried attacking wolf, the legitimacy of real, honest-to-God assaults will be looked at with a hint of doubt.