Also via Lawyers, Guns, and Money, this comment about the alleged “Whitey” tape:
At this point, there no longer needs to be an actual tape. Mission accomplished I’d say.
The other day I speculated:
It is as if folks are simply spending weeks prepping the ground preparing people to expect a bombshell, they can release some weak nonsense, and then pretend it is a big deal. While the “bombshell” will fizzle, the psyops will have been successful enough to make people think it is a big deal even when it isn’t. Right now, their goal is mainstreaming this and trying to get the chattering classes in the press and on the cable networks to talk about it. If they can get Chris Matthews to speculate about the “bombshell,” they will have succeeded.
It isn’t quite mainstreamed yet, but reporters are now asking Sen. Obama about it:
Sen. Barack Obama on Thursday batted down rumors circulating on the Internet and mentioned on some cable news shows of the existence of a video of his wife using a derogatory term for white people, and criticized a reporter for asking him about the rumor, which has not a shred of evidence to support it.
“We have seen this before. There is dirt and lies that are circulated in e-mails and they pump them out long enough until finally you, a mainstream reporter, asks me about it,” Obama said to the McClatchy reporter during a press conference aboard his campaign plane. “That gives legs to the story. If somebody has evidence that myself or Michelle or anybody has said something inappropriate, let them do it.”
Asked whether he knew it not to be true, Obama said he had answered the question.
This is the ’08 version of a really weird conservative urban legend that pops up every four years, The names change, but the basics remain the same: 1) It always involves the wife of the Democratic presidential candidate; 2) It always portrays the wife — not the candidate — committing some anti-American, unpatriotic act.
I was first exposed to this during the 1988 campaign when the line was, “There’s a picture out there of Kitty Dukakis burning the American flag…just wait til that comes out…” (that one got out of hand when a GOP senator actually believed it and called a press conference to say he would soon produce the evidence — which never materialized). Four years later, “There’s a picture out there of Hillary Clinton burning the American flag…just wait ’til that comes out…” In 1996, the Hillary thing repeated itself. In ’04, there was a similar one about Teresa Heinz Kerry.
Differences this year: Because of the racial angle and Jeremiah Wright, Michelle Obama — and Louis Farrakhan, for good measure — are blaming “whitey.” Because of YouTube, it’s a clip, not a photo. Oh, and it’s also real early: This urban legend isn’t supposed to start making the rounds until September or so. Perhaps it’s because this one has “crossed over” — Larry Johnson is a lefty blogger partial to Hillary, so he’s caught up in the feverish wish that this might be true. Sorry, Larry, don’t hold your breath.
I am not going to say there is no tape, because I have learned to never say never. However, that is just what Larry Johnson and others are playing on when they spread these rumors- you simply can not prove something does not exist. Between the shifting rationales, the fact that the right wing is sifting through everything at Trinity United, and the fact that still, in the age of viral YouTube videos, nothing has shown up, it looks like George may be on to something. Right now this looks like little more than a sophisticated version of the “Obama is a Muslim” e-mail smear that was so effective.