U.S. Stung By Latest Undercover Sting

Exposing the truth about Barack Obama's presidency

The nation was left reeling yesterday by the revelation that the presidential election of 2008 was a hoax. The shocking announcement came when White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters that Barack Obama has been working in secret with conservative provocateur James O'Keefe since 2007.

The long-running hoax is the most elaborate yet in a series of recent sting operations by primarily right-of-center gadflies that have embarrassed organizations including ACORN, Planned Parenthood, and National Public Radio.

Those stunts, as well as the prank call to Republican Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin that was captured on tape last month, proved to be sources of personal or institutional embarrassment. Historians warned yesterday that the latest caper may inspire a sense of national shame.

Origins of a hoax

Carney said the scam entailed pulling together demographic, social, cultural, and policy characteristics to create the most exaggerated Democratic candidate possible without stepping over the line into caricature.

"By combining empty, touchy-feely slogans like 'hope' and 'change' with far-left-wing policy planks and presenting them in the person of a racial minority from a major Midwest city with an Ivy League background, we thought we might be able to make a good showing in Iowa and New Hampshire, maybe even capture the Democratic nomination," Carney told reporters. "But the entire country? No. We never, ever for even a second imagined the American people would elect someone who had served only half a term in the U.S. Senate to be the leader of the entire free world."

Obama won the presidency with 52.9 percent of the popular vote, defeating Republican nominee John McCain, who received 45.7 percent.

"All you guys in the press were so giddy about it," Carney continued, "we couldn't really just announce that the whole thing was a big fat joke, you know? I mean, how would that look?"

Contacted by phone, O'Keefe said he, too, was surprised the hoax had lasted as long as it did.

"I thought people would catch on in the early days, like with the clinging-to-guns stuff," said O'Keefe, referring to an incident at a San Francisco fundraiser in which candidate Obama said small-town Americans "cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them."

O'Keefe said he also expected the ruse would be unmasked when Obama said that "under my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket," and again when Obama claimed, "I've now been in 57 (U.S.) states," with "one left to go."

"We modeled the 57-states gaffe on Dan Quayle's 'potatoe' mistake," said O'Keefe, referring to a 1992 incident at a Trenton, N.J., elementary school in which then-Vice President Dan Quayle added an "e" to "potato." "We figured Obama would become a national laughingstock like Quayle, (but we) underestimated the tendency of the press and the public to forgive mistakes by people they like."

Worldwide deceit

Victims of the fabrication stretch around the globe. "President" Obama has held numerous meetings with foreign heads of state, among them Chinese President Hu Jintao, leaders of NATO and the G8, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee also was taken in, awarding Obama the Nobel Peace Prize in October 2009—only months after he had taken office and just weeks before he announced an escalation of the war in Afghanistan.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Tony||

    Hey! This article is FAKE!

  • Spencer||

    not sublte enough.

  • fish||

    Ah fake Tony, your punctuation is incorrect.

    Hey! This article is FAKE?

  • Jen||

    Cue incoherent rants by liberals who think they're arguing against a serious article in 3...2...1...

  • Anonymous Coward||

    They'll rant about simply because it is "disrespectful" of Obama.

    Chimpy McBusHitler? Still perfectly civil political discourse.

  • sven||

    April Fools day comes on the Ides of March now?

  • some guy||

    Yeah, I thought it was on the Ides of April...

  • Almanian||

    Ahem....

    RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACIST!!!!!!!111!!!!

  • Ragnar Darrah||

    Awesome. THIS could beat the Friday funnies any week. Love it.

  • fish||

    It is indeed Onionworthy!

  • Zeke||

    That goes for most of the writing on here. The Friday "Funnies" really aren't.

  • Kristen||

    As satire goes, not a home run. Definitely got stronger toward the last few paragraphs.

  • The Progressives||

    Satire. How does it work?

  • Tony||

    Hopefully better than this.

  • Tony||

    I actually fell for it and voted Obama! Damn wingnut pranksters!

  • ||

    me too. i voted for the foreigner after the native-born lil w effed it all up.

  • UrineOhio||

    Hello, piss facktery! Thanks for raining your stupid down on us!

  • ||

    so u stalk stupid?

  • Mr Mackey||

    Jackovasaurs really piss me off.

  • Lamar||

    This wouldn't get published in The Onion on a bad week.

  • Kristen||

    Yeah, pretty much what I was thinking as I read it. Just didn't have that certain special something that makes The Onion the master of all satire.

  • silent v||

    In his defense, it is difficult to satirize something that has slipped into self-parody.

  • Kristen||

    NOt really - you just make it more ridiculous than reality. Make up shit, even.

  • ||

    Re-read that post if you ever find yourself wondering why no-one reads any of the satire you've written.

  • Kristen||

    Erm...OK?

  • Hate Potion Number Nine||

    That's Glen Beck's job

  • Bucky||

    wow, now that's funny...

  • ||

    Not always possible.

    Matt Stone and Trey Parker are masters of satire and parody, and even they and their whole team couldn't come up with any way to parody Michael Jackson. They just presented his character as-is.

  • ||

    that's ignorant

  • Trespassers W||

    The Onion the master of all satire

    I thought something felt weird today! GIVE ME THAT NEWSPAPER!

    No, it's still 2011. I thought for a moment I'd slipped back in time to 2003.

  • ||

    Even assuming that you are correct that the Onion has slipped and it's not just that your memory is selective in the way that everyone's is in making the past seem better, the Onion is still better today at what they do than anyone else.

  • ||

    People still continue to get suckered by their parodies.

  • Sortelli||

    Come on. That's like saying Gallagher is still better at what he does than Carrot Top.

  • ||

    No, an equivalent to your statement would be that SNL's Weekend Update still does satirical news better then Fox's Red Eye.

  • Trespassers W||

    Even assuming that you are correct that the Onion has slipped and it's not just that your memory is selective in the way that everyone's is in making the past seem better

    The Onion used to make me laugh, even bring me to tears, on a regular basis. Now I'm lucky to get a smirk or a half-chortle out of it. That's not selective memory.

    For some reason, the quality started to slip around November 2008.

  • ||

    Well, clearly you do not have any other biases.

  • Tom||

    The Onion the master of all satire

    Yes, because satire is all about having a funny headline followed by an article that rewords said headline 50 different ways without ever contributing anything more.

  • ||

    This^

  • fish||

    Are you kidding? This would lead...with theme music!

  • Some dude||

    The Onion sux.

  • creech||

    Why didn't the shrewdest woman alive figure this out long before NH primary?

  • Fatty Bolger||

    Too subtle.

  • kris||

    her did what his campaign said her would CHANGE. we needed someone in office the rest of the world would be happy with .

  • Almanian||

    Are you rather's cousin?

  • ben||

    What?

  • Nancy Pelosi||

    "Are you serious?"

  • ||

    A much better satire would be that with Obama we have had lots and lots and lots of change. LOTS

    O-Oh - does satire mean you expose the actual polices of what somebody has tated (how have we changed from Bush?),
    or
    you expose the stated polices that are not actually followed (ending Guantanimo in one year?)
    or
    you expose the stated Obama promises that are the exact opposite of Bush II policies while Obama actually follows the Bush II polices (transparency?)
    Ow!!! My head hurts...

  • Kristen||

    It's not the subject matter that falls flat, it's the delivery. A good writer can turn almost any policy or politician into good satire.

  • Virginia||

    speaking of Obama's War on Whistleblowers™...

    NYT editorial grills him over Manning's treatment.

  • Chris Future||

    I think his "Citizen of the World" speech in front of 2 million in Germany cinched it as a hoax for me. I mean, seriously. ;) Although, seeing that made me think that the days of people giving up reason to follow a charismatic leader without thinking were not safely behind us.

  • Almanian||

    You know who else followed a charismatic leader....

  • ||

    the galileans

  • Spencer||

    Yeah, look how horrible that cult turned out to be.

  • #||

    in germany behind pillars no less

  • 35N4P2BYY||

    The Freedonians?

  • Margaret Dumont||

    Hail, Hail Freedonia!

  • seguin||

    Raelians.

  • West Coaster||


    ...the days of people giving up reason...

    Drink?

  • UrineOhio||

    close enough!

  • Bucky||

    was it the free beer that tipped you off?

  • Rusty Shackelford||

    I thought the onion spoof about the real Obama being trapped in an attic since the election was a much better piece of satire, though this was still funny.

  • Alan Vanneman||

    "A. Barton Hinkle," huh? Is this Nick Gillespie's kid? Or just Matt Welch phoning it in? You know, guys, it's not really a slow news day. As Kochtopus tentacles go, this one doesn't have much grip.

  • Almanian||

    You were expecting John Jacob Jingleheimerschmidt?

  • ||

    Hey, that's my name, too !

  • Almanian||

    The South Park Obama/McCain collaboration to rob the Smithsonian is still the best parody of this real-life comi-tragedy.

    Although the real-life version is vastly entertaining at times. Less so since Bob Gibbs left the PR post...:*(

  • ||

    Caption: "I'd look so cool with Ferengi ears."

    Does this mean that George Takei really is the VP?

  • Almanian||

    "Heeeeeeeeey Macarena...."

  • Dr. Evil||

    tuka tuka tuka tuka tuka tuka tuka tuka ayeeaaiii

  • WTF||

    I remember hearing a theory back during the election, I forget who put it out there, that Obama and his people never really expected to win the democrat primary, much less the general election. The theory was that they were going in to establish name recognition and a support base to set up a serious run in 2016, or maybe 2012 if the Republican won, and they were as surprised as anyone when he actually won the Presidency.

  • Paul||

    His timing was perfect.

    He ran against a disasterous GOP, the base of which never liked John McCain. They could never forgive McCain for CFR. I mean, hell, I can't forgive McCain for CFR.

    Within his own party he ran against Hillary Clinton, an extremely divisive character too many of us still remembered from Bill's time in the white house.

    It's not that surprising he won.

  • PETE||

    Really? CFR is what sunk McCain? Ooooooooooo-kayyyyyyyyy.

  • ||

    The Council on Foreign Relations? Damn Insiders!

  • ||

    Or maybe it's the Code of Federal Regulations. Boy, I do hate me some CFR.

  • ||

    Or Christ fucken reigns...WTF

  • The Fringe Economist||

    Wait there aren't 58 states?

  • Spencer||

    Plus Puerto Rico.

  • ||

    and guam

  • ||

    American Samoa.

  • ||

    I love Samoas! Almost as much as Thin Mints!

  • ||

    Is Thin Mintia one of those Pacific islands we picked up?

  • Spencer||

    everytime we pick it up, it disapears down someone's throats.

  • Hooha||

    You people that claim to like thin mints more than Samoas make me sick. Probably Apple users, every one.

  • Dan Quayle||

    But don't forget the "e" on the end...

  • ||

    Not bad.

  • ||

    ^ This was satire BTW.

  • Really?||

    Jesus this was bad.

  • Spencer||

    Correction: "Jesus WAS THIS bad."

    I agree, he was.

  • Bucky||

    wow, that was even funnier...

  • ||

    Jesus was this: BAD!

  • Spencer||

    +1

  • Warty||

    Ugh. This requires a cat and a bunny.

  • ||

    Please tell me the cat eats the rabbit.

  • Spencer||

    No, they had to move to Canada to get married.

  • Warty||

    None of my cats have ever had the balls to kill a full-size rabbit. They've always enjoyed the fuck out of cleaning out nests of baby bunnies, though.

  • Almanian||

    When we were kids, my brother's cat got one in our garage. Nothing left but intestines...was pretty cool gross...

  • Warty||

    One of my favorite kitties had a habit of leaving squirrel feet and tails on the front doorstep. God, he was awesome.

  • alan||

    My cat left a bunny with the paws to the sides, eviscerated down the middle of its stomach on the door step. I thought the pentagram around the carcass, and greeting me with 'hail Satan!', was overdoing it a little.

  • ||

    My sister's German shepherd/collie mix carefully walked up to a dead tree stump in the woods. I was 10, there was snow on the ground, I was just sitting there watching her. She batted her paw against the stump and a hare darted out from a whole in the side. It was dead in less than 2 seconds. She chased it all of 15 feet, grabbed it by the neck, shook it, and stood on it. She looked back at me as if to say "Sorry about the screen door. Here's a rabbit."

  • ||

    *hole...in the side.

  • Jim||

    My cat would leave offerings of the liver of any animal he killed on our doorstep. Just the liver. Damndest thing, but at least he was being polite and thinking of others.

  • ||

    Being sorry about the screen door implies that dogs recognize the existence of screen doors in the 1st place. C'mon.

  • Jen||

    I had a cat that used to climb up on my roof and kill bats, then leave them for me. Now, killing something that can fucking fly - that's some cool shit.

  • prolefeed||

    We had a cat that would leave whole birds on our doorstep.

  • Ice Nine||

    My cat brings me dead coral snakes and fer de lances. That be bad.

  • ||

    Our cat died.
    We kept his liver in the fridge.
    My wife ate his liver.
    The kids still laugh about it.

  • Paul||

    I used to have a female cat that would drag home full sized rabbits. You could hear her dragging them across the porch: Psssht...psssshhht....pssshhhht. It was kind of creepy, frankly.

  • Brett L||

    Mine brings home full sized rabbits and ducks. Didnt kill any of the ducks. Which sucks. Ducks will shit everywhere. Air rifles are very effective inside, though.

  • Almanian||

    Guys - these were AWESOME fucking stories - glad I came back.

    One more. My gigantic Lab - Blue the Dog™ - will eat anything. He's a Lab. Chipmunks periodically run up our downspouts and hide there. One made the mistake of sticking his head out when Blue had heard him rustling in the downspout. Out came the head...CHOMP. And that was the end of Alvin - one bite, swallowed him whole.

    It was the awesomest display of inhalation eating I've ever witnessed.

  • ||

    The election was a hoax. Obama and Hillary were two entries from the same Chicago Machine. Anyone who doesn't recognize this as Bill Clinton's third term is ignoring the obvious.

  • ||

    How has Hillary ever been a part of the Chicago machine? (Not to mention that Obama's connection to a Chicago machine is rather tenuous as anyone familiar with it knows.) And why would a connection with Chicago make it Bill Clinton's third term?

    Ah well, at least your apparent attempt at satire wasn't as ham-handed as this article.

  • CE||

    Oh, I thought it was George W. Bush's third term.

  • Sarah Palin||

    Oh, I'm so dedicated now to retwittering this article to all the freedom-loving Americans, so filled with their love for freedom, whom so richly deserve to read this article, so filled with reason from the writers at a blog also called Reason, interestingly enough (*wink*). Glad to hear from this truth-teller, A. Barton Finkle, getting the real message out there finally.

  • ||

    ^look u can see up her dress^

  • Bucky||

    you guys are killing me, even fun fun funnier!

  • ||

    The world has become so surrealistic of late that not much seems "too far-fetched" to be possible. You actually had me cross-checking before I realized it was a joke!

  • ||

    Waiting to see how long before the Birfers start citing this article as evidence. Not joking, I know some so stupid they would.

  • ||

    Uh, "Bart," give up on the satire. Dude, you're just not that funny. Sorry.

    Also, consider dropping the first initial - it's kinda stodgy.

  • Scott||

    I thought it was funny.

  • Barack Obama||

    I may be a fake, but my high speed rail idea is all too real, bitches!

  • just askin'||

    A Barton Finkle suggests there are several Barton Finkles. Which one are you?

  • ||

    "Barton" and "Hinkle" are embarassing names, so obfuscating the A must mean it's worse. Aloysius? Abergnathy? Ambroise?

  • just askin'||

    oops .. Hinkle/Hinkles

  • ||

    OMG. What's really sad about this, is it COULD be believable! The terrifying part is, the joke is on us.

  • ||

    Is really there any truth to this?

  • ||

    What a cruel hoax this was. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if Al Gore's global doomsday spiel isn't another one of O'Keefe's sick gags. I mean, who would really make a movie about a PowerPoint presentation and then give it an Oscar? It's obviously another hoax.

  • ||

    Satire is one thing, but the sad fact remains that Obama does continue to conceal virtually the entire paper trail of his existence in a tight shroud of secrecy. It goes way beyond the infamous original typewritten long form birth certificate, which no one has ever seen. Practically every original record and document from Obama's past has never been released or allowed to be scrutinized, and remember that this is from the man who promised in 2008 that his administration would place a particular emphasis on transparency. What is being hidden and why are they hiding it?

  • PETE||

    Tell us more, FlashHarry

  • PETE||

    Sorry. I started reading this shortly after it was posted, but fell asleep around the 57-state part. I just now woke up to comment on it: terrible.

  • ||

    Oh, how droll. Not!

  • mbtshoesbest||

    great posting. I like to read it.

    http://www.mbtshoesbest.com

  • sophie||

    Last quote heard from Toni’s dad after abruptly leaving for good upon hearing that his wife was pregnant with their one and only child.

  • nike shox||

    is good

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