Phone Bone


Rachel Buchman, 25-year-old reporter for Philadelphia's WHYY public radio station, made a poison phone call to the offices of, and, like any good reporter, left her work phone number as a callback. After calling her back, Chris Carmouche, executive director for Laptoplobbylist (a name that sounds somehow pornographic to my ear) sent a transcript and an MP3 of her message to his 150,000-strong email list, leading to Buchman's resignation. Whole story (reg. req.) here. Since audio is always the payoff in tales like this one, here is Buchman's message. As Leonard Nimoy sang in another famous recorded mistake, Highly Illogical! Thanks to Gary Gunnels for the tip.

NEXT: Xmasploitation

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  1. Its interesting that expects an apology from WHYY. Apology for what?

  2. I knew this guy in high school. He was trying to get a job in a fast food restaurant. The manager took the guy into his office for an interview. During the interview, there was a problem that demanded the manager’s attention, so the manager left this guy in his office. When the manager came back, he noticed that his wallet wasn’t on the desk where he left it. The manager subsequently asked the guy for his wallet back. At first, the guy was indignant; he pretended not to know what the manager was talking about. The manager pressed, and the guy responded by picking up a butter knife and threatening the manager with it.

    …I forgot to mention that, before going into the interview, the guy had given the manager a completely filled out job application with his name and address and…

    The cops beat the guy home. When they searched him, they found the manager’s wallet and a butter knife. The guy was subsequently convicted of armed robbery and did a few years hard time. It is my understanding that the guy may have procreated since then, confounding Darwinists everywhere.

  3. Gary, I think in cases like this, a grandstanding injured party can claim that WHYY shouldn’t allow its employees to make nasty phone calls to potential story subjects or sources, so he might have some dereliction of oversight complaint. I suspect he’d also claim that their employing Buchman shows their bias. But I agree it’s presumptuous for Carmouche to think he’s owed an apology over this. No wonder God hates him and wants to murder his children.

  4. I admit that I’m new to the journalism trade, but that strikes me as an odd way to contact a source.

  5. While there’s no telling what could send a “liberal” over the edge, I’d most of all like to know what did it. Their opposition to Spector? Their support for the Boy Scouts?

  6. She must be the dumbest human on the planet. She left her own name and number? Why?

  7. Beats me, Carlotta!


  8. Speaking of people being driven over the edge, I thought we had all agreed that Gary Gunnels does not exist, hadn’t we? Hadn’t we?

  9. OK, the “George W. Bush” posting was actually a juvenile cheapshot by me. (I don’t even think Dubya is particularly unintelligent.)

    Actually, Carlotta, she only left her first name, and she may have left her phone number out of pure reflexive habit, if she’s a journalist who contacts a lot of sources by phone — as Tim Cavanaugh pretty much alluded to.

    Either that, or maybe she hoped the evil, stupid, unreasoning, hate-filled right-wingers at would call her back and speak to her in the same vein, maybe even leave a message for her, to give her something to do a story about (e.g., how rightwingers are so evil, stupid, unreasoning and hate-filled). This is of course pure speculation on my part. Certainly she never expected the recording of her own message to be broadly distributed. Right-wingers aren’t supposed to be smart enough to think of clever things like that.

  10. “While there’s no telling what could send a “liberal” over the edge, I’d most of all like to know what did it. Their opposition to Spector? Their support for the Boy Scouts?”

    Maybe the rest of the site. Look through there. There’s some hilariously rediculous hyperbole there. Well, hilarious, except that when you realize the guy is serious and he has 150,000 on his email list, then it just gets depressing.

  11. sounds like an employment opportunity for the fired journalist, perhaps she should work for that liberal radio station or something.

    it is depressing a dipshit group like those christian nihilists have 150,000 e-mail addresses…ohhwell

  12. Ha, that’s pretty funny. At least there’s entertainment value in watching the clash of stupidity between the two ruling paradigms.

  13. While there’s no telling what could send a “liberal” over the edge, I’d most of all like to know what did it. Their opposition to Spector? Their support for the Boy Scouts?

    On the Lapdance site, two items down from Buchman’s phone call, there’s a poll about defunding NPR. That could have done it.

  14. Against stupidity
    the gods themselves
    contend in vain.

    — Friedrich Schiller

  15. Wow, just looking at the site hurts my eyes. Geezus.

    Currently, top contenders for my personal choice of laptop lobbyist are this lobbyist for the Wisconsin Education Association or this lobbyist for the North Dakota Student Association.

  16. Also, for those of you who won’t read the source article because it requires registration: I finally took a look, and here are some not-very-illuminating details about why Rachel Buchman made the call in the first place:

    A [WHYY] spokesman said the exchange between Buchman and the Web site “was a personal matter related to e-mails she received at home and did not directly involve WHYY.”

    Laptoplobbylist executive director Chris Carmouche, who said he’d had no personal dealings with Buchman before, learned of her WHYY tie when he returned her call Friday night. During their conversation, he questioned her journalistic impartiality.

    Yesterday morning, Carmouche went a step further. He e-mailed his 150,000 members a transcript of the message and a link to an audio clip of it. He said he did that “to put some perspective on the term ‘media bias.’ In many cases, we’re finding it to be too soft of a term to describe the journalistic activism and outright hatred that some of the younger journalists are exhibiting these days.”

    By afternoon, Buchman had resigned and offered apologies “to anyone who I may have personally offended” for what she called a “mistake.” She said she had lost her temper.

    “It was a personal matter that was turned into a public issue,” she said. “Rather than call my journalistic integrity into question, I decided to resign for personal reasons.”

    (No further details are given.)

  17. I didn’t immediately get the impression the guy thought he was “owed” an apology. All he says (in the article) is that he never expected the reporter would quit, just that he’d get an apology from her employer and that’d be it.

  18. funnier even than 150,000 christian nihilists is the fact that at least 6,000 of them aren’t getting into heaven anyway!

  19. This girl was stupid, immature, and gave these nutjobs exactly what they wanted.

    I really loved it when the Lapdance folks said this dipshit is “in their prayers”. You gotta love a great cheap shot.

    Sheesh.. hearing her voice brought back memories. Any other guys out there have a psycho girlfriend leave something like this on your answering machine?

  20. I haven’t heard ‘Highly Illogical’ in years.

    She should have asked the web site to post the messages she had received at home.

  21. for those who don’t wish to do the (rather invasive) registration, the following comes from

  22. I listen to WHYY. I didn’t think anyone there recognized a god.

  23. “Right-wingers aren’t supposed to be smart enough to think of clever things like that.”

    Right-wingers stupid? Perish the thought. Then again, I haven’t heard anything on talk radio lately that would give the Algonquin crowd a run for their money…

  24. This has to be some kind of personal matter–WHYY never does anything remotely controversial with their news reporting.

  25. What a dick this guy must be, to get someone fired over that.

  26. Joe, blaming the victim? I didn’t see anything in the article to indicate Carmouche pushed for Buchman’s firing. To the contrary, he expressed surprise: “It is unfortunate that Ms. Buchman felt the need to resign, and she is in our prayers. We wish her the best in her future endeavors. It was our hope that WHYY would simply apologize.

    I think the part about “God wants to kill your children” really put it over the line, beyond mere venting. Especially since, by reputation, whatever God wants, God tends to get, being all-powerful and all — it’s arguably close to a threat.

    What if some liberal activist organization received this voice mail from a reporter (a reporter, mind you!) from the local Fox News affiliate:

    “Hi, my name is Attila, and my telephone number is… [leaves office number]. I wanted to tell you that you’re evil, horrible people. You’re awful people. You represent horrible ideas. Since you make a point of saying people shouldn’t own guns for self-defense, some night a thug is going to break into your undefended house and kill your children. The wheels of your Volvo should fall off on the highway and you should crash and die a fiery death. Bye.”

    Would it be wrong for the offended liberal organization to publicize this? Would it be out of line for them to claim, “This provides some evidence of the bias against, and even outright hatred of, the progressive point of view, which some persons within the Fox news organization are exhibiting these days”? Hell, I don’t think it would be unreasonable even if they did call for the reporter to be fired.

  27. All who would hear, please listen!

    It has come to my attention that someone is concerned that my comment above may be misconstrued in such a way that some truly dense person might think that when I referred to “this guy” in the story above, I was talking about Chris Carmouche or anyone else at I am posting this comment so that it will be screechingly and painfuly clear to even the most dense of you that this is not the case.

    When I used the term “this guy” in the first sentence of my story, please note that it was not intended, not even subconciously, to suggest that the story was about Chris Carmouche or anyone at Indeed, the “this guy” was written to read like a typical joke might start, as in, “This guy walks into a bar…”

    That is to say, and all who have ears please listen, the story I related above was not about Chris Carmouche or anyone at; indeed, I have never met Chris Carmouche or anyone else from nor did I know Chris Carmouche or anyone else at while I was in high school.

    Now, personally, I think it would take someone remarkably dense to interpet my story that way; indeed, the idea of the story I related was to show that, believe it or not, there really are people so stupid that they do things like fill out a job application and then rob somebody or leave a stupid message on a phone with their number at the end; it was not to suggest that “this guy” or “the guy” or any other reference in the story was about anyone other than the guy it was about, who shall remain nameless, but who most certainly was not Chris Carmouche or anyone else at

    Once again, I used the term “this guy” and “the guy” and all the other references to the story’s subject to protect the real guy’s identity, not to suggest in any way that the guy in the story was Chris Carmouche or anyone else at

    Thank you.

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