More Debunking of the Obama "Tape" Hoax

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Jim Lindgren, the Chicago-based lawblogger, has done what the Larry Johnsons of the blogosphere have not on this Michelle Obama smear. He looked for evidence. Lindgren drove over to Rainbow/PUSH headquarters to ask if the organization had a tape of the event Obama appeared at during their 2004 convention, the event that's become the focus of the story since the first few versions collapsed.

I spoke with Robert (Bobby) Lewis, Director of Studio Services, who apparently handles the recordings of events. Lewis said that the recording of events from 2005 and earlier was farmed out and most or all of the existing recordings (listed on the website) had not been conveyed in-house to the National Headquarters. He said that he did not know if the organization had a recording of the 2004 conference. In response to my more specific question, he said that the one-hour Saturday broadcasts on the 2004 Annual Conference (June 26, 2004, and July 2, 2004), which are listed on the website for purchase, are not available, since they come from the earlier outsourced period.

So, Lindgren shovels dirt on one of the weirder claims that HillBuzz made: That the Rainbow Coalition produced a tape that was sold online by Trinity. (Trinity's videos-for-sale are exclusively from worship services.) The original HillBuzz post now has more updates and parentheticals than any blog post I've ever seen. Lindgren finds out something else:

I was very surprised when he informed me that I was the first person to have contacted them about this matter. Given the furor on the internet, I suspect that many of you are skeptical about this claim, but he really seemed unaware of the flap. He wanted to know the name of the website that had the story about the conference. And at first, he thought I was talking about a panel on which Barack, not Michelle, had spoken. In manner, he was gracious and he didn't seem to be particularly guarded or defensive.

Speaking just for myself, I was first interested in what the MCs—both ABC-7 anchors—remembered from the event, and put in a call to ABC-7 for interviews. They haven't gotten back to me yet, but it's almost superfluous. Who thinks that two TV reporters would host a luncheon, with other media in the wings, and twiddle their thumbs while a "special guest" went on a 30-minute rant about whites? It's the same thing that made me laugh when Roger Stone repeated the rumor that "a network has its hands on this." TV networks, as a rule, don't sit on exclusive videos. The counterargument that, well, TV networks didn't look hard enough for damaging Jeremiah Wright sermons isn't an argument at all. The sermons stayed below the radar because the networks didn't get the tapes.

Jim Geraghty has another great catch, pointing out the similiarities between this rumor and the 2006 novel The Power Broker. On the other hand, I see that Jeff Rense is circulating the rumors and linking to Hillbuzz, right next to his news stories about chemtrails and "Putin's Purge of Rothschild Money Changers." The Hillbuzz blogger(s) have a promising future.

Also: Obama calls the rumor part of the "dirt and lies that are circulated in e-mails" and says if anyone has "evidence" of him or his wife doing stuff like this, then he'll respond. The hoax dead-enders call it a "punt." That's nonsense: The proper response to a "when did you stop beating your wife?" query like this is: "Go to hell."

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  1. CHEMTRAILS!

  2. Let me get this straight. No tape, just people who knew people who have seen the tape? Sounds pathetic.

  3. Unbelievable. Thanks for posting this!!!

  4. The curious thing to me is that there are apparently a lot of folks that really really really want the tape to exist. For no other reason than wanting to see someone go down in flames. IMO people in the U.S. enjoy the detruction of others way way too much.

  5. The fact that there’s no evidence will not deter people (including certain posters on this board…) from believing that it happened anyway. Reality has nothing to do with politics in this country.

  6. Pretty lame and incompetent polical skullduggery, I’d say.

    Cue the red team supporters to call Reason a bunch of Obama shills.

  7. Larry Johnson is a sad sad person, and his site is equally as depressing. What is he exactly, a democrat? A republican?? Who IS this Larry Johnson person?

  8. The main reason the republicans won in 2000 and 2004 is because the democrats were so obsessed with digging into Bush’s past to find some sort of scandal, and they didn’t focus on more substantive issues. This is the reason why I think the democrats will win this time, the republicans (and anti-Obama democrats like Larry Johnson) are obsessed with digging into his past that they are going to be off the ball, much like Hillary was.

  9. Geez, this is really beating a dead horse. Isn’t there anything else to dig into out there? I can’t believe Spitzer was the only moralizing pol banging hookers, or that Rezko was the only Chicago fixer laundering money and influence.

  10. I was very surprised when he informed me that I was the first person to have contacted them about this matter.

    I’m not. The blogosphere is filled with “citizen journalists” — retarded dipshits incapable of doing any real journalism.
    Everyone’s just sitting back stroking their cocks, hoping the tape will magically appear on the Internet.
    Bloggers, in general, are agenda-laden twat lips.
    If the Internet and blogosphere are journalism’s future, then fuck the future.
    — Sincerely,
    A Real Journalist, who actually makes calls and FOIA’s government agencies all the fucking time and shit

  11. Just to clarify, Jim Lindgren is also a professor at Northwestern Law (I only mention this since, Bernadette Dohrn aside, it sounds a little more reputable than “Chicago-based lawblogger”). He’s also one of the only profs I had who actually understood crazy things like “numbers” and “empirical studies,” a rare quality among lawyers.

  12. It must be true. I can tell, because of how I feel about Michelle Obama.

    She isn’t grateful for everything that’s been handed to her, and looks white people straight in the eye.

    Damn Obama shills.

    Wake up America!

  13. The only people who have extant copies of the tapes are the Bildeburgers. And good luck getting it from them.

  14. Geez, this is really beating a dead horse. Isn’t there anything else to dig into out there?

    I hear that Ron Paul may have had some newsletters written by some shady characters…

  15. The main reason the republicans won in 2000 and 2004 is because the democrats were so obsessed with digging into Bush’s past to find some sort of scandal, and they didn’t focus on more substantive issues.

    This is Geraghty’s point. He was very much there, and laughing, when Democrats responded to the Swift Boat attacks with… a lot of innuendo about George Bush’s national guard service!

    There’s also the danger, from the Republican p.o.v., of one of these hoaxes blowing up and creating sympathy for Obama. McCain’s been eating out on the sympathy from the “black baby” smear campaign for roughly 8 years. It was a big reason no one believed the oddball NYT story about his lobbyist friend.

  16. The tape must be real!!!! It must!!!

  17. It’s good to see Weigel carrying water for Barak HUSSEIN Obama. You know, for a magazine called Reason…

    Hey, it’s Friday, and I’m off early.

  18. The only people who have extant copies of the tapes are the Bildeburgers. And good luck getting it from them.

    I thought that guy from Bush’s Baked Beans had it. Now, if we can only get his golden retriever and torture it …

  19. Dave,

    McCain has stayed out of this one and I don’t think anyone who doesn’t inhabit the fever swamps of the Hillary blogs knows anything about it. I could definitly see where this would backfire in Obama’s favor if anyone outside of a few web junkies knew anything about it. But that doesn’t seem to be the case.

  20. What a fine, Cosmo job by Weigel.

    Who thinks that two TV reporters would host a luncheon, with other media in the wings, and twiddle their thumbs while a “special guest” went on a 30-minute rant about whites?

    I certainly don’t! News organizations are reknowned for always reporting the material facts [insert a million other examples here]. I mean, really. There are a ton of hugely inflammatory quotes that the MSM studiously avoided.

    And, Weigel doesn’t seem to understand the differences between now and even just four years ago; having some experience with being hired by someone to shoot video of an event might be a helpful experience, but it’s obviously one that Weigel doesn’t have.

    As for BHO’s response, the question he was asked wasn’t the type that you don’t dignify with an answer. It was the type that you can put completely to rest by saying, “what they’re talking about never happened and there’s nothing like what they’re talking about.” That would have for the most part ended almost all speculation, even though some would still believe it or try to find the tape.

    His answer implies that such an event occurred, or that he thinks it could have occurred.

  21. For no other reason than wanting to see someone go down in flames.

    I don’t think that’s the sole reason for most people. There’s a sense of frustration (justified, IMHO) on the R side because Obama is riding this wave of popularity based on having said and done nothing. The righties are correct when they say Obama doesn’t really represent change because he just rehashes the same old big government failed policies of the past.
    The frustrating part is no one seems to care…Obama is magnetic and charismatic, so reasonable policy analysis goes out the window.

  22. “As for BHO’s response, the question he was asked wasn’t the type that you don’t dignify with an answer. It was the type that you can put completely to rest by saying, “what they’re talking about never happened and there’s nothing like what they’re talking about.” That would have for the most part ended almost all speculation, even though some would still believe it or try to find the tape.”

    Exactly. Contrary to what Weigel says, it wasn’t a “have you stopped beating your wife” question. Just because there isn’t a tape of it, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. I don’t really understand why Obama didn’t say something to the effect of “there is no tape and there couldn’t be because Michelle never said anything like that and it never happened”.

  23. This is just silly.

    And Mrs. Obama is a total hottie. I am hoping for other tapes.

  24. I’m far more disturbed by Michelle’s and Obama’s cutesy knuckle bump.

  25. I’m not going to take Larry Johnson’s word that this is a Team Red operation. Why should I?

  26. From Politico:

    “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.”

    I hate to agree with LoNeWacKo, but the correct response doesn’t contain the word “if.” Instead, something like this would work: “I have no idea what this rumor is about. Nothing like that ever happened. These are all a bunch of lies and smears.” Only more polished and feelgoodie.

  27. ed,

    I liked the knuckle bump.

  28. I liked the knuckle bump.

    Aren’t they a bit old for that? And it was obviously rehearsed.
    When I saw it I threw up in my mouth a little.

  29. David,

    It is good to see the record set straight on this. Nevertheless, you lose a few style points for copying the notorious fop Andrew Sullivan’s favorite meme, “dead-ender”.

  30. So it’s debunked now right? We won’t be seeing any more posts about this, right?

  31. Wow, that McCain ad up top isn’t subtle at all.

  32. Dave, it’s great that you made sure you hunted this fox all the way into its hole as a good journalist.

    But it’s so obviously bullshit that aren’t you sort of wasting your time?

  33. Conspiracy of the day:

    The lonewacko above – who is the only person seriously defending the existence of these tapes on this site – is not the real lonewacko; rather, it is Ceasr again in disguise.

    And whom Cesar took over from was not the real lonewacko either; his name was Cumber Bund. The real lonewacko has been retired for years, and is living like a king in Patagonia.

  34. The way I see it, either produce the tape or move on.

  35. Kolohe,

    Your conspiracy plot sounds so . . . familiar. But I can’t place it so I guess I believe you.

  36. Maybe he’s Andy Kaufman, who never really died.

  37. Exactly. Contrary to what Weigel says, it wasn’t a “have you stopped beating your wife” question. Just because there isn’t a tape of it, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. I don’t really understand why Obama didn’t say something to the effect of “there is no tape and there couldn’t be because Michelle never said anything like that and it never happened”.

    For most I’m a repub. But I do need evidence.

    There seems to be a lot of breaking down on a response. I figured the response was on point for one reason. Why should he even bother dignifying the question?

    He said it was dirt and lies. That is enough to stop the questions. Now people are nitpicking word usage?! I thought people were a bit more busy than that.

    Much like at some funerals people laugh, others cry, others show no emotion. There is no “RIGHT” or “WRONG” way to answer that question since it’s an insult to him as a person.

    I’m rooting for McCain and want Obama out, but these petty actions aren’t the way to do it. Some seem dependent on a “figmental” tape in hopes of drama. Other’s are asking for the best way to answer a question. Further more he’s a lawyer, they answer however they feel they want.

    On to real news please. Paticularly getting McCain a new speech writer.

  38. Kolohe, that is inconceivable.

  39. Patagonia is a nice area.

    Dave: We needed you 15 years ago. Nobody worked this hard to debunk the myth that LaRouche is a libertarian. 🙂

    Seriously, politics is just that. Stories like this are probably false because most politicians are sharp enough to realize the potential damage something like this can do to a campaign. Even though Michelle may well feel like that ON THE INSIDE, she’d never vocalize it in a public setting. Stands to reason, man.

    Aside from that, saving Michelle Obama’s purity from the stinking masses is just not worth wasting a bunch of time on for any reason.

    The true believers won’t accept the debunking anyway. The people who get all weepy and woozy at the very idea of Obama sitting at the right hand of the Lord never bought in. And the rest of us don’t care very much.

  40. “Debunking the tape” means the tape is bullshit. “Debunking the tape hoax” means the tape is legit.

  41. “There seems to be a lot of breaking down on a response. I figured the response was on point for one reason. Why should he even bother dignifying the question? ”

    True. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t beleive the tap exists and do not beleive that Michelle Obama said such things. I am just a lawyer and can’t help but parse words.

  42. Obama is magnetic and charismatic, so reasonable policy analysis goes out the window.

    The same characteristics got Bush II elected. You expect something different out of the exact same process?

  43. Kolohe – nobody in the MSM would fear the dread blogger Cesar.

  44. Aren’t they a bit old for that?

    They are the same age as me and a bunch of other people who still do it.

    And it was obviously rehearsed.

    Unfortunatly, you could not accuse me and those mentioned above of looking rehearsed.

  45. Even though this is probably all a rumor, the public seems to believe it if there is anything to a new AOL poll that shows a majority of responders believing a tape really exists. How can you prove the tape doesn’t exist? The burden of proof should be on those who claim the tape exists.

  46. The tape really isn’t the point. The public will believe this story, and stories like it because of Obama’s own past. His mother was a communist, his mentors were actual Marxists, he belonged to a Marxist Liberation theology Church, and his wife has that crazy thesis and the whole Black Marie Antoinette thing going on. Shit like this is just something Obama is going to have to live with. Just like McCain is going to have to accept that every story about his temper or his willingness to “play ball” with the Democrats will be believed because of his past.

    The only kind of false rumor a politician is really insulated against are the ones that are crazy and go against their nature. Ron Paul wasn’t hurt by the “newsletter” smear because nobody who knows Ron Paul would ever think he is a racist. McCain’s “love baby” story won him sympathy because he’s not known for having a craving for jungle fever or a history of chronic sexual affairs. With Clinton, the same kind of rumors earned him no sympathy because even if that particular case wasn’t true, it wouldn’t have shocked anyone if it were.

  47. The main reason the republicans won in 2000 and 2004 is because the democrats were so obsessed with digging into Bush’s past to find some sort of scandal, and they didn’t focus on more substantive issues.

    This is a truly stupid statement, because it is so transparently hyperbolic.

  48. “Debunking the tape hoax” means the tape is legit.

    Uh, no, it doesn’t.

  49. You would think that Larry Johnson would have found something more interesting and personally fulfilling to do with your life after all those great years in the NBA.

    Grandmama, what ever happened to you??

  50. Who IS this Larry Johnson person?

    He played for the Hornets and Knicks. He had to retire because of back problems, I recall.

  51. Perry, we must be comic geniuses!!

  52. Jinx! NO seriously though – LJ was one of my favs back in the day, sorta barkleyesque towards teh end of his career. Noones man enough in the NBA these days to dress up in a skirt and go on TV.

  53. “Noones man enough in the NBA these days to dress up in a skirt and go on TV.”

    I call that “the Kobe effect”

  54. Marcvs,
    Unfortunately, reality has a lot to do with politics. Politics, on the other hand, has almost nothing to do with reality.

    “Marcvs | June 6, 2008, 2:33pm | #
    The fact that there’s no evidence will not deter people (including certain posters on this board…) from believing that it happened anyway. Reality has nothing to do with politics in this country.”

  55. I don’t really understand why Obama didn’t say something to the effect of “there is no tape and there couldn’t be because Michelle never said anything like that and it never happened”.

    Isn’t it obvious? Somewhere out there, there exists evidence of something much worse, and Obama knows this and is hoping that by being coy about this non-existant tape, his enemies will waste their time looking for it and fail to find whatever it is that could really bring him down!

  56. Just because there isn’t a tape of it, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. I don’t really understand why Obama didn’t say something to the effect of “there is no tape and there couldn’t be because Michelle never said anything like that and it never happened”.

    This “story” about Michelle Obama has seen more innuendo than an Italian suppository.

    OTOH, I have it on good authority that Barack Obama has fathered a black baby–more than once.

  57. Question: “Senator, do you have sexual relations with pigs?”

    C answer: “No, I do not have sexual relations with pigs.” [Bad; candidate is now on video repeating the rumor for benefit of those who have heard it.]

    B answer: “No.” [Better.]

    A answer: “People shouldn’t believe nonsense they read in e-mails.” [Better still; provides plausible reason for disregarding rumor without actually repeating the rumor.]

  58. “Debunking the tape hoax” means the tape is legit.

    Uh, no, it doesn’t.

    I think there is a double negative in there…

    so yes it does.

    “Debunking the tape scandal” would mean the tape was not legit

    But yeah no one would say “debunking the hoax” and mean making it legit…so most would read the statement as proving it as not legit.

  59. A answer: “People shouldn’t believe nonsense they read in e-mails.” [Better still; provides plausible reason for disregarding rumor without actually repeating the rumor.]

    He should have said blogs….but chickened out that such a statment would piss off the Kos crowd….which considering how retarded the Kos crowd is it probably would.

    Note: As an e-mail user I am offended by Obama’s dismissive in regards to the information I receive via e-mail.

  60. His answer implies that such an event occurred, or that he thinks it could have occurred.

    If I taught critical thinking in college I would use this statement as an illustration of innuendo. It’s perfect.

    No evidence to support it, no rational argument based in fact, just pure innuendo. No wonder the word “implies” is the first verb in the statement. That word means you are about to make a statemet you can’t support in any way.

  61. Kill Whitey!

  62. The real lonewacko has been retired for years, and is living like a king in Patagonia.

    …where he has several illegals on the house payroll…

  63. Thanks for collecting this all in one place. One request. Can we all start referring to the mythical tape as the ‘Larry Johnson tape’. The guys responsible for this piece of shit rumor-mongering, no reason he should not garner even more ridicule for it. OK? The Larry Johnson tape. The guys a hack.

  64. First he holds out of training camp and has a mediocre season, ruining my fantasy team, now this.
    Larry Johnson, you are dead to me.

  65. I just read this here, as a matter of fact I just started reading this site after seeing it ..in a dentist office or something.

    The two articles posted by the author of this post have nothing to do with reason or reality. wow is this ever a waste of time.

  66. I’m still waiting for a “die-hard” Hillary supporter to spout something other than a series of non-sequiturs.

  67. I with the chief.

    I can’t believe I wasted my first-round pick on a Clintonite!

  68. I wonder…why some people thought 1st of Larry Johnson the football player, others thought first of Larry Johnson the hoopster.

  69. You would think, someone would point out Senator Obama’s failure to vote first. I mean, in two years in the Senate, He’s missed 3 times as many votes as Senator McCain. If we want another “No-Show” President, he certainly is the winning ticket. FOUR MORE YEARS!!!

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