September 23, 2008

Obama Denies Behind Anti-Palin Video; Bloggers Solely Behind Accusations

Marc Ambinder in the Atlantic:

For the record, here is what Obama campaign spokesman Tommy Vietor has to say:

"This one ranks as one of the most outlandish conspiracy theories in a campaign that has had its share of them. Neither our campaign nor any of our consultants had any involvement with this YouTube video, and the McCain campaign should provide a shred of believable evidence before advancing false allegations and misleading voters yet another time."

For the record, I tried to get the McCain camp to help me find who was behind the video. They declined.

Seriously, I practically begged for help from all quarters and the only help that was offered was from other bloggers. Bloggers who I also asked to get in touch with McCain's people to see if they would help scour Obama's financial disclosures for payments to Publicis Groupe owned companies.

The response? Crickets.

The McCain campaign wasn't interested. Neither was the MSM. Just us, a pajama wearing Army of Davids. Sitting around with nothing better to do than muckrake. Replacing real social interaction with ephemeral digital connections.

I'm busy again today -- as I'm going to be for the next month, sorry, but the real job calls and I spent nearly a week full time working on the Winner story at the expense of my other commitments that will not longer wait -- but the best response to Ambinder's evaluation of the scandal is from Ray Robison here.

I'd especially note Ray's observation of a critique Ambinder makes and I've been hearing from the beginning: no one could be that stupid.

At first I heard it from those who I told about the connection between "eswinner" and Ethan Winner. You're wrong, Rusty, that can't be Winner. There has to be a better explanation. No one could be that stupid.

Wrong. People can be that stupid.

When I write my tell all book about the stupid mistakes made by "anonymous" terrorist supporters online and how they can be tracked down we can have a longer chat. That's classified. No, actually it's not classified. It's all open source. I just like to say it's classified. Not discussing my minor role in all of it just makes me feel less like Comic Book Guy, and more like James Bond.

Ambinder's argument is that the Obama camp couldn't be so stupid as to have anything to do with the video.

Um, wrong again. The assumption being that they were directly behind it. Maybe they weren't? Subcontracting out work always runs the risk of sloppiness.

Who would have thought that the man who forced North Vietnam to the Paris negotiating table and who opened China could have blown a simple break in? Secret war in Cambodia, yes; grand larceny, no?

The answer: he didn't blow the break in. His subcontracters did.

I'd again direct readers to read Ethan Winner's confession that he was behind the video. Read the carefully crafted wording of it.

Sure, the VP of a PR firm could have produced the video on his own, personally paid for the voice talent, got the agency to bill him, asked his multimillionaire President of a well known Democratically connected PR firm of a father to legitimize its false attacks, created multiple sock puppet accounts, and asked his buddies at the PR firm which specializes in "grassroots organization" to spread it around the internet claiming it was from "A Group of Concerned Citizens" --- on company time. It's possible.

It's also possible that I'll get a shot at that Angelina Jolie - Scarlett Johannson thing. This is American damnit, everything is possible!

It's also possible that we have a case of astroturfing, plain and simple. Which, by definition, is a paid political campaign run by parties unknown, who wish to remain unknown, and who wish the whole thing to appear as if it's bottom up and grassroots.

But, who knows? Our investigation was really about getting the MSM off their lazy asses and doing the real digging. But apparently investigative journalism has been reduced to calling a campaign and getting a statement.

I think that's how Woodward and Bernstein did it, right? They called the White House and said, "Hey, Nixon, did you do it? No. Okay. Case closed."

At least that's how I remember All the President's Men.

Man, that part when Bernstein was all like, "Gotta get my boxer shorts at K-Mart." Classic.

Now excuse me. I deserve a vacation. Unfortunately I won't be getting one. But I do need to take some time off of the blog to get some of my personal and business affairs in order. Ciao.

PS--I'll be on the radio tonight.

UPDATE: Ace--"I think they're lying."

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 06:10 PM | Comments |