Monday, June 16, 2008

Smear campaign against righty bloggers?

I've been following off and on the unfounded rumors of a video tape in which Michelle Obama refers disparagingly to white Americans as "whitey". The rumor was first floated in the waning days of Hillary Clinton's campaign, just before she (sort of) conceded defeat to Barack Obama.

The tape, of course, never materialized and it's nearly certain that it never existed. Once that became apparent, mainstream media started piling on conservative bloggers, blaming them for floating the rumor. There are just a couple of problems with that.

First of all the rumor appears to have been first floated by Larry Johnson, a Hillary Clinton supporter. Here's a screen shot just in case the blog post gets flushed down the memory hole and the link doesn't work:

Second of all, conservative blogs - at least the ones I read - were unanimously skeptical about the existence of the tape. Check out Hot Air's initial reaction here, and Little Green Footballs here.

But shortly after the tape rumor started, Bob Beckel appeared on Fox News Channel and appeared to advance the rumor, claiming a "shoe" was about to drop on Michelle Obama. Most astonishingly, Beckel appeared yesterday on FNC claiming he tried to debunk the rumor, and blaming "crackers and right-wingers" for the rumor. Charles at LGF has it all here.

Finally, both NY Times and ABC news, among others added to the chorus blaming conservative bloggers for the hoax.

I'm not generally given to conspiracy theories, but this smacks of an organized effort to discredit and marginalize right-wing bloggers ahead of the national elections. Amazing.

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