Monday, November 17, 2008


Why We Have the Internet (Part XII)…
The election is barely wet behind the ears, and already conservatives are snapping to attention. Oddly enough, they don’t seem to be attacking Democrats right yet, but each other. Specifically, they are going after McCain staffers who have been attacking Sarah Palin.

Here’s Michelle Malkin: “Fox News reporter Carl Cameron breathlessly reported that his unnamed McCain sources told him Palin lacked ‘a degree of knowledgeability necessary to be a running mate’ because, they claimed, she didn't know which countries were parties to the North American Free Trade Agreement and ‘didn't understand that Africa was a continent, rather than a series, a country just in itself.’”

This prompted Erick Erickson, on his blog, RedState, to announce that it “… is pleased to announce it is engaging in a special project: Operation Leper. We're tracking down all the people from the McCain campaign now whispering smears against Governor Palin to Carl Cameron and others.”

Then, supposedly in response to Sarah Palin’s calling her detractors “unprofessional,” “jerks,” and “cowards,” a fellow named Martin Eisenstadt revealed on his blog that he was the source for these allegations.

The bio on his blog informed us that Eisenstadt is a "Senior Fellow at the Harding Institute for Freedom and Democracy in Washington, D.C.” And that he is the "founder and president of the campaign consulting firm The Eisenstadt Group and was an advisor to the Rudolph Giuliani presidential campaign in 2007-2008."

Well, the first item should have tipped people off. Who would name an Institute for Warren G. Harding, widely regarded as one of the worst presidents ever?

Yes, it was all a hoax. Eisenstadt was created, according to the New York Times, by “Eitan Gorlin, a filmmaker who says he planned to pitch a TV show based on the character.”

Apparently Mr. Gorlin and his cohorts spent months creating web sites, links, fake position papers, videos, and took in (briefly) MSNBC, the Los Angeles Times, Mother Jones, The New Republic, Fox News – and bloggers, of course.

The point of all this? That’s a head scratcher. He got conservative’s blood pressure raised, and bestirred Sarah Palin to at least the semblance of outrage. And, who knows, maybe Mr. Gorlin will become the American Borat. It could happen. Deceit always adds a little spice to a resume.

But golly, doesn’t anybody do any fact-checking any more? I wondered about this from the beginning: I mean, how would anybody discover that Ms. Palin allegedly doesn’t know Africa is a country in the first place? How would that come up in conversation exactly?

And then, of course, there’s the whole Warren G. Harding thing. Maybe I’ll start a think tank called the James Buchanan Center for Social Justice, and let the punditry begin.

In other hoax news…
I learned from SF Weekly that Savannah Knoop, who was the public persona of JT Leroy (Remember him?), has just published a memoir: GIRL BOY GIRL: HOW I BECAME JT LEROY. She was in San Francisco to publicize the book. Her cohort in the hoax, Laura Albert, who supposedly actually wrote JT LeRoy’s books, has called Knoop’s memoir “sad and sleazy.” Strangely enough, these seem to be the very qualities that attracted readers to JT LeRoy in the first place.

Anyway, the book reveals her intense but brief sexual affair with Asia Argento, who directed and starred in a movie based on LeRoy’s THE HEART IS DECEITFUL ABOVE ALL THINGS. Apparently Ms. Knoop told Ms. Argento, to explain the fact that she wasn’t really a guy, that she had changed her sex. Laura Albert, who did the actual writing (allegedly) quickly became jealous of this relationship. Ms. Knoop was getting the groupies, you might say, while Ms. Albert toiled in the trenches, anonymously.

It all ended badly, of course. In 2003, JT LeRoy was featured in Dave Eggers’ BEST AMERICAN NONREQUIRED READING, just as James Frey’s pseudo-memoir, A MILLION LITTLE PIECES, hit the bookstores. (Remember him?) Shortly after that, the non-identity of JT LeRoy was revealed.

The grifter’s life is not an easy one. Unless you get a book deal at the end of the scam, of course.

Election 2008
Did something happen? What? Oh, this happened in Florida:

AP: “A nudist community on Florida's west coast wants to establish the first clothing-optional polling site. The Caliente Resorts, located in Pasco County north of Tampa, has approached election officials about the idea. Nothing in state law would prohibit it, but the supervisor of elections says he is opposed to creating any new precincts before redistricting in 2010.”

What’s wrong with Nebraska?
AP: “A judge has thrown out a Nebraska legislator's lawsuit against God, saying the Almighty wasn't properly served due to his unlisted home address.”

What's Wrong with Ann Coulter?
"For the first time in 32 years, Democrats got more than 50 percent of the country to vote for their candidate in a national election, and now they want to lecture the Republican Party on how to win elections. Liberal Republicans have joined them, both groups hoping no one will notice that we just lost this election by running the candidate they chose for us."

That's right. Liberals picked John McCain because... they knew he'd lose? Kind of, I guess. Ms. Coulter continues:

"And then Election Day arrived, and all the liberals who had spent years praising McCain all voted for Obama."

So their fiendish plot worked, according to the ever-prescient Ann Coulter.


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