Jun 13 2008
This is Part III in series of posts on why you don’t address rumors that are false, you let them die a lonely death without proof. Â
In Part I of this series on how not to run a Presidential campaign (which shows how a candidate is not ready to be President I might add) I noted the plan to openly address some of the more sensational rumors about Obama and his wife only gave these rumors oxygen. Â Especially since some, like the “whitey” video rumor concerning Michelle were dying off due to lack of substantiation. Â I also noted the first rule of challenging rumors, don’t feed the frenzy by drawing more questions because more details came out.
In Part I we noted a Time story that proved Obama’s campaign knew about the video rumor before it showed up on Hillary supporter Larry Johnson’s site. Â Not a good turn of events, because it supported some of the claims being made by Johnson and others that the Obama campaign knew about the video (as opposed to knew about the rumor of a video).
In Part II we noted how the Obama campaign’s denials were actually non sequitur’s having nothing to do with the rumor. Â In addition, the Obama site confirmed Michelle Obama’s presence on at a roundtable and plenary at the event – meaning they confirmed another part of the rumor, thus giving it more credibility to all of it. Â
Now we have Part III (this post), and it has to do with how using the liberal media (the Obamabots) to announce this risky new tactic of addressing rumors in full war room mode actually provide fuel for the fire. To get publicized in the news media you have to pay a price – the interview. Â You have to provide new details, something to draw in the public. Â Which is why this tactic is as dumb as a rock – you should be drawing the public’s attention to issues, not rumors. Â In Part I we had the Time article which gave the following new details on the “Whitey” video rumors:
According to campaign officials, what finally launched Obama into a full rumor counteroffensive was a story that apparently first made a big splash on the Internet in late May in a post by pro-Hillary Clinton blogger Larry Johnson. [around May 16th to be exact]
When the Obama campaign got wind of the rumor in April, Michelle’s close friend and adviser Valerie Jarrett asked Michelle if there could be anything to it; the candidate’s wife dismissed it out of hand. But by mid-May, it was picking up steam on the Internet, and Michelle’s advisers decided it was time to have a serious talk with her about it.Â
So the campaign knew well before Johnson started his whisper campaign the rumor was out there. Â But who was the Obama Campaign’s source? Â Well, check out this next interview on the matter of this new (dumb) tactic on addressing rumors from the Chicago Sun Times:
When I phoned the Obama press shop a few times in recent weeks to check out rumors about whether there was a videotape with Michelle Obama using the word “whitey,” the campaign declined to issue a denial or to pass along the question to Michelle’s staff to find out what might be fueling the rumors.
But the rumors about Michelle were kicking around the Internet and working their way into some broadcast outlets; Rush Limbaugh, for example, said rivals of presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama were “waiting to use it in October of Michelle going nuts in the church, too, talking about ‘whitey’ this and ‘whitey’ that.”
Talking a week ago, Obama gave a frosty answer to reporter Margaret Talev, who asked about rumors concerning his wife.
As detailed by Time magazine, Obama then told his “top aides it was time for a more aggressive solution to the rumors that have been popping up on the Internet about him and his family for months.”
Well, it seems the author of this article, Lynn Â Sweet, was one of those reporters trying to pin the Obama campaign down on the video rumor before Johnson’s site started his whisper campaign. Â
There have been other aspects of the rumor which have bothered me no end – and that is some news media outlets have a copy of the video. Â Like all aspects of this ugly whisper campaign I am not buying it, but skepticism can only take you so far. Â When I read the Obama campaign admit they were getting questions well before Johnson made the rumor public I wonder what evidence did these organizations have to broach the matter? Â You just don’t go up and ask “did your wife go racist in 2004”? It is just not professional and get your butt booted to covering the dog pound.
If there is a copy of this tape, my guess is it is in the hands of the Illinois or Chicago based news media. They are Obama’s home town media and most culpable in letting the needed vetting of Obama happen. The reporters need to print news that attracts attention. Â In this case Lynn Sweet did just that. Â She knew something before Johnson did – now the only question is what did she know and why is she hiding it from the voters?