Posted on | October 3, 2012 | 25 Comments
Slept late today because I figure I’ll be up late writing about tonight’s debate, and I didn’t participate in the Drudge-induced hype over yesterday’s Daily Caller/Sean Hannity release of a 2007 video, e.g., Allahpundit:
It’s the talk of Twitter and of our comment threads, so here’s a dedicated post to let your imaginations run wild.
Really? I was working on other things and didn’t much notice the hype, but Ace got gripped by it, really completely gripped by it — I mean, totally enthralled by it, madly obsessed with it — and so after sleeping late today, maybe I should say something about the EXCLUSIVE VIDEO which apparently was expected to shock the entire English-speaking world yesterday.
A source informs me that some Romney campaign staffers actually got swept up in the speculation that this video was the silver bullet which would magically slay the Obama werewolf. And as usual in such matters, the event didn’t live up to the hype.
Let me here insert a bit of background — historical context, as it were — that might explain why I didn’t get too excited about the revelation of a 2007 video in which Obama gave a shout-out to Rev. Jeremiah Wright and otherwise said controversial things: I remember the 1990s.
During Bill Clinton’s first term, enormous efforts were expended by certain people to dig up The Real Truth about what went down in Arkansas during Clinton’s governorship.
The worst of it was the Mena Airport conspiracy theory: Allegedly, in order to protect a drug-smuggling operation based out of this small airport in rural Arkansas, several people had been murdered and, according to the conspiracy theorists, Clinton and his cronies were up to their necks in this massive corruption and cover-up.
Somebody produced a video about this, and the video became a sort of cult classic, particularly in Christian conservative circles. It appealed to a fairly widespread sentiment that Americans didn’t know everything they needed to know about the Clintons. After the suicide of Vince Foster, especially, there was a sense that all kinds of clandestine shenanigans were being covered up and ignored by the mainstream media. The Internet was still in its infancy back then, but even then there were sites devoted to “exposing” this Mena Airport scandal.
Was there ever anything to it? I don’t know, and it doesn’t really matter, because that’s not the point.
THIS IS THE POINT: Whatever happened at Mena Airport happened before Clinton was president, you see, and once a guy gets elected president, you’re never going to take him down based on some previously unknown thing that happened before he was president.
Trust me when I say that there are plenty of people out there trying to contact reporters with The Real Truth About Barack Obama. At one point this past summer, I was prepared to fly to Chicago to meet with sources who had something serious that seemed to deserve checking out. Scheduling conflicts and other unexpected hassles prevented that trip from happening, which I sincerely regret — not only did I miss a chance to get paid for a lengthy print article, but I believe the article could have added significantly to public understanding of the corrupt environment in which Obama’s early political career was nutured.
Still, I never believed it was a “silver bullet” story, because you’re just not going to get that kind of story based on stuff that happened before Obama became president. Sean Hannity and others are correct in saying that Obama was never properly “vetted” by the media in 2008, but you cannot defeat Obama for re-election by attempting to “vet” him retroactively.
Public perception of presidents simply doesn’t work that way, and so this 2007 video was never going to be a “silver bullet,” no matter how much promotion Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity or Matt Drudge put behind it. Tucker went on Fox & Friends today to explain why the video matters:
Daily Caller editor-in-chief Tucker Carlson said on Fox and Friends this morning that the “very revealing” clip is an example of Obama using racially-charged rhetoric. . . .
Carlson explained that in his view, “Obama is telling a majority-black audience that the federal government doesn’t like them because they’re black. He is whipping up fear, and paranoia, and hatred.”
Right. Tell us something we didn’t already know. Ed Morrissey:
The larger point here is that the media has a double standard on race, and a double standard for Republicans.
Again: Tell us something we didn’t already know. I’m not discounting either the reality or the importance of this, but I hate seeing people buy into false hope that this EXCLUSIVE VIDEO!! — how do you spell “eleventy”? — or anything else like it could ever be the “silver bullet” that magically defeats Obama.
Here’s a SHOCKING REVELATION for you: The economy sucks.
Let’s see if we can’t win with that simple message, OK?