Nobody directly involved will admit it, but this is looking more and more like one of the more nasty, yet brilliant, scams of the last couple years. It may have been pulled off by the legendary Nigerian internet scammers, but it’s beginning to look like it may have been the work of a vast leftwing conspiracy with a twisted sense of humor.
It gets complicated, as these things often do, but the core appears to be:
1. A WordPress website claiming to be the creation of the African Press International, and NGO somehow associated with the Rainbow Foundation – OK, already I know this is a lot to process – claimed that they had a tape of Michelle Obama admitting that Barack Obama was not an U.S. citizen, and thus not eligible to be president.
2. Nobody seemed to notice that the API’s headquarters are in Norway.
3. In the weeks leading up to the election, as John McCain’s campaign was trailing smoke and in a steep vertical dive (to use an Air Force-appropriate metaphor),
a ragtag bunch of deranged Obama-hatershis desperate supporters seized on this story as a last-minute chance to save the U.S. from an Obama presidency, which they had come to believe would be some horrible combination of Stalinist Russia, the Taliban and a San Francisco gay bathhouse, circa 1978.
4. The overheated right-wing blog echo chamber started to scream and yell about the tapes, hoping to spark an uproar.
5. The API started getting erratic in its pronouncements about the tapes, on the one hand demanding money, on the other alleging mysterious dark conspiracies that were preventing the release of the tapes, conspiracies involving shadowy pro-Obama forces.
5. Still believing that these tapes existed, the right-wing blogs started collecting money from their readers to buy the tapes.