Obama rips reporter over question about Michelle tape rumor

posted at 6:35 pm on June 5, 2008 by Allahpundit

Can’t blame him, although I don’t know how you solve this prisoner’s dilemma in an Internet age. One site floats the rumor, word spreads via e-mail, a few other sites blog it, another dozen sites reason that it’s gaining currency as a meme and already Google-able so there’s no reason to ignore it, and it’s off to the races. The media gets wind of it, checks it out, maybe runs a public advisory story debunking it (e.g., “No evidence of Michelle Obama tape”), and finally puts a question to the candidate himself to give him a chance to blow it out of the water. The story runs the next day, a million people read about it, ten percent assume that it’s at least partially true, and voila. How do you keep a conspiracy of silence when everyone in the world’s a publisher?

“We have seen this before. There is dirt and lies that are circulated in e-mails and they pump them out long enough until finally you, a mainstream reporter, asks me about it,” Obama said to the McClatchy reporter during a press conference aboard his campaign plane. “That gives legs to the story. If somebody has evidence that myself or Michelle or anybody has said something inappropriate, let them do it.”

Asked whether he knew it not to be true, Obama said he had answered the question.

“Frankly, my hope is people don’t play this game,” Obama said. “It is a destructive aspect of our politics. Simply because something appears in an e-mail, that should lend it no more credence than if you heard it on the corner. Presumably the job of the press is to not to go around and spread scurrilous rumors like this until there is actually anything, an iota, of substance or evidence that would substantiate it.”

There are some rumors so ludicrous that even the press, bless their hearts, won’t pester the man with a request for a formal denial, so why put this one to him? Does it meet some threshold of plausibility in their minds, or does the threshold have to do with how far it’s already spread? Because while it may be true that everyone’s a publisher, it’s also true, needless to say, that big media’s reach is still a lot longer than ours. This was my point about Mike Barnicle, fabricator and plagiarist, calling bloggers nitwits: I don’t mind being condescended to, but good lord, at least earn it.

Update: Oh, and lest the McClatchy reporter take the brunt of this, let’s remember which journalistic icon it was who really first shunted this into the mainstream. Right. Spitty.


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*thinking thinking*

OK. Osambama, what about the vidoe?

davidk on June 5, 2008 at 6:38 PM

So much for levels of editors and factcheckers, eh? No one has any evidence of this tape, and yet MSM reporters want Obama to answer for it. I’d have given the same response.

When it arises, then the Obamas can address it. Until then, give it a rest.

Ed Morrissey on June 5, 2008 at 6:42 PM

is there such thing as credible dirt?

right2bright on June 5, 2008 at 6:42 PM

There is no video.

surrounded on June 5, 2008 at 6:43 PM

There is a whole lot of hoodwinking and bamboozling going on out there.

tarpon on June 5, 2008 at 6:44 PM

Why didn’t he just say no, there is no tape of it because it never happened?
Is he afraid that there IS a tape somewhere?

How long before he says “That’s not the Michelle I knew”
Bwahahahahahh!

ArmyAunt on June 5, 2008 at 6:44 PM

ArmyAunt beat me to it. I’m more suspicious now that I’ve heard Obama’s no-denial denial.

And Hannity’s got something in his back pocket, too, don’t forget.

darkegop on June 5, 2008 at 6:47 PM

Why didn’t he just say no, there is no tape of it because it never happened?
ArmyAunt on June 5, 2008 at 6:44 PM

That’s all he’s gotta say … if there’s no recording and if she didn’t say “whitey.”

And why doesn’t somebody ask him why MO wasn’t proud to be an American until now.

davidk on June 5, 2008 at 6:50 PM

Ok, if a “whitey” tape comes out, this is gonna really come back to bite him in the buttocks:

If somebody has evidence that myself or Michelle or anybody has said something inappropriate, let them do it.”

.

surrounded on June 5, 2008 at 6:50 PM

Just like the Clintons.

Best defense is a good offense.

Red Pill on June 5, 2008 at 6:51 PM

If he is not going to outright say it doesn’t exist, what does this say about what he knows about his wife’s attitude? It’s like he knows there is a small chance his wife might have said something like this while somebody had a camera. If not, then just say no, it never happened.

Mark1971 on June 5, 2008 at 6:51 PM

“I just think people have to think about it before they ask”

I love the obvious. The reporter was “thinking about it”.

Entelechy on June 5, 2008 at 6:54 PM

“Leave my wife alone” (you can hear the voice and cadence) – - Barack Obama

Entelechy on June 5, 2008 at 6:55 PM

Ok, didn’t somebody say on a thread the other day that some dude was gonna reveal the “whitey” tape the following day? But it didn’t happen, and this guy on Geraldo looks silly talking about it, like some conspiracy creep.

I’m all for the thing being outed if it exists, but its kinda taking on an urban myth status.

I’m with you Ed, give it a rest already.

surrounded on June 5, 2008 at 6:56 PM

Proving that there is no tape . . . that’s proving a negative, isn’t it?

The touchiness and sensitivity of this guy is very interesting and suspicious.

rplat on June 5, 2008 at 6:59 PM

Entelechy on June 5, 2008 at 6:55 PM

:-)

Red Pill on June 5, 2008 at 7:01 PM

and they pump them out long enough until finally you, a mainstream reporter, asks me about it,” Obama said to the McClatchy reporter

It wasn’t too long ago that you had to explain what MSM was. No everybody uses it. There are two medias. One old and lying and liberal, and the other independent and free. They still use mainstream to mean legit, but that facade is cracking.

JiangxiDad on June 5, 2008 at 7:02 PM

If she said whitey, maybe she was just calling her husband.

JiangxiDad on June 5, 2008 at 7:03 PM

Updated with a link…

Just like the Clintons.

Best defense is a good offense.

That interview was to provide cover for Hillary’s Presidential run.

Red Pill on June 5, 2008 at 7:03 PM

And Hannity’s got something in his back pocket, too, don’t forget.

Hannity has been absolutely insufferable for no less than 4 years now. When did he turn into a moonbat-like blackmailer who keeps dirt “in his back pocket”?

DaveS on June 5, 2008 at 7:04 PM

Hannity has been absolutely insufferable for no less than 4 years now

how?

JiangxiDad on June 5, 2008 at 7:05 PM

JiangxiDad on June 5, 2008 at 7:03 PM

Ouch.

If Ray Nagin called New Orleans a “Chocolate City”, am I allowed to call the Obamas a “Milk Chocolate and Dark Chocolate Couple”?

I’m White Chocolate myself, for what that’s worth.

/sarc

Racism is stupid. We are all one race.

Red Pill on June 5, 2008 at 7:06 PM

Red Pill on June 5, 2008 at 7:03 PM

I am amazed at your secretary’s ability to pull up your relevant quotes from the past at a moment’s notice.

JiangxiDad on June 5, 2008 at 7:07 PM

If this had been four months ago, I would not have paid any attention to this rumor. Of course, that was before Wright, San Fran, Michelle’s hate spewing about America, Ayers and his dollie the domestic terrorists and then the dumb priest. If you realize that for twenty (and maybe a lot longer in the culture) years, Obama and his friends and associates and now his family have been listening to all the hatred spewing by the reverend, terrorist and priest, then perhaps the tape is real and he is praying to some god (can’t be Christian because his church doesn’t practice Christianity) that it isn’t real!

I do not feel sorry for the entire group…

I do, however, do feel a microscopically bit sad for Hillary..

sharinlite on June 5, 2008 at 7:07 PM

I would say that there is a 90% chance that there is a tape, and that there is a 90% chance that its the republicans who control it. If it was Hillary, it would have been released by now. The republicans are going to drop this in October after Obama has given TONS of speeches so they have a BUNCH of quotes they can use to make him look like an ass. If there wasn’t a tape, he would say, “there is no tape”.

muyoso on June 5, 2008 at 7:07 PM

Tape or no tape, after hearing what the two of them participated in for 20 years, I myself question any and all judgements they make about my country.

bbz123 on June 5, 2008 at 7:10 PM

“Obama has no heart beat and takes daily cocktails of blood from slaughtered islamic virgins to stay alive…..”

…….. or so I read somewhere.

Seven Percent Solution on June 5, 2008 at 7:13 PM

bbz123 on June 5, 2008 at 7:10 PM

Me too.

surrounded on June 5, 2008 at 7:13 PM

Why doesn’t Michelle Obama deny the existence of the tape? I mean, it concerns her doesn’t it? If Barry denies it, and it turns out one exists, he can deny knowing it existed.

Let’s hear from the other half.

darwin on June 5, 2008 at 7:14 PM

Some reporter should ask him, “Did you ever say ‘White greed runs a world in need’” and see how he responds. He actually said that, by the way.

gmoonster on June 5, 2008 at 7:21 PM

I can’t wait to see it!

jerrytbg on June 5, 2008 at 7:24 PM

This is a bullshit smear:

““We have seen this before. There is dirt and lies that are circulated in e-mails and they pump them out long enough until finally you, a mainstream reporter, asks me about it,” Obama said to the McClatchy reporter during a press conference aboard his campaign plane. “That gives legs to the story.”

This started at the Clinton campaign led by the ex CIA wackjob Johnson. Later to be picked up when it was fading by another Dem operative Bob Beckel.

He should be fronted on this rather than get away with the grand smear. It’s the vast right wing conspiracy in sheep’s clothing ala Obama–to be used in the future when advantageous.

patrick neid on June 5, 2008 at 7:25 PM

“No there is no tape, because she never lectured at Trinity, she did not say those things and it never happened. I categorically deny that it happened.” How hard would that be. Is Obama worried that some tape will come out?

tommylotto on June 5, 2008 at 7:27 PM

Can he not learn to laugh things off? Maybe it was a dumb question but he’s running for president. If he wins he will face the dumbest group of reporters anywhere. The White House Press core is going to ask 80% dumb questions.
He needs to lighten up.

thatcher on June 5, 2008 at 7:27 PM

is there such thing as credible dirt?

right2bright on June 5, 2008 at 6:42 PM

Yes.

Guilty: Rezko convicted on 16 of 24 counts

Wright still in charge at Trinity, even though he was supposed to retire June 1

Top advisor lies about Obama’s pre-surge position

Pfleger hates America,too

slp on June 5, 2008 at 7:29 PM

There is no way Michelle Obama has never used the word “whitey.”

B26354 on June 5, 2008 at 7:30 PM

JiangxiDad on June 5, 2008 at 7:07 PM

???

I’m a one-man show, doing the best I can. (That’s why my wordpress blog is go “vanilla”…I don’t have time to make the format more lively – I focus on content).

I love God, I love my family, and I love my country.

I’ve never served in the military, but if others are willing to die for our country, I’m willing to live for our country.

God Bless America, land that I love.

Red Pill on June 5, 2008 at 7:31 PM

Larry Johnson’s hairpiece was unavailable for comment.

JammieWearingFool on June 5, 2008 at 7:31 PM

There is no way Michelle Obama has never used the word “whitey.”

B26354 on June 5, 2008 at 7:30 PM

Somewhere I read a plausible explanation that she was saying “Why’d he”, not “Whitey”. As in:
“Why’d he let New Orleans flood?” sounds like
“Whitey let New Orleans flood!”

Red Pill on June 5, 2008 at 7:33 PM

So it’s not that she didn’t say it, it’s that there is no proof. What a joke. BJ Clinton all over again.

Vigilante on June 5, 2008 at 7:37 PM

Yup. What he just said. Exactly.

IreneFingIrene on June 5, 2008 at 7:43 PM

“That’s not the Michelle I know” said the Community Organizer™ when asked about Michelle O! saying “I hate Whitney” on a DVD.

mred on June 5, 2008 at 7:56 PM

‘White greed runs a world in need’

Do you have a link or ref.?? Or is this on the missing video?

I for one don’t believe there is a video, or if there was, all copies have been destroyed. Except for a few that some elderly blacks have stashed in their video collection. Lets offer a reward, they might need a new DVD,TV or roof.

The way Obama answered this reporter’s question was more of a challenge than a rebuttal or answer. Do you think his wife told him that she had said those words and worse? But told him all evidence was taken care of? Or what?

This would all be so much fun if the political, financial future, and maybe even the security of this Republic was not at stake.

But it is!

Papa Ray on June 5, 2008 at 8:05 PM

Drudge — via Ben Smith at Politico — says Obama “denies” that the tape exists. Funny thing: Smith used the exact same quote seen above. I see nothing of substance in it.

Talk about being “in the tank” for Osama Obama.

Don’t mess with The Messiah!

MrScribbler on June 5, 2008 at 8:16 PM

We don’t need another video. Its plausibility in the DriveBy is surprising. And here’s a surprising anodyne to Trinity Union:

http://bluestarchronicles.com/2008/05/31/gene-simmons-loves-america/

i b squidly on June 5, 2008 at 8:29 PM

“If somebody has evidence that myself or Michelle or anybody has said something inappropriate, let them do it.”

Here’s just a start — and I’ve got one for each of you:

Obamessiah: “We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times … and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK.”

Obamarosa: “Barack Obama will require you to work. He is going to demand that you shed your cynicism. That you put down your divisions. That you come out of your isolation, that you move out of your comfort zones. That you push yourselves to be better. And that you engage. Barack will never allow you to go back to your lives as usual, uninvolved, uninformed.”

And there’s lots more where that came from, smart guy.

Blackacre on June 5, 2008 at 8:32 PM

Asked whether he knew it not to be true, Obama said he had answered the question.
“Frankly, my hope is people don’t play this game,” Obama said. “It is a destructive aspect of our politics. Simply because something appears in an e-mail, that should lend it no more credence than if you heard it on the corner. Presumably the job of the press is to not to go around and spread scurrilous rumors like this until there is actually anything, an iota, of substance or evidence that would substantiate it.”

Notice he never said it didn’t exist. That’s probably smart because if such a tape exists after denial then he might as well call Hillary Clinton and congratulate her on getting the nomination.

highhopes on June 5, 2008 at 8:37 PM

If anyone is suporting Obama in spite of his associations and membership in a racist church, a tape isn’t going to make any difference anyway.

redneck hippie on June 5, 2008 at 8:39 PM

“I never knew”…

d1carter on June 5, 2008 at 8:46 PM

Why didn’t he just say no, there is no tape of it because it never happened?

For the same reason he doesn’t have to deny he’s a Muslim. Or Arab. Or an alien.

crr6 on June 5, 2008 at 8:54 PM

Spitty… HA! How fitting that the man who opened Al Capone’s vault on live TV be the one to launch the first juicy rumor of the head-to-head campaign.

Zorro on June 5, 2008 at 8:58 PM

1. Get used to it, Barak. You aren’t in Chicago anymore.

2. Get used to it, MSM. In the end you are going to end up hating the monster you have created.

Nahanni on June 5, 2008 at 8:58 PM

everyone who is sick of seeing public figures names twisted into unfunny derivations…Bushitlet, McBush, Obamaton, Shrillary…please raise your hand.

DrW on June 5, 2008 at 8:59 PM

For the same reason he doesn’t have to deny he’s a Muslim. Or Arab. Or an alien.

crr6 on June 5, 2008 at 8:54 PM

Yes, every time I see the bolded here I will call BS. Luos are not Arabs, Ignoramus.

baldilocks on June 5, 2008 at 9:17 PM

And those who are born here are Americans, regardless of their parents status. Illegal aliens notwithstanding, his father was in the states legally. Or would you deny Bobby Jindal the opportunity to become president simply because neither of his parents were born in the US?

baldilocks on June 5, 2008 at 9:19 PM

If somebody has evidence that myself or Michelle or anybody has said something inappropriate, let them do it.”

So let me pile on as a pedantic since this pronoun misuse through hypercorrectness is a personal pet peeve of mine and because the grammatical error is inexcusable in a Harvard-educated public speaker. The Inviolate One should have said, “…that Michelle or I or anyone has said something…” Actually, the I should have been last in that sequence, and he certainly left himself wide open for attack with that “anyone”.

Instructor mode/off

onlineanalyst on June 5, 2008 at 9:28 PM

There are plenty of good reasons to criticize and oppose Obama, so this tape thing is worthless until someone actually puts his money where his big mouth is and produces the tape.

No, I take it back. It’s worse than worthless, because it’s sure to generate some votes for him from people who either feel he’s being picked on, or who decide his critics are just a bunch of screaming hysterics.

We have a hard enough row to hoe in this election; we don’t need this kind of “help.”

irishspy on June 5, 2008 at 9:44 PM

irishspy on June 5, 2008 at 9:44 PM

agreed.

surrounded on June 5, 2008 at 9:48 PM

Asked whether he knew it not to be true, Obama said he had answered the question.

This keeps my hope alive.

mikeyboss on June 5, 2008 at 9:56 PM

How long before he says “That’s not the Michelle I knew”
Bwahahahahahh!

ArmyAunt on June 5, 2008 at 6:44 PM

heh…. I think he’s kicked that dog just about as much as one can kick that dog…. Good one.

Hog Wild on June 5, 2008 at 10:11 PM

Michelle Obama has said enough all ready to sink the Titanic. However, there are still many unanswered questions about Barack Hussein Obama.

Unanswered Questions:

* Why do his supporters go ballistic whenever someone investigates Obama’s Muslim family background?

* Why did Obama choose a Communist Party USA member as his socio- political counselor in high school?

* Why did Obama spend his time studying neocolonialism and the writings of Frantz Fanon, the pro-violence author of “The Communist Manifesto of Neocolonialism”, in college?

* Why did he take time out from his studies at Columbia to attend socialist conferences at Cooper Union?”

* Why did he not give Frank M. Davis’ full name in his book?

* Why did he attend for 20 years the church of a minister who is anti-American, a racist, and supports Louis Farrakhan?

byteshredder on June 5, 2008 at 10:27 PM

There is no video.

surrounded on June 5, 2008 at 6:43 PM

Maybe not , but Mrs. O is a powder keg. She’s on the brink of a meltdown. One can sense it when she says anything at all. She’s seething inside and it’s going to manifest itself before summer’s end. She’s so full of entitlement (because that’s what she’s been given her whole life), it’s going to manifest itself. Believe me.

SouthernGent on June 5, 2008 at 10:39 PM

“There is no tape…My mentor, Louis Farrakhan taught us diligently to never curse the white devils while being recorded”

Hussein Ubama

SaintOlaf on June 5, 2008 at 10:40 PM

The republicans are going to drop this in October after Obama has given TONS of speeches so they have a BUNCH of quotes they can use to make him look like an ass

Sounds like a plan!

seanrobins on June 5, 2008 at 10:57 PM

Remember when people were trying to get hold of some of Mike Huckabee’s old preachin’ tapes, and how his former parishioners closed ranks and refused to dig them out of the junk drawers because Mike asked them not to? It was almost impossible to get those recordings once that happened. I think a reporter or a blogger managed to get hold of just one through eBay or something.

So I’m not going to say that the MO “whitey” recording doesn’t exist, but I would be very surprised if it DOES exist and not a single person wants the money bad enough to offer it up for auction eventually. If it doesn’t turn up on eBay soon, it probably really doesn’t exist. I don’t think that kind of loyalty is even possible that they could keep everyone who has a copy of it from making some quick cash off it if they have it. Maybe they’ve told everyone at TUCC that no matter how much someone offers them for the DVD, they (the Obama campaign) will pay even more. But since it hasn’t turned up yet, I’m gonna bet it’s probably fiction.

aero on June 5, 2008 at 11:05 PM

Shouldn’t the Obama wife been asked this question? She’s got to have hundreds of journalist types following her around. How can it be that none of them would have asked her the question by now?

Buddahpundit on June 6, 2008 at 12:24 AM

“…until finally you, a mainstream reporter, asks me about it,”

Great grammar, there, O Master Orator.

Smooth.

Captain Scarlet on June 6, 2008 at 6:32 AM

Asked whether he knew it not to be true, Obama said he had answered the question.

“Frankly, my hope is people don’t play this game,” Obama said.

A non-denial denial.

Buy Danish on June 6, 2008 at 9:44 AM

I don’t know if she ever said whitey, much less whether there is a tape. Still, just to be on the safe side, I think we should all agree not to vote for Michelle Obama in the general election.

factoid on June 6, 2008 at 9:50 AM

Does it meet some threshold of plausibility in their minds, or does the threshold have to do with how far it’s already spread?

It certainly reaches the plausibility threshold in my mind. I dont know if the tape exists or not, but it would not surprise me in the least that Madame Obama said something racist. After all, she has been attending a like-minded church. And Obama did not answer the question, so the wheels are probably turning in his head too. He cant say for sure she didnt drop a verbal bomb that he’s going to have to put a spin on.

abcurtis on June 6, 2008 at 9:52 AM

A non-denial denial.

Buy Danish on June 6, 2008 at 9:44 AM

We’ll need a non-apology apology for that later.

James on June 6, 2008 at 10:28 AM

Just having fun with the speculation.

Compare and contrast. Remember Clintonian parsing principles.

Obama during the debates:

Q: What about Farrakhan?
A: I reject the endorsement.
Q: There’s a difference between rejecting and denouncing.
A: Ok. No problem. I reject and denounce.

Obama about the Michelle tape:

Q: What’s up? >
A: If my enemies have it produce it.
Q: So there is no tape?
A: I already answered that.

IreneFingIrene on June 6, 2008 at 11:57 AM

Bah.. this thing ate my note that I don’t know what the original question was during his questioning about the tape.

IreneFingIrene on June 6, 2008 at 11:58 AM

“I just think people have to think about it before they ask.”
I think that was a thoughtful response. Bwahahahaha!
And so was this: “If she said whitey, maybe she was just calling her husband.” JiangxiDad

Christine on June 6, 2008 at 12:35 PM