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Conservative NRO blogger Jim Geraghty asks why the apocryphal Whitey Tape bears such an astonishing resemblance to a plot point in the 2006 political thriller novel The Power Broker, by Stephen Frey:

A major plot line of the novel is the presidential campaign of Democrat Jesse Wood, aiming to be the country’s first African American president — "Wood was handsome, smart, charismatic, and being mentioned increasingly often in the press as someone who could unite a twenty-first century America growing more, not less, racially and economically divided." (p.35)

He’s a U.S. Senator from New York and former senior partner at a prestigious law firm. His backers include "some of the old Black Panthers." He wants to make Puerto Rico a state, and a recurring figure in his campaign is a controversial minister from Philadelphia called "Jefferson Roundtree."

Holy.  Shit.

Of course, there's a videotape.  And on the tape, the candidate uses the word "whitey."

Later the tape is used for blackmail by an ally, and then the real badguy — a Texan who owns a giant oil company named Hewitt (sorry, Hugh) — gets his hands on the tape. The description of the appropriate timing of the release of the videotape on p. 237 will sound familiar to those tracking the rumors of the alleged Michelle Obama tape.

Hewitt thought for a second. "I’m going to let Jesse win the nomination and let the public get used to him as the Democratic candidate. Give the country some time to get to know Jesse Wood, to start to like him. And they will because he’s a very likeable guy. Then I’m going to drop the bomb, after everyone’s started to like him. That way the clip will have maximum effect and people will be as angry as they can be. Whites and blacks. Whites for the obvious reason, blacks because they’ll feel like he let ‘em down."

Now. Either author Stephen Frey is clairvoyant, writing this book in 2006. Or this is one of the all time amazing coincidences. Or whoever started this rumor got the idea from a novel.

Remember, this is coming from a conservative blogger on a conservative site (in fact, Geraghty explains why he wants this shit debunked, which is interesting reading in and of itself).

If there was any lingering doubt as to whether this tape actually existed, this should drive a stake right through its heart.  Not only was this a hoax; it was a poorly conceived hoax, designed by people with the brains of a garden slug and the morals of a nose hair trimmer.

Larry Johnson is a boil on the ass of the body politic.  May he rot.

Originally posted to The Termite on Fri Jun 06, 2008 at 09:42 AM PDT.

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