After we published our story about the new ‘birther’ informercial running in a number of local TV markets in the South, a reader wrote in to say: Hey, it’s not funny. This is a deliberate and shameful effort to denigrate and erode people’s belief in the legitimacy of Obama’s presidency.
I was taken aback a bit at first. Because I agree. The mix of nihilism, know-nothingism and racism fueling the birther movement is shocking to behold. But as to funny or shameful, my only quibble is that I’m not sure we have to choose. And it turns out there’s a third option.
You don’t have to look to hard at the informercial to see that while it may be shameful and it may be funny, it pretty clearly looks like an effort to separate a lot of hyped-up birther rubes from their money, quite possibly to pad the wallets of those in the rube hyping business. First of all, the pitch in the informercial is that for a mere $30 you will receive a birther bumper sticker and your name added to a spam fax sent to the Justice Department and the 50 state attorneys general.
But that’s not the only reason.
The guy at the center of the informercial is a California lawyer named Gary Kreep, the head of something called the United States Justice Foundation. But it turns out this is not the first time TPMmuckraker has come across the work of the aptly named Kreep.
Back in March 2008 we found him running a robocall operation called the Republican Majority Campaign, then running a scattershot campaign of robocalls against both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. The RMC also seemed awfully similar to and had a lot of weird connections to those bogus groups has-been Republican luminary Linda Chavez and her husband had recently been discovered running — the ones that actually did little to nothing in the way of political work but provided Chavez and her family a steady income.
Here’s our piece on Kreep from March 2008.
Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.