Monday, June 07, 2010

A Tale of Two E-mails

Regular readers know that I am a big fan of analyzing the rhetoric of anti-Obama viral e-mails. I think that e-mail is often understudied in analyses of Internet politics, because it depends on one-to-one communication and is less associated with youth culture or the practices of early adopters, unlike the politics expressed on blogs, social network sites, or microblogging sites like Twitter.

But it is important not to ignore when thinking about real communication and real elections, especially since such e-mails are probably going to reach the largest pool of likely voters in the over fifty contingent.

Let's look at two different Obama e-mails in circulation with week and examine their rhetorical techniques. Both end with a call to forward the e-mail to others, both are intended to sow doubt about the president's integrity, and both suggest dark possibilities of conspiracy and violence (associated with Chicago gangsterism and Manchurian Candidate puppetry respectively).

E-mail One

Rod Blagojevich is the former Illinois Governor who tried to sell Obama's seat in congress.

Obama was asked, by the press, if he had ever met Gov. Ron Blagojevich.

Barack Obama: "I only saw Rod Blagojevich one time ... and that was in the stands and from a distance at a Chicago Bears Football Game."

during a rally in Chicago , April 16, 2007.

To understand the next 4 years, you have to understand the world according to Chicago

While Chicago is a city in Illinois , it is almost a completely different country when it comes to politics, with a whole different set of morals and language.

There are only three rules and a few Prime Directives which anybody can understand. You don't even need an attorney to understand them --and if you need an attorney, well, you know too look out for Rule #3!

RULE #1...No matter what you see, hear, or do; --you don't know anybody and you don't know nothing!

RULE #2...If you capture something on tape or camera¦ -- it doesn't reveal nothing!

RULE #3...If you know what everybody knows in Chicago¦ --well, you still don't know nothing.

The PRIME DIRECTIVE in CHICAGO ...No matter what the vote. "Democrats win the election. Now pay close attention!

It's very simple....we'll illustrate. Remember, you know nothing.

These two? They don't know each other! They said they didn't.

The fellas in this picture "They never actually met face to face. What fellas? We don't see nothing!

The guy on the left? For all you know he's Santa Claus.

And the guy on the right... well, he's the Easter Bunny! That's all you need to know.

Go to your eye doctor...your eyes are lying to you! Ca'pish?
Remember Jimmy Hoffa? He knew too much and now,

well, now no one knows where he is.

Is the big picture clear? Not these pictures!

Remember, You've already forgot them...

Now, ain't that simple? They don't know each other and they never met!

How is that possible? 'cause they said so! And don't forget it!

P.S. If you pass this on to your friends, don't forget,

you know nothing and they will know nothing.

E-mail Two

WHO the Heck IS HE ???


Read this....

I did some of my own research after reading this. Why was his law license inactivated in 2002?

Why was Michelle's law license INACTIVATED by court order?

There is only one Barack Hussein Obama according to the U. S. Census and he has 27 Social Security numbers and over 80 aliases.

The one he uses now originated in Connecticut where he is not ever reported to have lived. No wonder ALL of his 'records' are sealed!!!

It just gets worse!!!

At least we only have 2 1/2 years of this mystery man left before we can replace him.

Was He There?

Who IS He?

I have always wondered why NO ONE ever came forward from Obama's past saying they knew him, attended school with him, was his friend, etc.

NO ONE, not one person has ever come forward from his past.


This should really be a cause for great concern.

To those who voted for him, YOU HAVE ELECTED THE BIGGEST UNQUALIFIED FRAUD that America has ever known!

This is very interesting stuff. Sort of adds credence to the idea of The Manchurian Candidate thing having happened here!

Stephanopoulos of ABC news said the same thing during the 08' campaign. He too was a classmate of BO's at Columbia class of 1984. He said he never had ONE class with him.

Was he there?

While he is such a great orator, why doesn't ANYONE in Obama's college class remember him?

Maybe he never attended class!

Maybe he never attended Columbia?

He won't allow Colombia to release his records either.

Suspicious isn't it???


Looking for evidence of Obama's past, Fox News contacted 400 Columbia University students from the period when Obama claims to have been there, but none remembered him.

Wayne Allyn Root was, like Obama, a political science major at Columbia who also graduated in 1983.

In 2008, Root says of Obama, "I don't know a SINGLE PERSON at Columbia that knew him, and they all know me.

I don't have a classmate who ever knew Barack Obama at Columbia. EVER! Nobody recalls him.

I'm not exaggerating, I'm not kidding. "

Root adds that he was also, like Obama, "Class of '83 political science, pre-law" and says, "You don't get more exact or closer than that.

Never met him in my life, don't know anyone who ever met him.

At the class reunion, our 20th reunion five years ago, who was asked to be the speaker of the class? Me. No one ever heard of Barack!

And five years ago, nobody even knew who he was. The guy who writes the class notes, who's kind of the, as we say in New York, the macha who knows everybody, has yet to find a person, a human who ever met him.

Is that not strange? It's VERY strange. "Obama's photograph does NOT appear in the school's' yearbook' and Obama consistently declines requests to talk about his years at Columbia, provide school records, or provide the name of any former classmates or friends while at Columbia.

NOTE: Root graduated as Valedictorian from his high school, Thornton-Donovan School, then graduated from Columbia University in 1983 as a Political Science major (in the same class as Barack Hussein Obama WAS SUPPOSED TO HAVE BEEN IN).

Can it be that BHO is a complete fraud??

More intrigue concerning "The Man who WASN'T there."

I m sure the truth will be found out, but too bad not soon enough!

Please do not give up on ousting the people at the top. We must go on, and continue sending these out to everyone. Pass this on to everyone on your e-list. Pass it across America!

The Analysis:

Although neither e-mail has made it into 25 hottest urban legends on, several fact-checkers have certainly found fault with both. At the Obama Watch website that posted the "I don't know nuttin' -- the Chicago way" photo examples last year, several commentators posted objections that Obama never claimed not to know Blagojevich, so the extended refutation with images of the two together didn't have much argumentative power. The e-mail that originally appeared under the saltier title of "OBAMA - WHO THE HELL IS HE???" appears on a blog that doesn't allow comments that is credited to a "Certified Prof. Locksmith & Security Consultant, conservative blogger, computer geek, defender of 2nd Amendment, truth, justice and the American way!" Yet Snopes has disputed the claim that Obama wasn't recalled by any of his Columbia classmates, and other fact-checkers have cast doubt on the eighty aliases statistic, and the fact that Wayne Allyn Root is a libertarian ideologue hardly makes him a neutral source. (And since I know people who knew him at Harvard Law, I don't think he's a likely Manchurian candidate; one can't help but wonder if it is a kind of perverse spam advertising campaign for the company mentioned: Enoch Engineering Services to draw clients to their niche market.)

But it isn't matters of fact that makes these e-mails compelling. What is interesting to me is that they almost completely abandon conventional paragraph structure in favor of a rhythm of single lines with repetitive syntactic elements that turn exclamations and rhetorical questions into lyrical devices.

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