They've got muck; we've got rakes. TPM Muckraker
(The full program is here.)
One of the men behind the infomercial is attorney Gary Kreep, executive director of the Ramona, CA-based Birther group United States Justice Foundation. He told TPMmuckraker in an interview today that the initial buy was for two and half weeks at TV stations around the country, and he's now looking into a second round buy. He says he'll give us a list of stations playing the infomercial.
One of them is CBS affiliate KLBK in Lubbock, Texas. That's where Lubbock resident Jim Schermbeck saw the infomercial last night at around 12:30 a.m., after The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, he tells TPMmuckraker. A scheduler at the station confirmed to us that the infomercial is running, but the employee in charge of paid programming did not immediately return our calls.
In its first week on the air, the infomercial generated "something like 1500 to 2000 faxes," Kreep says. The money goes to the price of the faxes and to the cost of airing the program, with any extra money going to the United States Justice Foundation.
The program was produced by LivePrayer.com, a Web site affiliated with Bill Keller, a fundamentalist Christian minister who also hosts the infomercial.
Imprisoned in the late 1980s after an insider trading conviction, Keller later committed his life to God, attended Liberty University in Virginia, and founded Bill Keller Ministries, according to his bio. LivePrayer.com was "founded for the sole purpose of having a site on the internet where people can go 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for prayer."
Besides being a forum for prayer requests, LivePrayer.com features the Birther infomercial and a "False Hope" program advertised with a picture of Obama crudely photoshopped next to Hitler. Keller has called Islam a "false religion that follows a false god that will lead them to eternal condemnation."
In the infomercial, Keller promises late-night viewers a "special look at where Barack Hussein Obama was really born."
"Today, you could join hundreds of thousands of other Americans and force President Obama to produce his birth certificate [*foreboding string music*]."
Between interviews with Kreep, Keller repeatedly asks viewers to add their name to "a petition going to GOP leaders to force President Obama to obey the law."
"As a thank you," he says, "you will receive a specially created, 'got a birth certificate?' bumper sticker."
A logo on the screen during the infomercial features the outlines of the United States, the state of Hawaii, and the continent of Africa, with the red-white-and-blue-colored words "Where was PRESIDENT Obama BORN?"
Kreep comes off as a considerably calmer, more self-controlled figure than his Birther rival Taitz. But he clearly feels irritated after being shut out by the mainstream media.
"The vast majority of the media doesn't have the intestinal fortitude to admit when they're wrong. They're all a bunch of cowards," Kreep says, praising Rush Limbaugh's crack that God and Obama are alike because neither one has a birth certificate.
Keller ends the program this way: "Thank you for watching this very special presentation. This is a legitimate issue. Don't let people tell you otherwise. If the man was not born in Hawaii as he claims, he is not legally president."
If you've seen the infomercial in Texas or elsewhere, let us know.
Late Update: April Morehead, who deals with paid programming at Texas CBS affiliate KLBK, confirms to TPMmuckraker the infomercial ran last night, and says it will run again Sunday at 1 a.m. United States Justice Foundation paid $100 per airing. Morehead said the station doesn't show programs with sexually or racially derogatory content, and the station saw no problems with the birthermercial.
Late Late Update: Group behind birthermercial says it's running in seven states across the South.