Yesterday, the blogosphere was abuzz with a caller to C-Span who was quite alarmed while speaking to Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY), wondering if his prayers to strike Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd dead had instead hurt Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe, who'd missed a morning procedural vote on Health Care Reform. We've found some evidence that this could have been a prank. And even if the caller is on the level, it might not the first time he's said some pretty weird stuff on a C-Span call-in.
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Back in April, a man with a very similar voice, and also from Georgia, called in and asked David Brooks if he, as a sophisticated New Yorker, would help to bring down the black man in the White House. Brooks was laughing in disbelief at what he was hearing.
Both calls had a certain prankish, over-the-top quality to them. The caller to Brooks said he was at the Jekyll Island Club -- a very high-class location in Georgia -- but sounded more like a caricature of an unsophisticated, racist Southerner. The caller to Barrasso referred to his fellow conservative activists as a "tea bag group," a term that many genuine Tea Partiers regard as an offensive epithet. Both callers got worked up emotionally -- energy and ambition in the Brooks caller's case, and urgency and panic from the Barrasso caller.
Are they the same man? Were they serious calls or pranks -- and with the current state of right-wing activism, how can you tell the difference? We here at TPM report, and you folks...well, we wouldn't want to violate any trademarks. But listen to both and tell us what you think.