Could SWAT-gate Be Another Right Wing Prank?

So we know how these types of games get played: right wing activists make the news they want to see with a sinister stunt, the right-wing blogosphere goes ballistic, spends weeks roaring about their victimization, and their yarns get days and days of mainstream coverage. Only later, when said media finally examines the facts, do we find out that we’ve been had once again. Why would anyone expect SWAT-gate to be any different from James O’Keefe in his pimp costume, the Shirley Sherrod video, or Michelle Malkin’s #TwitterGulag?

I have listened to all the evidence they have provided while claiming “liberal activists” are responsible for these “swattings” (hoax calls to 911 meant to bring armed police to an address). I have not seen or heard any evidence of any specific person being responsible. But I do hear obvious similarities between the SWAT caller and one of the accusers. So I made this video to illustrate what I hear. Listen to my mash-up of the 911 audio, the Swatter’s call to Lee Stranahan’s podcast, and the voice of his broadcasting partner, Brandon Darby:

Do you hear what I hear? My ears detect thinly-modulated, but otherwise entirely similar voices — far too similar to be mere coincidence given such a small number of samples. Clearly, if Congress is as interested in this scandal as the accusers claim, then a professional — or even a law enforcement — analysis is called for. I wouldn’t be surprised to find that “liberal activists” are not responsible for these calls at all, as Stranahan, Darby, and others have alleged. In my opinion, it is far more likely these were right wing “pranks” intended to whip up hysteria amongst conservatives, the media, Congress, and anywhere else they could get traction. But of course, if they were pranks then this time they would have been as dangerous as they would have been illegal.

As I write this, Lee Stranahan and Brandon Darby are both attending Right Online at the Venetian Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas today. They will probably eulogize their hero, Andrew Breitbart, who seems to have left no brakes on the wheels of his minions when he died. Without his churlish tutelage, they are just loose cannons rolling around on the dismasted deck of a sinking ship, firing wildly at random targets of opportunity in social media and elsewhere.

I really think that if interested law enforcement peeked into their computers and phones, and did the audio comparisons I suggest, they might well find evidence that Stranahan, Darby, and their “bloggers club” could be involved in some unsavory shenanigans. Whether any of it is criminal, I cannot say. I think it’s time for some reputable news agencies to take a look at this bizarre drama and give my mash-up half the notice and twice the fact-checking of any Team Breitbart production ever made.

Lest anyone suggest I am imitating Brietbart’s unique style of editing, here are the original recordings.

About Matt Osborne

Veteran blogging the culture wars from Alabama. Video journalist, mash-up artist, aspiring novelist, and metalhead. Expect bunnies, geekery, dark humor, and snarky empirical analysis to annoy idealists of all stripes. You can follow me on Twitter, but be ready 'cause it might get loud.
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