The big news of this morning was the prank call by Ian Murphy of Buffalo Beast (which is still down as of this writing) to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker in which Murphy got Walker to believe he was actually David Koch. While protest sympathizers will eagerly be combing the 20 minutes of conversation looking for anything embarrassing or incriminating, Rush Limbaugh quickly demonstrated what will doubtlessly be the strategy of the opposing side: arguing that there really isn’t any there there.
“There’s nothing new here. There’s no news. By the way, there wasn’t anything in the whole call, he didn’t say anything that he hasn’t said publicly. So there’s no gotcha here. But the media’s having fun with it all because it’s a…’secret conversation.’”
Part of the reason all of Walker’s defenders will be using this strategy is because, well, he’s pretty much right. Whatever you have to say about the tone of the call or the familiarity with Koch, the protesters will be hard pressed to find any juicy sound bites to hurt him with. Even his agreement to visit “Koch” could be brushed past as being polite to a powerful supporter.
I’m beginning to think that Gov. Scott Walker and his mob might be awfully similar to Middle Eastern despots! Someone or some folks may have performed a denial of service, (i.e hacked) the Buffalo Beast website.
The Buffalo Beast website seems to be suffering from traffic overload, causing many to see this message: “Error establishing a database connection.” Some pages also say, “The page you are looking for might have been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable.”
It’s not the first time the Web has made the news in the Wisconsin protests. A pro-union website was blocked at the Capitol Building in Madison.
The Buffalo Beast was founded in 2002 as an alternative biweekly newspaper in Buffalo, N.Y. It became an online-only news operation in 2009.
Here’s something for your “can this possibly be for real” file this morning. Over at the Buffalo Beast — the former print alt-weekly turned online newspaper founded by onetime editor Matt Taibbi, typically best known for its annual list of “The 50 Most Loathsome Americans” — there appear to be recordings of a phone call between Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and current editor Ian Murphy. Now, why on earth would Scott Walker want to talk on the phone with the editor of an online site in Buffalo? Well, he wouldn’t.
But what if said editor pretended to be David Koch of the famed Koch Brothers? Well, that’s a different story altogether, apparently! And so Walker, believing himself to be on the phone with his patron, seems to have had a long conversation about busting Wisconsin’s unions.
Buffalo Beast Publisher Paul Fallon told The Huffington Post that the audio is “absolutely legit.” That the call took place as described by the Beast has been confirmed by Walker spokesman Cullen Werwie.