In the months before the 2008 election, rumors were circulated by everyone from right-wing bloggers to Fox News and members of the McCain campaign about a secret tape containing alarming statements by Barack or Michelle Obama. David LaFontaine at HardNewsInc summarizes the events as the "secret tape" turns into a classic Spanish Prisoner / Nigerian 419 scam with a $150,000 price tag. "The Mountain Sage" deserves most of the credit for putting all the pieces together. One note: it's still unclear to me whether $150,000 was *actually paid* to Nigerians, or whether they just demanded this much. Either way, it was a massive kerfuffle.
Boing Boing editor/partner and tech culture journalist Xeni Jardin hosts and produces Boing Boing's in-flight TV channel on Virgin America airlines (#10 on the dial), and writes about living with breast cancer. Diagnosed in 2011. @xeni on Twitter. email: email@example.com.