Apparently the email chain smear merchants are taking their cues from the McCain campaign. My inbox if blowing up with readers sending in smears. The latest has been out before, but it’s main headline reads:


Hence, the post title.

Here is how characterized it:

This widely distributed message is so full of misinformation that we find it impossible to believe that it is the result of simple ignorance or carelessness on the part of the writer. Almost nothing it says about Obama’s tax proposals is true. We conclude that this deception is deliberate.

I must highlight something about this particular email. A VP at Wachovia (irony. sweet, sweet, irony) named Robert Jenkins was one of the forwarders of this claptrap. says:

Update, Aug. 27: One version of this e-mail was sent around by a financial professional, Robert Jenkins, a vice president of Wachovia Securities in St. Louis, Mo. Even though Jenkins is an investment adviser and not a tax expert, we thought his endorsement might seem to some readers to give this false e-mail greater credibility. So we attempted to ask Jenkins about the matter. But instead of a reply from him, we received the following message from another Wachovia official, whose identity we confirmed by telephone:

Thank you for contacting Wachovia regarding a recent email regarding “proposed changes in taxes after the 2008 General election.” Please know that Wachovia does not endorse any political party, candidate, or initiative, and that our Firm did not endorse or approve the email as it is contrary to our Code of Conduct and Corporate Values.

Members of executive and departmental leadership in Wachovia Corporation and Wachovia Securities have been made aware of the email, and Robert Jenkins has been dealt with appropriately and directly. Every effort has been made to ensure that no additional emails or communications of this nature will be issued by any member of our Firm.

We sincerely apologize for this unfortunate incident.

Cynthia Plackemeier
Assistant Branch Manager

We later contacted William Mannen, a Wachovia vice president for branch administration in St. Louis. He declined to say whether or not Jenkins is still employed by Wachovia.

Those who forwarded this email:

If you forwarded this, you are part of the problem not the solution. Please become educated before you expose others to your lies and smears. Learn to use Google. Stop being either uninformed or ill-intentioned.

Those who received this email:

If you received this email or receive others like it in the future, reply to everyone it was sent to after having found the truth. Stop and Google it before forwarding on or you become part of the problem. We are monitoring this activity and we will eventually find those forwarding false and misleading attacks against Barack Obama. Don’t do it. Like John McCain claims to do with pork barrel spenders, we’ll make you famous.

See also: Don’t Trip Over This Blog

Fight the Smears

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  • Johanne

    freedom of speech, what happened to that?
    Looks like the Fact Check wasn’t totally redeeming. Besides Paying Taxes is Patriotic.

  • Ah. A forwarder speaks. There is nothing wrong with freedom of speech. We’re engaging in it. There is something wrong with using the right you were given by those that died for it to push lies about a candidate for the highest office in the land.

    So stop. I know you might be down that McCain pulled out of your state, but buck up. Forwarding disparaging emails is not the way to engage in your democracy.

    The email is false and you need to stop. Given the unrepentant nature of your reply, I’ll be leaving your email in this post.

    Yes, Johanne, investing in your country by paying taxes is indeed patriotic. Avoiding them by finding loopholes while the lesser of us see a higher burden is wholly UN-patriotic. It’s not hard when you sit and think about it as opposed to firing off smear emails in a hate filled fog.

  • Surely all these people can't be wrong? Of course, they're not wrong. … If you think it's all about talent and skill then it's time to wake up and smell the!

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