Sheriff Joe Arpaio looked out at a wall of television cameras and started to raise his voice. The rant that followed was confused, rambling and aimed directly at President Obama.
“Show. Us. The. Mircofilm,” he demanded. “I said it a while back. Show. Us. The. Microfilm. And we’ll all go back home and forget this! Where is the microfilm? Where is the microfilm? Is it in Hawaii? The Department of Health? What’s the big secret?”
Even for a notoriously eccentric Arizona politician like Arpaio, the spectacle he created on Tuesday at a news conference in Phoenix was on a whole other level.
For months, the sheriff has been promoting the fringe conspiracy theory of birtherism, which claims Barack Obama’s birth certificate is fake and therefore he is ineligible to be president. But Arpaio took it to a grand scale with his latest stunt, promising to reveal “shocking” information about the document.
What he and his “investigator” ultimately presented, however, was something less than shocking. They spun new webs of the conspiracy, alleging secret codes were hidden in the birth certificate and claiming they found an elderly witness who could decipher the cryptography. It was the latest tweak to a theory that has long been debunked but remains kept alive by small pockets of conservative activists and writers.
Slightly more amusing, however, was just how high Arpaio was able to take the level of bizarre behavior and paranoia with the world watching through multiple live streams on the internet.
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