You've probably heard that sex/dating chat tape that's said to have the Michael Brown shooting in the background. I learn from Noah Rothman, who's now over at Hot Air, that a couple of guys invited on to CNN to discuss the tape don't believe it's real:
On Wednesday morning, CNN's Michaela Pereira invited two former law enforcement officials on the program to discuss the authenticity of the tape.
"I've told your producers that for all I know this is one of Howard Stern’s punk people," former LAPD officer David Klinger said. "It came out, what, two weeks after the event, and so I don't have a high degree of confidence in it."
"But, it could be real," he added without much enthusiasm.
Klinger noted that his first inclination is "someone is trying to punk CNN."
CNN law enforcement analyst Tom Fuentes seemed to share Klinger's opinion.... Pereira said.
"When I heard this yesterday, I thought the exact same thing: it's a hoax," Fuentes added.
Am I 100% certain that the tape is real? No -- but I'm 99.99% certain that it's not from anyone connected to Howard Stern's show, or from a listener trying to join the ranks of Stern's fans-turned-pranksters. I say this for a simple reason: If anyone in the Sterniverse had done this, it would have been done in such a way that the first time the tape aired, the prankster would get on the air and conclude the segment with "Baba Booey!" or some other Stern catchphrase. Letting a hoax linger for days suggests a level of patience and restraint no one in Stern World would ever demonstrate. The point would be to reveal the hoax (and thus the mighty media-disrupting power of Sternism) immediately.
What's more, the talk over the tape -- embarrassing as it is -- would be more embarrassing (and would probably be a lot dirtier). Also, there'd probably be a painfully racist attempt to do a stereotypical "black accent."
I suppose it's possible that the tape was pieced together (by a hoaxer who doesn't want to get caught) from a real love chat plus a tape of gunfire. I could imagine a fabricator creating something like that to milk this story for fifteen minutes of fame. But I don't think it was created out of whole cloth -- the words on the tape just don't seem like words you'd write if you were making a fake tape like this from scratch.
I'm inclined to think it's real because it's so weird and awkward, without seeming like a fictional version of awkwardness. But I have no idea one way or another.
UPDATE: It's not a hoax or a prank.
The video texting service Glide has verified the recording played by CNN this week of the purported shots in the Ferguson, Mo., killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown. In an e-mail to the Erik Wemple Blog, Glide head of communications Chaim Haas reports:
Because Glide is the only messaging application using streaming video technology, each message is simultaneously recorded and transmitted, so the exact time can be verified to the second. In this case, the video in question was created at 12:02:14 PM CDT on Saturday, August 9th.