Last week, I shared an email exchange with the listeners of the show. It was between a friend of mine in Burnsville, NC and NC Rep Michele Presnell (R-Burnsville.) The propostition that was being put before the state legistlature, last week, concerning the state's right to ignore the Federal Constitution and to move ahead with plans to declare a state religion, had a great many folks concerned. My friend - who wished to remain annoynmous - was one of them.
To that end, she emailed Presnell and asked, in a very polite and professional manner, for Presnell to explain why she was a sponsor of the proposed law. Presnell's reply was so shockingly unprofessional, and rude, that my friend had to reply again, pressing for specifics and clarification. My friend, posed the hypothetical question to Presnell that should the state declare Islam the religion (after all, such a law would open the door for that possbility), how would Presnell feel having to pray to Allah before legislative meetings?
Prenell replied, abruptly: "I do not condone terrorism."
This was staggeringly ignorant, and my friend replied that she was shocked that Presnell instantly went there. My friend tried to clarify her question further to the wildly out of bounds Rep, to only then get the reply: "No. You are wrong. Have a nice day."
At least she wished my friend a nice day, I suppose.
My friend, knowing that I do what I do, emailed it to me for me to read and react to. After reading it, I asked if she would come on the air and discuss it. My friend, was reluctant and really did not want to get her name out there in the public, yet felt strongly that this remark by an elected official, needed to be exposed. So, she gave me permission to share the email exchange with listeners, but without revealing who she was. And I was fine with that.
At the same time, my friend contacted the Newspaper in Raleigh, and shared the email exchange with them. Needless to say, they wanted to print it. She agreed, again, asking to not have her name revealed in the article.
Sadly, this is where things got out of the bag. The News and Observer released an article and released my friend's name: Britt Kaufmann.
From there, it hit the internet quickly, and within a day was on Huffington Post. WLOS reached out to Britt and did a piece on the email exchange on Wednesday night at 11 PM.
Now, Presnell is a heap of misery over her ignorance. Mulslim anti-defamation groups have condemned her statement and asked national Republican leaders to do so as well.
Britt and I have emailed back and forth, and she is getting calls for interviews on multiple media outlets. She is still reluctant to do so, and really preferred not the have her name known. But she did email me links to the story as it continued to expand and grow, saying to me "You leaked it first."
As much as I would love to take credit for being out in front of this, I have to applaud my friend, Britt for emailing in the first place, and for the media for grabbing hold of it from there.
The resolution never came to a vote, so the issue is dead now. For now. But I have a feeling that Michele Presnell is going to be feeling the sting of her stupidity for a long time to come.
Here are some fun links: