Anti-Obama call from New York?

It happened yesterday.  I was sitting at my desk in the Radio Iowa newsroom and a colleague forwarded a call to my extension.  I did not tape record the conversation, nor did I type out notes.  I hastily scratched a few notes by hand on a piece of paper and now present to you my recollection of the moment.

"I’m calling because I wonder if your listeners know what Barack Obama’s middle name is," was the entre to the brief conversation.  (If you don’t know, it’s the name Bob Kerrey apologized for using recently when referring to Obama.)

"Why?" was my one-word, first response.

The caller repeated his argument that Iowa radio listeners need to know Obama’s middle name.

"I see in my caller ID box here on my phone that you are calling from New York.  Who are you?" I asked the man on the other end of the line.

"I’m the one that’s supposed to be asking the questions," the man replied, then made another comment about Obama’s middle name. 

"Who are you calling for?" I asked again, as the caller ID box merely said "New York" and did not show a number.  "How did you get my number?"

"Thank you for your time," the man, who had a heavy New York accent, replied and hung up.  (No, it was not Bob Kerrey.  He still has a Nebraska accent.) 

I was unable to track down the number for the call into our newsroom.  Who do you think is paying for that call?  Have you gotten one like it?

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About O.Kay Henderson

O. Kay Henderson is the news director of Radio Iowa.


  1. It’s called a prank call.

  2. sundancepdx says

    Oh my gosh, does this happen a lot during elections? Thank you for reporting this, people need to know how it’s going to be.

  3. charles purvis says

    Fred is one of the most straightforward politicians I’ve seen. To quote an old saying, “he says what he means, and means what he says”. He understands the world we live in, the gravity of our war on terrorism and the geopolitics involved, our national security requirements, as well as the necessity of a strong economy, and proficient health and educational systems. And he understands what role the federal government should take in these matters and what roles it should not, states rights. You see, Fred is a firm believer in our constitution. He’s quite outspoken for our 2nd ammendment rights because of that belief. Go to to see for yourself his stances on the issues and his plans for improvement

  4. Terry McKinley says

    I’d call it “dirty tricks”…..remember?

  5. As an agent of Change, Obama has aleady had a positive effect and change on the political landscape as evidenced by the “nicer tone” of the campaign commericals and political discourse prevelent today, which heretofore has been dirty and ugly. This is due to Obama’s stance not too take the low road. To stay positive and above the frey, preferring to take the high road, to focuss on the issues and his message of change. — And then they followed.
    We all know that experience matters — but what matters more is Judgment, Wisdom, Honesty and Integrity. We have to remember and weigh its seriousness, that in the most important policy decision of our times, the Iraq War, which has helped to escalate the present situation, Hillary Clinton and John Edwards got it Wrong. Barack Obama got it Right.
    Obama a man of Judgment; a man of Positive Change.

  6. Cheryl Walniuk says

    The sad fact is that this will be relevant in the campaign. I teach international relations to undergraduates (mostly in their 20s & 30s) and am consistently shocked to learn that a good percentage of them fully believe that Hussein was a key figure in 9/11 and that’s why we’re in Iraq. These students represent a cross-section of the country and are, for the most part, registered to vote, but don’t follow politics. (Again, very common – although we wonks tend to forget that.) None of this will matter to the progressive Democrats who show up for primaries and caucuses. It will matter in the general election. “Obama” is one letter away from “Osama.” Throw “Hussein” into the mix and you’ve just lost a sizeable chunk of the average electorate, who vote based on gut feelings, instead of platforms or voting records. Fox News and Limbaugh will make this a regular “talking point.” Why do you think we’ve heard so little on it up to this point? They want him to win the nomination, because they understand very well that he’s not viable in the general election.

  7. Amber Hawking says

    Obama is not African American. An African American is one where both the parents are of Negro extraction and both born in the United States. Obama is African European. His father is not a black American and his mother is of European ancestry born in the USA. To keep referring to him as a African American puts him as an American Negro which he is not. The blacks in the USA know he is not of their type. The whites, (esp. the white press) doesn’t seem to know the difference.

  8. Is there only one type of European American? What type…is an “African American”? All of this is irrelevant when you recognize that every person here is a decendant of a “foreigner”. “Negro extraction”. What is that? There are only Americans. Some are of European decent, some of African decent, some of Carribean decent, some of Latin American decent, and so forth. Thinking like this creates the ugly ignorance we know as racism. When do you start counting generations to be truly considered an American? The white press seems to be more accurate when depicting Obama’s ethnicity than many others who consider Obama some other “type” of person of color.