Friedlander used to be the editor-in-chief of Air America, which theoretically makes him an important liberal person, and a shoo-in for a Huffington Post blog. This morning, he came up with a gambit: Just as Andrew Breitbart once offered $100,000 for the archives of a liberal listserv (the better to attack his ideological enemies), Friedlander would offer $100,000 for a sex tape of Glenn Beck (the better to make everyone vomit in their mouths). Two problems, though: Friedlander doesn't have $100,000, and nobody thinks Glenn Beck has a sex tape. No matter, here's what Friedlander said:
It is time to pop the tea baggers' favorite balloon (so what if it will be replaced by another?), and with that in mind I hereby offer to negotiate a $100,000 payday to the person who will come forward with a sex tape or phone records or anything else that succeeds in removing Glenn Beck from the public eye forever. I am not offering the cash myself, but I will broker the deal and/or raise the money for what you bring to the table. (And it better be good.)
Oh, how awkward. A poorly conceived joke that only highlights the joker's impotence. Unless Friedlander was actually serious? He made an email address—firstname.lastname@example.org—to aid his mission. (Obviously this man has never attempted to secure a sex tape before. They don't just rain from the sky every time you do a little dance to summon them, Beau.) Not long after, though, the Huffington Post moved "$100,000 For Glenn Beck's Sex Tape" from the Politics category to Comedy. Then, they disappeared the post entirely.
Friedlander told the Observer it was mostly a joke, but his HuffPo editors punished him by taking away his posting privileges: "As a blogger for the Huffington Post, it feels like a scarlet letter on my shirt." More depressing words have never been spoken by a professional journalist.
Other, perhaps, than the words in Friedlander's "Apology to Glenn Beck," in which he grovels for "actually trying to mimic what I saw as the way right wingers go about these matters, and by misapprehending the way they do things, I went too far."