Naked Emperor News reveals the truth about the president one YouTube video at a time.
12:00 AM, Oct 6, 2009 • By EMILY ESFAHANI SMITH
Pamela Key does not work for the Republican National Committee. She has no formal training in journalism. An illustrator of children's books, she never finished college. And yet, her oppositional research, her investigative journalism, and her philosophical convictions have all come together to shape the national mood, receiving even the attention of the White House. On August 4 of this year, Linda Douglass, the communications director for the White House, released a video where she instructed the public, "My job is to keep track of all the disinformation that's out there about health-insurance reform. And there are a lot of very deceiving headlines out there right now, such as this," she reads the Drudge Report from her computer screen, "'Uncovered Video: Obama Explains How His Health Care Plan Will Eliminate PRIVATE Insurance.'"
What most don't know is that Douglass was targeting a video unearthed by Key, first released on her video news website, Naked Emperor News, and then picked up by the Drudge Report. The video, which pieces together various Obama statements, damningly quotes the president at an SEIU forum in 2007 saying, "I don't think we're going to be able to eliminate employer coverage immediately. There's going to be, potentially, some transition process: I can envision a decade out, or 15 years out, or 20 years out."
The same day the White House posted Douglass' video on its blog, it also released this message: "If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org."
A self-described Reagan-conservative, Pamela Key laughs the whole thing off, noting that the White House's overreaction "hilariously made it a bigger story. Really bizarre." And bizarre is the word she comes back to, time and again, when she describes her informal foray into investigative journalism. Though her website, Naked Emperor News, debuted in 2008, she was first inspired to dig into Obama's past after reading his memoir Dreams From My Father at the end of 2007. It was then that she "realized what a total radical this guy was."
Originally intended to be a site about children's books, Naked Emperor News was coming together right as the Jeremiah Wright controversy exploded across the media. With a title appropriately suited to its content, Key decided to devote the website to exposing candidate Obama and his pals as mainline members of the political fringe. Obama, Key was certain, was not the centrist fellow the mainstream media was painting him to be in 2008.
The former art director at L.A. Brides magazine, Key began to do freelance art in the late nineties for children's books once she started raising a family. Over a decade later, working out of her home in southern California, Key watched as the Wright controversy popped and fizzled out in the mainstream media and realized that "no one is really telling the Wright story," with no pun intended. Taking the concept of the Rev. Wright tapes, she searched for others candid videos to release on an open forum. "Just like I supply an illustration for a children's story, in the same way, I'm going to supply a video for these stories," she says. Her website, with its gaudy and grotesque design, is researched and run by Key and Key alone. Between book projects, she forages the Internet for bygone audios and clips on the hot political issues of the day, splices them together into a video, adds captions, and posts them on her website.