Note: the site in question is now Not Safe for Work or family viewing. See Update III. 5:15 -- Now safe; see update IV.
It doesn't take long for provocateurs to crawl out of the woodwork to attack candidates, especially in stealth attacks. With Fred Thompson, they've apparently started before he officially enters the race -- and in one case, race is the operative word. Apparently hoping to confuse web surfers looking for Fred's website at www.imwithfred.com, a new site has appeared at www.imwithfred2008.com -- only this site welcomes people to the Ku Klux Klan, "Bringing a Message of Hope and Deliverance to White Christian America!" It includes links to a variety of disgusting racist sites.
Who would post something like this as a smear on Fred Thompson? Someone a little too stupid to cover his tracks, possibly? A DNS search gives us an answer. The domain name, registered through GoDaddy (no great shock there), belongs to:
500 California Ave. #5
Santa Monica, California 90403
The phone number listed on the domain record, which I won't post here, goes to an answering machine for the "law offices of Henry Reynolds". I left a message asking for comment on this website, and then decided to take a look through OpenSecrets and the FEC to see if Mr. Reynolds has a history of supporting Fred Thompson, or even the KKK. Actually, it turns out that a Mr. Henry Reynolds in the same zip code working as an attorney has a small record of political donations -- but in another direction:
4/6/2005 - $500, MoveOn.org 9/22/2004 - $500, DNC Services 4/5/2004 - $250, John Kerry
So why is a Santa Monica attorney and contributor to the Democrats and MoveOn hosting a website with links to the KKK and white supremacists? Perhaps he'll call back with an interesting explanation -- but it looks like he's conducting underhanded smear tactics in his spare time. Will MoveOn and the DNC reject the politics of character assassination and give back the money Reynolds donated?
UPDATE AND BUMP: Apparently, we got Henry Reynolds' attention. He has had GoDaddy change the domain registration information to list the owner as DomainsbyProxy of Scottsdale, AZ. Too bad I decided to cache the domain registration here earlier, as well as the website.
UPDATE III and BUMP (5:00 pm CT): It appears Henry has gotten a little angry about all of the attention. The site now features a rather disgusting picture of ... well, I won't describe it, but let's say it represents Henry and his activities very well and very graphically. It is VERY MUCH not safe for work or family viewing. In fact, I wonder if Henry sold this off today to a hard-core porno company as a way to get out from underneath it. No cigar, Henry. Your name is still associated with this. Goat sex, indeed.
UPDATE IV, 5:15 pm: Heck, this is almost like live-blogging. Now the site redirects to a Wikipedia entry for Frederic Jameson, the Marxist literary critic. I guess this is Henry's hero. It beats the last redirect we got from him. I wonder what's next?
UPDATE V: I want to caution people about equating Henry "Goatse" Reynolds to all liberals. Our friends Jazz and Ron at Middle Earth Journal have a good post about this scamster, along with a great tongue-in-cheek "explanation" of the original website that made me laugh out loud. I've also changed the title to show the singular rather than the plural, for fairness' sake.