Where’s Waldo, Wormhole Edition or Andy Curliss gets manipulated by Robin Hayes (Updated)

Bumped by SD - We'll replay all our greatest hits for one last storm before election day. This was originally published on July 8, 2006. Enjoy!

UPDATE: Yesterday (just a week before the Election) we found out that Hayes' recent accusations toward Larry Kissell of running a negative campaign are based on the following July 4th "controversy" in which Hayes claimed to have attended an event with GWB and Larry pointed out that he was fibbing. Of course, I used language a tad less nuanced in my diary...as you will read for yourself! Be sure to follow the link in the first paragraph to Part 1 of this story...what we have here is Part 2.

This story just gets better and better.

A few days ago, I documented Robin Hayes' baffling ability to render himself invisible as evidenced through the extensive coverage in the Fayetteville Observer, NY Times and Washington Post (including photos) of the luncheon Robin Hayes insists he shared with President Bush. Despite the claims made adamantly by his spokeswoman Carolyn Herns, we have yet to find a single shred of proof that Rep. Hayes was actually in attendance at the Fort Bragg photo op.

Join me on the flip side...

Now we see in the Stanly News & Press that Robin Hayes was over 90 miles of country road away from Fort Bragg throwing Jolly Ranchers at cowering children no more than an hour before the luncheon began.

Thursday, July 6, 2006

Oakboro has a blast on the 4th
Thousands attend 48th Independence Day festivities

Oakboro put on a party and thousands came...

…including Robin Hayes, according to the detail on page 9A.

This is a scan of a fax of the July 6 Stanly News and Press shared with us by a friend who receives the daily paper. It’s a little hard to read, but is the only documentation we have since the online version has been abbreviated and does not contain a reference to Hayes [insert conspiracy theory here]

Since the Oakboro parade began at 9 a.m. and lasted AT LEAST until 9:30 a.m. and the President's luncheon began at 10:42 a.m., it is painfully clear that Hayes SKIPPED Bush's public appearance, unless, of course, Hayes was somehow whisked away by a beam of light and magically transported to Fort Bragg.

So let's reconstruct the schedule of Robin Hayes' and George W. Bush's supernatural day as Carolyn Hern would have us believe, shall we?

8:52 a.m. — Bush exits Air Force One at Pope Air Force Base. No Hayes.

9:00 a.m. — Hayes' is hoisted onto a pickup truck over 90 miles away in Oakboro and begins beaning small children with hard candy.

9:07 a.m. — Bush meets soldiers at the U.S. Army Special Operations Command headquarters. Still no Hayes.

Somewhere between 9:30 and 10:00 a.m. — Hayes discovers a rip in the fabric of space & time somewhere along the parade route that produces a wormhole directly between Oakboro and Fort Bragg. He decides to keep it to himself, kind of like his evidence linking Saddam Hussein to 9/11.

9:59 a.m. — Bush begins his speech in front of the Iron Mike statue. Hmmm, no Hayes.

10:42 a.m. — Bush enters the 82nd Airborne Division's 3rd Brigade Combat Team dining hall for lunch with the troops. No Hayes in any photos, remarks or news coverage, although we did learn that Karl Rove chose the fried chicken for his lunch entrée.

10:43 perhaps? — Hayes exits wormhole in dining hall. Puts on Harry-Potter-Invisibility-Cloak. Begins speaking with the President "briefly" ...probably about how cool it is to be invisible.

12:02 p.m. — Bush departs on Air Force One to return to Washington. And still, no Hayes.

Which brings me to my point about Andy Curliss.

Shouldn’t that nose for news at the N&O have made Andy want to ask where Robin discovered the Wormhole and the Harry-Potter-Invisibility-Cloak? Or did Andy just take the word of the man that went on CNN a year ago, almost to the day when Bush was at Fort Bragg, claiming to have secret evidence linking Saddam Hussein to 9/11?

I guess when you have as credible a source as the "outrageous" and "bizarre" Carolyn Hern it’s easy just to take her word for it.

The bottom line is Andy Curliss got sucked into the Gossipy-Goodness of Carolyn Hern’s statement and missed the real story.

Even if Hayes did orchestrate a fantastical trip across the district to be at Bush's side, he did so in secret and on the down-low for the exact reason Kissell pointed out -- Hayes is a political opportunist and has stubbed more than the toe of his constituents. Maybe he was at Fort Bragg at some point on July 4th, but he wasn't proudly standing with his president. And last year before the polls took that big nose dive -- Hayes and Bush were inseparable. Andy Curliss said Team Kissell was unapologetic -- that is because Team Kissell stands proudly with the people of this district and has nothing to fear but a lazy press corp.

By the way, when looking for a credible source next time Andy may want to find someone other than Carolyn Hern.

"(The China bill) is a great bill and Congressman Hayes is extremely pleased to create a fair and level playing field, but it still does not change the fact that CAFTA is not a good deal for 8th District businesses," said Carolyn Hern, press secretary for Hayes.

Those of us actually IN the 8th District know better than to EVER believe a paid liar or her boss.

Let’s take a moment to share our thoughts on responsible journalism with our friend’s at the Raleigh News & Observer Andy, Dan and Rob.

While we’re at it, let’s tell the Charlotte Observer, too. I’m sure Jim Morrill and Tim Funk would love to hear how the Hayes camp treats their media contacts.


Just keeps getting better!

Very nice job! This will be a great way for everyone to start tomorrow morning.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

An even better way

for Andy Curliss to start his day, I hope.

We need to let him have it for his complete gullible-ness. (yeah, I made that word up...so what?!)


Obviously Hayes transcends space and time. Duh.

Mapquest says Hayes is a liar

Oakboro, NC US
Revise | New Directions

Fort Bragg, NC US
Revise | New Directions

Total Est. Time: 2 hours, 31 minutes
Total Est. Distance: 95.68 miles

Could he have flown in?

I mean...special ops helicopters...swooping down and lifting him - truck and all - into the air....transporting him directly to Ft. Bragg for a 10 minute grin and jerk with the President that absolutely NO ONE seems to have a picture of?

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Mapquest isn't

the only one that says Hayes is a liar.

Carolyn Hern's Missing Words Found

She said Hayes ate with the troops at a luncheon the president also attended. Hayes and Bush talked briefly, Hern said.

It's funny how politicians - especially Republicans - like to play around with their words to try and turn a lie into the truth.

Here are the missing words. Hayes ate with the troops at a luncheon the president also attended earlier in the day. Hayes and Bush talked briefly by phone. Now do you see why they say they are telling the truth. Hern doesn't say in this quote from the N&O that Hayes and Bush were at the luncheon at the same time and she doesn't say they spoke in person. That's just what people assume. Hayes may very well have eaten lunch with the troops if he arrived around noon (via mapquest time/distance). AirForce One took off at 12:02, so the President was already on the jet. That doesnt mean it wasn't the same luncheon and that Hayes didn't eat with the troops...it just means Hayes didn't eat with the President.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Also...if Hayes arrived at Fort Bragg

before AF One took off, then Hayes and Bush were technically at Fort Bragg at the same time. Technically. That's how they get away with this crap.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Which begs the question...

'Why wouldn't Hayes be photographed with the troops at the base in his district on the Fourth of July?'

They're lying. He wasn't there.

Hayes is ashamed of the troops too?

If he was too ashamed to have pics taken with the pres, does that mean he's ashamed of our troops too? Hayes has sent out press releases announcing each letter he writes, don't tell me he'd miss out on a photo op on the 4th of July with the brave men and women at Fort Bragg.

Guess so.

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

And the Fayetteville Observer

is apparently ashamed of Hayes.

Just today they printed another article commenting on the

war of words in the 8th district congressional race

but forgetting to address that Hayes was no where to be found in any of their own coverage.

Not here or here or here.

Go figure.

Black Ops Candy Man?

Hayes' is hoisted onto a pickup truck over 90 miles away in Oakboro and begins beaning small children with hard candy.* Star Reporter on the scene

Not only that! But a local Swat team had surrounded his black pick up
and was trying to get him to surrender for beaning the children with candy. A recorded text of the Swat Team follows:

"Okay Congressman! Throw down the candy and let the Children go!"

They're just...liars!

How soon the media forgets.

Thanks for this link to this time last year WFC!

Hayes links Saddam, 9/11

By Michael Roessler
Thursday, June 30, 2005

Deposed Iraqi president Saddam Hussein was “very much involved” with the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, U.S. Rep. Robin Hayes said Wednesday on CNN.

The Concord Republican’s assertion contradicts accounts by the 9/11 Commission, fellow Republicans in Congress and President Bush.

Hayes’ comments followed Bush’s speech at Fort Bragg on Tuesday that made multiple references to the terrorist attacks while defending the war in Iraq, a rhetorical move criticized by Democrats.

“I’m saying that Saddam Hussein ... and people like him were very much involved in 9/11,” Hayes said on CNN Live at Daybreak.

When challenged by host Carol Costello that no evidence of such a link exists, Hayes responded,

“Ma’am, I’m sorry, but you’re mistaken. There’s evidence everywhere. We get access to it, unfortunately others don’t. But the evidence is very clear.”

Carolyn Hern, Hayes’ communications director, repeated similar claims.

What doesn't the N&O get? These people lie like it's their job!

Oh, they're Republicans. It actually is their job.

In defense of Curliss & N&O

While they missed the whole point and made a little fun of the Kissel folks, at least they did (even if it was in a misguided way) get the word out that Hayes says he was with HIS President. Something he wanted to avoid having to admit to doing.

Hayes and his folks are really good at what they do. They have fooled Democrats for years into voting for him saying that he is like them and will protect them. I have a friend that works for a local paper in one of the rural counties in thd district and this friend says that the spokeswoman goes back and forth between threatening and sweet as pie and basically acts like she is way smarter than folks down here. She apparently worked for the guy who ran against and beat war hero Max Cleland by twisting the truth and having no shame. She got good training in how to manipulate people.

I still have faith in our Bill of Rights and I still have faith that there are members of our press that will stand up and take Freedom of the Press seriously. Don't throw too many arrows at the press. They are the only folks out there who can really pull the mask of Hayes and keep our government honest and our precious Democracy safe.

I'm grateful to Working for Change for doing this research. Folks like Blue NC are helping the press do their job by challenging the status quo. I believe blogs are helping to inform the public when the press does fall short, as it did with the Hayes Kissel story. It is important what we are doing here.

Well Said

It is just a he-said, she-said gossip column they probably don't spend much time researching, and waaaaaay out of district... which is the only place Herns would ever admit/pretend Hayes was with President Albatross.

At least Kissell got it on record. Smart move.

And that's why

we have to do our job of holding them accountable.

We only get lied to if we allow it. The press can only do a half-ass job if we allow it.

We get the press - and the government - that we agree to. I, for one, am shopping for a better deal.


Working for Change, I cannot say it loudly enough, so I'll just say it again ..


"They took all the trees and put them in a tree museum Then they charged the people a dollar 'n a half just to see 'em. Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got till it's gone? They paved paradise and put up a parking lot."

Hayes-Taylor Syndrome

This reminds of of the spell teenagers can go through where lying comes as naturally as breathing.

Now it has a name: "the Hayes-Taylor Syndrome."

It's an understandable dilemma. We all want to look good and have people like us. We all enjoy the thrill of power. We all have stretched the truth in our lives. (Okay maybe not all, but I certainly have.)

But when lying is your first instinct, that's a dangerous and unhealth situation. Taylor's explanation of his vote on CAFTA is a symptom of the Hayes-Taylor Syndrome. Hayes' parsing of words around his opportunity to kiss Bush's ring is too.

The Hayes-Taylor Syndrome is hurting North Carolina.

We'll see . . .

My take on all this:

The N&O accurately reported what the Hayes campaign said. The problem is that what the Hayes campaign said misrepresents a true understanding of what really happened.

The White House – and presumably the Hayes campaign – made decisions that Hayes’ participation in a local celebration in a small town was a better call than being seen together in public. For whatever reasons, that didn’t happen.

I can’t help but wonder what those reasons were . . . and why the campaign felt compelled to finesse the story with weasel words and half-truths.

The N&O story was true as far as it went. It just needs to go farther. Or is that further?

I agree, mostly

I agree that N&O accurately reported what each side had to say about Hayes/Ft Bragg/Bush

But, by declaring

Hayes foe stubs toe

and making statements like

Problem is, Hayes met with Bush at Fort Bragg on Tuesday


A Kissell spokesman was unapologetic about the error

Andy at the N&O showed that he had come to a decision about the what each side had to say and chose the Hayes statement as the accurate depiction of the days' events. And that decision is the error.

Where are the questions about 'why-so-secret' or 'can-I-see-the-pictures' or 'why-did-you-say-Hayes-wouldn't-be-there' or 'why-no-press-coverage' ??

Like you said, the story needed to go further (or farther). But Andy Curliss doesn't win a cookie for doing half his job.

Count down to correction?

I wonder how long it'll take for this story to get another look by the N&O - or by someone else in the MSM. I don't expect them to do a mea culpa or anything, but a follow-up seems perfectly in order - and somewhat overdue.

A Long Time Given This Reply

What we reported is accurate.

We do not see fit to write anymore based on inaccuracies in blog land.


Don't you just love the royal 'we?'

We are not amused.

Why am I reminded of a kid with his eyes squeezed shut and stomping his feet saying "what we wrote is accurate ... what we wrote is accurate ... what we wrote is accurate.

No one's saying the story wasn't accurate ... we (royal) are saying it misrepresents the reality of what happened. But I guess that's not what matters when you're trying to be fair and balanced. What matters is that the paper accurately reported Hayes campaign spin - with no good explanation as to why FFR and AWOL George didn't hug for the cameras.

Since Andy writes

a gossip column, it isn't about the story...it's about the exchange. In Andy-land, flying accusations of "outrageous" and "bizarre" are much juicier than a little ol' white lie about who you're hanging out with.

Stealth candidate

According to the Winston-Salem Journal 6/15/06 Hayes "is a pilot, and last year he took out a loan of between $1 million and $5 million to buy an airplane." Mystery solved.


Good one. I'm sure he had a connection at HaliburtonLockheedRatheonMartinWhatever for a good deal on an invisible plane.

And as long as

he used E85 ethanol fuel, it's totally appropriate to use an airplane to travel 90 miles.

I know he has an airplane....

but not just any old pilot can land at Fort Bragg....and...he'd have to file a flightplan. Where did he take off and where did he actually land?

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Checkpoint Charlie

Over at DKos I made this observation:

Even if you do make it to Ft Bragg at warp speed there is a little thing called a "security check" which cuts into travel time even when AF1 is not in town.
Was Hayes or his vehicle logged in?

Now this story on WRAL 7/18 showing just how seriously the Army takes check-in procedures at Ft. Bragg
58 People Detained At Fort Bragg

In the past year, more than 150 people have been detained as they tried to enter Fort Bragg without proper ID

If Hayes was there he was logged and there is a record.


Maybe some enterprising young reporter will request the records from Fort Bragg to verify FFR's comings and goings?