Comey Baloney: Open Letter to SXSW In Protest of FBI Director James Comey’s Upcoming Talk

Fools Russian Where Angels Fear To Tread

Special commemorative SXSW emoji patch for the 65 million+ voters who voted for Hillary Clinton

Dear SXSW,

I am writing to request that you rescind the invitation extended to James Comey, Director of the FBI, to speak in Austin, Texas on March 13th in conjunction with Washington D.C.’s Newseum as part of a discussion regarding national security.

What were you thinking?

Don’t you, like me, realize that we live in a country where the president is poised to slash funding for programs that prevent violence against women as he extols the virtues of ratcheting the military budget to $54 billion? Don’t we live in a country where the new Secretary of Education sees grizzly bears as central impediments to scholastic achievement? Don’t we live in a country where Republican leadership denies climate change? (Climate change is real, btw.) Don’t we live in country where individuals of color are incarcerated for corporate profit, and the profiteers just got a boost from the government? How about living in a country where the former head of Exxon Mobil was appointed to the highest diplomatic post in the land? Also, did you hear that a white supremacist sits doors down from the Oval Office? And that Muslim refugees were recently detained at airports, and, because of it, one tried to commit suicide at JFK?

Do you even current events, bro???

Don’t we live in a country where a man named James Comey is Director of the FBI? Don’t we live in a country where Comey abused his power and, while his Bureau was investigating possible links between 45’s team and the Russians, Comey chose to remain silent about that matter and instead announced — just days before our election — that he was investigating (a bullsh*t) email connection between Hillary Clinton, her assistant Huma Abedin and Abedin’s troubled ex-husband Anthony Weiner? Don’t you understand that announcement had racist underpinnings because it associated Clinton not just with perversion, but with two “others”: a Muslim and a Jew? Don’t you comprehend that Comey’s action, by capitalizing on prejudice, tipped the election in favor of an authoritarian who has the potential to dismantle American democracy?

Don’t we live in Austin — one of the best and most vibrant cities in the world — and, after 45 was inaugurated, our mayor Steve Adler told us that we were gonna keep on being Austin, and then, weeks later, ICE agents came here to round up our immigrant neighbors Gestapo-style, tearing apart families and putting fear into our entire community?

James Comey helped make that happen — all of it. By unduly influencing last November’s presidential election, he is directly responsible for the chain of events that followed.

And this is the guy you’re clamoring to have speak about how to uphold America’s national security? Pardon me while I barf in my SXSW swag bag.

Look. I realize my tone is harsh. Austin is a love-based city, a people-who-need-people city, and I know we like to keep it friendly, here. But I must drawn a line in the sand.

While I suspect that Mr. Comey feels bad about his role in the election, his professional breach remains so serious that it strikes me as being inappropriate to fold him into the sea of entertainment that is SXSW. I find it distressing that your team would wish to give credence to the stiff apologia he’s likely to lay down for your audience — his self-serving narrative about how stuck between a rock and a hard place he was last year when he released his fateful, days-before-the-election missive to the press. (If you’d like to learn more, Robby Mook can provide you with details.)

I do not expect that, upon reading this letter, you will send James Comey a quick text explaining that he’s uninvited to your festival. So, let me add that it is my ardent hope that Jeffrey Herbst, the CEO of Newseum who is slated to interview Mr. Comey on March 13th at the Hilton, will demand to know in a hard-hitting way why, in light of Comey’s act of manipulation that has put the security and status of the United States at risk, this man feels he deserves to have retained his position at the FBI.

Maybe some good will come of their Q&A session. But, whatever happens, I won’t be there to witness it. I hereby commit to writing Ruth Bader Ginsburg a letter at exactly the moment that James Comey is being interviewed in Austin. I’ll ask RBG about life, miscarriages of justice, and whether she has a dirty joke to share. I will secretly hope that she doesn’t, as I wish for Ms. Ginsburg to help guard me against the seeking of amusement to which I am prone.

Then again… maybe just one more bit of fun before I close this letter, SXSW: A Russian and James Comey walk into a bar. The Russian orders a vodka, but he drops his drink. The glass shatters. Comey waves a hand and says, “Don’t worry, nobody even needs to know that happened,” then runs to the back to grab something. What is it?

Respectfully submitted,

Beth Lebwohl

P.S. ɹǝʌooɥ ɐ = ɹǝʍsuɐ

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