I don't know Martin Eisenstadt. I'd never heard of him until I read this article in the NY Times. I had no idea that he was the source of the rumor that Sarah Palin thot Africa was a continent (although, to be perfectly fair, I'm still not absolutely sure that he was the source of that rumor).
And I will never meet Martin Eisenstadt. At least not the Martin Eisenstadt of the Harding Institute for Freedom and Democracy. Of this I can be sure. Absolutely, 100% positive of that. How can I be so certain?
Because he doesn't exist. Apparently Martin Eisenstadt was a hoax, a long-term con job and joke, complete with YouTube videos. Brilliant. So I guess I was wrong when I wrote that you couldn't make up the rumor about Sarah Palin and Africa. Apparently not only can you make it up, someone did. However, I have not the slightest shred of sympathy for Sarah Palin as the victim of a rumor exaggerating her ignorance of geography. If she hadn't made a fool of herself on national television multiple times, no one would have taken such a rumor seriously for half a second. The fact that there were serious questions about her level of intellectual engagement on policy topics opened up the narrative for someone to float that rumor and get away with it. So, no sympathy.
I don't know Martin Eisenstadt. But damn would I love to meet him.