Just 5 of The Most Anti-American Acts Committed by Conservative Republicans in 2011
Call them nontroversies, poutrages or pseudo-scandals. Since the 2008 elections, the conservative media have peddled a seemingly endless series of trumped-up non-stories, pitched as scandals rivaling Watergate, to their loyal rubes in an attempt to paint liberals, the media, scientists, Democrats and Obama – and other enemies of the Wingnut State – as perfidious, dishonest or downright treasonous.
A few of them have borne some remote resemblance to reality, but many of their pseudo-scandals featured no more substance than the bizarre right-wing emails your crazy uncle credulously forwards around to friends and family. Yet, with a dedicated conservative media headed by Fox News, many have been mainstreamed on the right, with some spurring calls for investigation by the GOP-led House. Those calls, in turn, then become stories for Fox News and other conservative outlets -- it's a feedback loop full of crazy.
2. And They're Taking Over the Conservative Movement
Staying on the theme, we get to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), the biggest wingnut gab-fest of the year. This year was special because, according to the fever swamps, we learned that CPAC's organizers were in the bag not only for Islamic extremists – they're everywhere, after all – but also the gays, because a gay Republican group called GOProud was allowed to attend this year's shindig.
Roy Edroso braved the wingnut blogs to bring us the tale of how jihadists infiltrated this important event.
The accusations of jihad-friendliness were spurred by the presence at CPAC of Arab Indian-American former Bush Administration official Suhail Khan, whom some rightbloggers claim is a member of the militant Muslim Brotherhood -- a charge Khan has denied, which denial Frank Gaffney dismisses as "a bit of taqiyya (lying for the faith)."
Khan took part in a CPAC panel called "The Importance of Faith and Religious Liberty." "Islamic Rights Promoted At CPAC," Judicial Watch warned the nation. "Muslim Brotherhood supporters and sympathizers promoted Islamic tolerance."'
Two ardent anti-Muslim rightbloggers with their own CPAC panels were outraged. Pam Geller said the whole event had been "corrupted and compromised by the Muslim Brotherhood... look at the panels, they're either clueless or complicit." David Horowitz of NewsRealBlog told his CPAC auditors Khan was "sponsored by his longtime patron Grover Norquist," implying the former Bush official was in on the whole dirty Islamicist deal.
A flyer denouncing "Grover Khan" was circulated at CPAC; suggesting this two-headed beast was trying to "boil the Conservative frog slowly" so "he'll stay in the pot till he's cooked."
In 2009, the Department of Justice sponsored a conference in a swanky Washington DC hotel that charged $14.29 per attendee for a breakfast of fresh fruit, coffee and muffins, and “rental fees for the workshop space and conference rooms." That's not exactly an exorbitant fee, but in September, when the DOJ's inspector general issued a report – later corrected – suggesting that the department had paid $16 per muffin, “Muffin-gate” was born, a symbol of wasteful government spending that the right latched onto like … well, like a right-winger latches onto a faux scandal involving the Obama administration.
In what may be the most “meta” conspiracy theory of the year, Fox's Steve Doocey suggested that the only reason the network's endless parade of half-cooked scandals never caught on was the mainstream media's hopeless liberal bias. But when Huffington Post's Sam Stein looked at the media's coverage of Muffin-gate, he found that of 223 news stories that mentioned the “$16 muffins” from September 20-28, only 37 attempted to correct the record.
4. Mussolini Also Leaned on Ford
In 2011, Ford ran an ad featuring a customer saying that he'd chosen not to buy a car from one of the company's bailed-out Detroit competitors because, “I was going to buy from a manufacturer that’s standing on their own: win, lose, or draw.” The company planned on airing the ad for four weeks, and did just that – not much of a story.
But then a Detroit News opinion columnist, citing no sources whatsoever, wrote that, “Ford pulled the ad after individuals inside the White House questioned whether the copy was publicly denigrating the controversial bailout policy.” Ford denied the charge, repeatedly, but as you might imagine, a right-wing meme that will probably be with us forever was born.
7. Zombie ACORN Lives (And It's Running Occupy Wall Street)
Matthew Vadum, author of Subversion, Inc.: How Obama's ACORN Red Shirts are Still Terrorizing and Ripping Off American Taxpayers, can't seem to accept a great conservative victory. Years after the right, using some wildly dishonest selective editing, destroyed ACORN, Vadum insists that the community group is still alive and well and draining federal funds.
But leave it to Fox to combine ACORN-phobia with its endless attempts to smear the Occupy Wall Street movement. In a series of “reports,” Fox's Jana Winter, relying on unnamed “inside sources,” insisted that ACORN – which she claimed has been reincarnated as New York Communities for Change (NYCC) -- had been behind the whole thing from the start.
She detailed how they'd planned it out for months before the first occupation began and shredded documents to cover up their role. The interesting thing, NYCC organizers say, is that while there is often some kernel of truth behind such myths, in this case the whole story was completely false, from beginning to end.
But that didn't prevent Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., from calling for a congressional investigation.
Dave Weigel, who accused Fox of “trying to pass on a stupid story to some rubes,” offers more detail here.
8. Planned Parenthood Subsidizes its Abortion Mills with Sex Trafficking!
Less successful than right-wing provocateur James O'Keefe's takedown of ACORN was an attempt by his ertswhile protege, Lila Rose, to catch Planned Parenthood in a similarly nefarious sting.
Here's what happened: right-wingers visited Planned Parenthood offices in 11 states, said they were running a sex-trafficking ring, complete with undocumented immigrants (icing on the cake), and asked about getting health-care services for their prostitutes.
Planned Parenthood immediately informed federal authorities, and that should have been the end of the story – a failed sting.
But that's just reality, which has a well-known liberal bias. The fact that the organization immediately dropped a dime on the “sex trafficking ring” didn't phase the Fox News crew from playing up the story for all it was worth.
Rememberthe movie LiarLiar with Jim Carrey where he was forced to tell the truth. If conservative Republicans ever came under such a spell....we'd have something between silence and lots of mumbling. Modern conservationism is all about singing the praises of slack-jawed imbecility and shrill urban myths. They can't stop and have an honest debate because than the public would realize the gift conservatives keep giving the Untied States of America is bullsh*t wrapped in red, white and blue and than having the nerve to mumble something about Jesus. One has to wonder if any conservative has ever read the Sermon of the Mount.