RWW’s Paranoia-Rama takes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right.
While there may not be much time left for us here in America before a combination of death panels and Sharia law overtake the nation, we still will rise up to defend the constitutional rights of the Twitter spambots that Obama seeks to crush!
5) Breitbart Uncovers The Truth The Liberal Media Is Hiding
The right-wing outlet Breitbart News went on a mission this week to uncover the dirt on attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch that the biased left-wing mainstream media has been hiding. Breitbart’s Warner Todd Huston discovered that Lynch had served as “a member of Bill Clinton’s defense team during the 1992 Whitewater corruption probe.”
Breitbart Senior Editor-at-Large Joel Pollak commented that Huston’s story “ought to provide additional fodder for Republicans during Lynch's confirmation hearings,” saying that the nomination was a reward “for her political loyalty.”
That is, it might have been if it they had been talking about the same Loretta Lynch. As Timothy Johnson of Media Matters reported, the Loretta Lynch profiled by Breitbart is not the same Loretta Lynch who President Obama nominated to be attorney general. Johnson notes that the “[c]onservative website American Thinker made the same mistake, misidentifying the 'Whitewater' Lynch as a graduate of Harvard — the school attended by nominee Lynch.”
Rather than actually correct the mistake, Breitbart kept the title and entire article up while simply adding, “Correction: The Loretta Lynch identified earlier as the Whitewater attorney was, in fact, a different attorney.”
Breitbart eventually removed Huston’s story, but such brazen misinformation from the conservative site is nothing new.
4) Obama Administration Suppressing The Free Speech Rights Of Spambots
Five years ago, many conservative politicians falsely claimed that the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act repealed the right to freedom of speech. This year, many in the GOP stoked similarly bogus fears to attack a constitutional amendment that would overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling.
Now, one Republican congressman is accusing the administration of advocating for the “suppression of online political speech” by awarding a National Science Foundation grant to the website Truthy, a project of researchers affiliated with Indiana University which studies “how popular sentiment, user influence, attention, social network structure, and other factors affect the manner in which information is disseminated.”
Truthy’s reports include titles such as “Competition among memes in a world with limited attention” and “Political Polarization on Twitter,” but, as we all know, studies on how information disseminates on social media are probably just a way to censor conservatives!
In one study, Truthy discovered that a Twitter campaign targeting a Democratic senator was using spambots, or fake accounts, which led Twitter to terminate the phony profiles.
Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, apparently believes this is a sign of political suppression, claiming in his letter [PDF] to the National Science Foundation that Truthy is “effectively muzzling the political free speech” of targeted conservatives on social media.
Let Wonkette break it down: “Truthy developed algorithms to detect spambots, they worked, and Twitter nuked the accounts for violation of their terms of service. It’s nice to know that Rep. Smith is so concerned about the precious free speech rights of spambots.”
3) Marriage Conspiracy In The Courts
The Coalition for the Protection of Marriage suggested this week that there is a conspiracy afoot to place is to place the same two Democratic-nominated judges on Ninth Circuit Court panels hearing cases involving marriage equality, thus rigging the panels in favor of gay rights advocates. The California group unveiled a new website insisting that there is a “disturbing” and “strong appearance that the Ninth Circuit did not follow its neutral, impartial assignment process in assigning” marriage cases.
The anti-gay group, however, seemed to ignore, as one political science professor told the New York Times, that “the accused judges voted against the lesbian and gay litigants in a full third of the cases deemed suspicious by the other side.”
In addition, the Times reports, judges are assigned at random to panels “long before particular cases are assigned to panels,” and many marriage cases were put on a “fast track” which were “assigned to the available panel with the most senior presiding judge,” who in this case happened to be a Carter appointee.
But the Coalition for the Protection of Marriage isn’t alone in pressing its flimsy conspiracy theory. Mark Joseph Stern points out that “Ed Whelan—a former clerk for Justice Antonin Scalia—penned a strange post at the National Review in October in which he ‘wonder[ed] whether nefarious hijinks in the Ninth Circuit clerk’s office in San Francisco’ accounted for the judge selection in the gay marriage case.”
2) RIP Dorothy Zborknak
Meet the first victim of the Obamacare Death Panels: Dorothy Zborknak.
Does Ms. Zborknak exist? No, just on Golden Girls.
Do death panels exist? Also no.
While the news of the fictional character’s Obamacare-manded death has apparently sparked anger on fringe outlets, more popular conservative sites like Breitbart are still intent on publishing ridiculous articles like, “The Death Panels Are Coming.”
1) Sharia By 2020
Kamal Saleem, the Religious Right activist who pretends to be a former terrorist, is pretty sure that the United States is secretly controlled by an Islamic shadow government led by the Obama family’s radical Muslim babysitter.
While speaking with Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council this week, Saleem also brought us the stunning news that Sweden is now under the thumb of Islamists, and that the same Islamist rise to power “is happening here in the United States.”
Saleem told Perkins that Islamic control of America will be complete by 2020.