RWW’s Paranoia-Rama takes a look at five of the week’s most absurd conspiracy theories from the Right.
It turns out that getting in bed with anti-government extremist Cliven Bundy wasn’t the best idea for conservative pundits hoping to stoke anti-Obama sentiment. Now, they may also want to consider ditching serial fabricator Todd Starnes and conspiracy theorist David Horowitz as well.
5. Todd Starnes Embarrasses Himself, Again
When Fox News pundit Todd Starnes started publicizing the story of a Florida girl who said that a teacher told her to stop praying during lunch because “it’s not good to pray,” we had our suspicions. After all, Starnes habitually publishes Christian-persecution horror stories that end up being completely fabricated.
As luck would have it, it turned out that the girl in question was the daughter of the man in charge of publicizing Starnes’ book on supposed cases of anti-Christian persecution, a fact which Starnes conveniently failed to disclose in his original report.
And this week, a school investigation found that “there is no way possible” that the person identified by the girl as the one who stopped her from praying “was anywhere near the lunchroom” when she said the event occurred.
“For what the school endured, this is very vindicating,” a school district spokesman told the Orlando Sentinel, citing the harassment the elementary school received following Starnes’ bogus reporting.
4. Matt Barber Doesn’t Understand How Satire Works
Since Religious Right activists still frequently cite a sarcastic 1987 essay called “Gay Revolutionary,” it was no surprise to see anti-gay activists seizing this month on William Saletan’s obviously satirical article titled “Purge the Bigots” about the firing of Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich.
The Iowa-based group The Family Leader, led by Bob Vander Plaats, pointed to Saletan’s column to warn that gays want Christians to be “eliminated,” illustrating their blog post with a photo of a concentration camp.
Liberty Counsel’s Matt Barber wrote an entire column denouncing Saletan …until he was forced to rewrite it after realizing that the Slate writer’s essay was a satire.
That’s okay, as sometimes we think Barber’s purportedly serious columns are so funny that we mistake them for satire.
3. Blame Obama For Kansas City Shooting!
Did President Obama inspire a former Ku Klux Klan leader to target Kansas City Jewish centers in a deadly shooting spree? In the deranged world of right-wing paranoia, the answer is an obvious yes. Appearing on Sean Hannity’s radio show, conservative luminary David Horowitz said the shooter was “encouraged by the American left” and argued that Obama has incited anti-Semitism.
“[A]fter the Second World War, there was a certain intolerance towards these types of attitudes, thanks to the American left, which goes right into the White House,” he added. “Obama is also responsible for this — attacking Israel.... And the truth is that Barack Obama is a menace to American security, and the sooner — and of course you can't impeach him because you can't impeach the first black president.”
Erik Rush for his part blamed Obama for fueling the country’s “anti-Semitic tone” and “fomenting racial discord between various races, between blacks and whites.”
2. New Birther Hysteria
While WorldNetDaily has been the source of many (debunked) birther conspiracy theories, the outlet has tried to cover up its birther past in order to make way for the Canadian-born Ted Cruz’s possible presidential bid. But in a last-ditch effort to save its dying cause, WND’s Jerome Corsi now claims that a British “self-proclaimed intelligence expert” has bombshell evidence that will redeem the birther movement.
“[Michael] Shrimpton contends to this day that the CIA collected DNA from then-Sen. Obama and a grandparent, establishing that Stanley Ann Dunham was not Obama’s biological mother,” Corsi reports. “Shrimpton says he was informed that Obama was born in Mombasa, Kenya, in about 1960, which means, he said, the information sits in British intelligence files, because that territory was under the British Empire at the time.”
In fact, Shrimpton says “Edward Snowden, as part of his negotiations to leave Hong Kong, agreed to deliver to Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow the classified U.S. military intelligence file on Obama’s DNA.”
While Shrimpton has yet to reveal to Corsi — or anyone else for that matter — this shocking evidence, he insists that this is part of a wider cover-up of the nefarious activities of a secret German intelligence agency that he says is behind a potential nuclear attack on the London Olympics, an international pedophile ring linked to Tony Blair and the missing Malaysia Airlines plane.
We cannot wait for Corsi’s next report on Shrimpton’s clearly credible testimony.
1. Cliven Bundy Meltdown
Tyranny! FEMA Camps! World War III!
What we’re getting at is that the far-right didn’t exactly have the most reasonable or balanced approach to Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s armed standoff with law enforcement.
But it seems that deciding to lionize and rally around a militant anti-government extremist wasn’t the best choice, as now Bundy is getting attention not for his “patriotism” but for his deranged racist rant.
“I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro,” he said. Mr. Bundy recalled driving past a public-housing project in North Las Vegas, “and in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids — and there is always at least a half a dozen people sitting on the porch — they didn’t have nothing to do. They didn’t have nothing for their kids to do. They didn’t have nothing for their young girls to do. “And because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do?” he asked.
“They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.”
Of course, Bundy and his ally Alex Jones are blaming the New York Times, which first reported on his statements, for distorting Bundy’s words by quoting him verbatim: