40 Right-Wing Attacks and Conspiracy Theories Flung at Michelle Obama
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Conservative media figures have spent the past four years smearing, attacking, and hurling insults at Michelle Obama. Media Matters details the right-wing media's Michelle Obama derangement syndrome.
Right-Wing Media Attacked Michelle Obama As Unpatriotic
Wash. Times Attempted To Lip-Read First Lady's Whispering To Husband To Claim She Attacked American Flag. In an article which was later picked up by the right-wing blogosphere, Washington Timessenior editorial writer for foreign affairs James Robbins speculated that Mrs. Obama "appear[ed] to" whisper to her husband, "all this just for a flag" during the 9-11 Memorial ceremony in New York City. From the September 13, 2011, piece:
The internet was buzzing Tuesday night with video of First Lady Michelle Obama apparently showing extreme disrespect to the American flag at a ceremony in honor of the victims of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks. As police and firefighters fold the flag to the sound of marching bagpipers, a skeptical looking Mrs. Obama leans to her husband and appears to say, "all this just for a flag." She then purses her lips and shakes her head slightly as Mr. Obama nods. [ The Washington Times, 9/13/11, via Media Matters]
O'Reilly Didn't "Want To Go On A Lynching Party Against Michelle Obama" Unless "Evidence" Showed She Felt America "Is A Bad Country." After a listener of his radio show said that according to "a friend who had knowledge of her," Michelle Obama " 'is a very angry,' her word was 'militant woman,' " Fox News' Bill O'Reilly later stated: "I don't want to go on a lynching party against Michelle Obama unless there's evidence, hard facts, that say this is how the woman really feels. If that's how she really feels -- that America is a bad country or a flawed nation, whatever -- then that's legit. We'll track it down." [Westwood One, The Radio Factor with Bill O'Reilly, 2/19/08, via Media Matters]
Hannity Repeatedly Attempted To Paint Mrs. Obama As Unpatriotic By Distorting Her Senior Thesis. Fox News' Sean Hannity distorted a passage from Michelle Obama's 1985 Princeton senior thesis to claim that she holds "the belief that blacks must join in solidarity to combat a white oppressor" during several of his February 2008 shows. Hannity ripped the line from its proper context:
As discussed earlier, most respondents were attending Princeton during the 70's, at a time when the Black Power Movement was still influencing the attitudes of many Blacks.
It is possible that Black individuals either chose to or felt pressure to come together with other Blacks on campus because of the belief that Blacks must join in solidarity to combat a White oppressor. As the few blacks in a white environment it is understandable that respondents might have felt a need to look out for one another. [ Media Matters, 2/29/08]
Fox's Juan Williams Claimed That Michelle Obama's Instinct Is To "Blame America." Fox News contributor Juan Williams baselessly attacked Michelle Obama, claiming that "her instinct is to start with this 'blame America' ... stuff." Williams asserted that Michelle Obama's "instinct" is to "blame America" or be "the victim." Williams also said that she could be a "liabilit[y]" or an "albatross" for President Obama. [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 1/26/09]
Fox's Attacks On First Lady Were Not Missed By ABC News. During the February 21, 2010, edition of ABC's World News, correspondent Yunji de Nies noted that Fox "has repeatedly questioned the First Lady's patriotism." [ABC, World News, 2/21/10]
Limbaugh Claimed Michelle Obama "Is Not Proud Of Her Country Unless She's Getting What She Wants From It." From the October 1, 2009, edition of The Rush Limbaugh Show: