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The 10 Most Ridiculous Right-Wing Outrages of 2011

The right seems to offer up a new trumped-up pseudo-scandal every week. Here are ten of our favorites from the year past.

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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 stop the Fox News crew from playing up the story for all it was worth.

9. A Nontroversy That Will Never Die: The New Black Panthers

The “New Black Panther Party” is a fringe group of racist black nationalists who number in the dozens nationwide, and many on the right are absolutely obsessed with them. Among the many heinous crimes the hate-filled political theater troupe hasn’t committed, the Panthers are most notorious for what the right considers to be a serious case of voter intimidation. It went down when a single member stood outside a Philadelphia polling place in 2008 with a nightstick. (A second member of the group was present as well, but it turned out he was a registered poll watcher.)

The problem with the story is that no voters reported being intimidated. The cops escorted the guy away from the polling place and the DOJ sued three members of the group, but it didn’t file criminal charges against the organization or send any of its members to Gitmo. This has outraged many right-wingers, who accused Obama's Justice Department of refusing to prosecute the Panthers because it's staffed by Kenyan socialists. (Or, as Rush Limbaugh put it, because Attorney General Eric Holder “doesn't believe” in pursuing crimes committed by African Americans against Real Americans®.)

A non-story, except it has everything a Fox News segment producer could want. As Media Matters noted, Murdoch’s crew “hyped the manufactured scandal more than 100 times” during just one six-week period last summer. 

Perhaps you're wondering why this tale from the 2008 election is included in a list of contrived outrages from 2011. Well, earlier this year, the Department of Justice released the results of its internal investigation, which unsurprisingly found that the case hadn't been pursued because there was no case to pursue.

And this gave the wingnuts an excuse to revive the oft-debunked narrative! As Media Matters noted, “there is little hope that the right-wing bitter-enders who have been pushing this story will accept the conclusions of OPR. Last week, the foremost proponents of the New Black Panthers conspiracy, J. Christian Adams and Hans Von Spakovsky, began claiming that the 'fix is in' because Adams' sources at DOJ had said that [its investigation] would find no wrongdoing on the part of the attorneys who overruled Adams and his trial team.”

10. The Faux-Controversy of the Year: Solyndra

We will no doubt hear about Solyndra for years to come. 

Because he is a genuine moron who can't even keep his right-wing talking-points straight, Rick Perry described it thusly:

“I’m for pulling all of those tax credits, or subsidies or however you refer to them out of the energy industry,” Perry said….

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