Drudge and Tucker Carlson Aren't the Only Clowns in the Circus: 8 Ridiculous Right-Wing Pseudo-Scandals About Obama
Photo Credit: Via Alex Seitz-Wald
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Working the right's Breitbartian outrage machine is really quite a racket. You dig up some bit of video or an old report which ordinary people would consider completely benign but that stirs the passions of those tuned in to your echo chamber. Then you insist that it's a huge scandal – bigger than Watergate! – and then, when the mainstream political press takes a look, yawns and dismisses it as a big pile of nothing, you get to jump up and down screaming about 'media bias!' Good work if you can find it.
Such was the case on Tuesday, when Matt Drudge spent the entire day hyping a blockbuster, game-changing video that was going to drop that evening. The world waited with baited breath, but what Tucker Carlson eventually released on his vanity site, The Daily Caller – and then hyped relentlessly on Sean Hannity's Fox show -- was just an old speech Barack Obama gave during the 2007 primary season. It was a good speech, but apparently Obama made the shocking claim – shocking! – that racial bias may have played some role in the federal government's pathetic response to Hurricane Katrina. Oh, and he also sounded kind of black (the speech was delivered at an African American church).
As Steve Benen notes, Obama gave the speech “as a presidential candidate, not at some secret fundraiser, but in front of a large audience at Hampton University. Reporters covered the speech, which wasn't seen as especially controversial, and all the major networks told the public about Obama's remarks at the time.”
Perhaps the highlight of the whole day of scandal fail was Tucker Carlson telling Sean Hannity, "People will say this has already been reported. Well, actually, it hasn't been reported. And I know because I reported on it the first time." Got that?
But Drudge, Carlson and Hannity aren't the only folks on the right to peddle ridiculous nontroversies, only to decry the media's supposed "liberal bias" when they fall flat. Here are a few of the sillier Obama “stories” the right-wing media has peddled in recent years.
As part of their “vetting” of the incumbent, the Breitbart crew unearthed a dark secret: in 1988, Obama attended a play about the radical organizer Saul Alinsky. Shocking, yes, but it gets worse. Afterwards, he joined in a panel discussion about Alinsky! Impeach? Obviously, impeach.
2. Obama Was For the Tea Party Before He Was Against It
If this one came from anywhere but the half-wits at Breitbart's Big Government, we'd be sure it was parody. But no, they think this is a legitimate 'gotcha!' (they even stuck “EXCLUSIVE” in their headline):
In 2009, President Barack Obama reportedlycalled members of the Tea Party "teabaggers." It turns out that our fourth greatest president,first in so many things, may have been the first "teabagger" himself, as seen in the 1997 photograph above. Yes, that really is Barack Obama wearing a regimental coat and carrying a tricorn hat in his hand.
The sum of this bombshell: in 1997, Barack Obama led a Fourth of July parade in Revolutionary garb.
3. Some Guy On The InterNet Suspects Photoshop
Dan Riehl, of Reihl World News, was eager to promote an obscure blogger's conspiracy theory -- based on nothing but the knowledge that black people can't be quarterbacks -- that this photograph was faked:
4. Obama Will Bailout Every Industry in America!!
Here's what Obama said during a campaign stop in Colorado in August, courtesy of Media Matters. It's boilerplate stuff: