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Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Welcome to “This Week In Crazy,”  The National Memo’s weekly update on the wildest attacks, conspiracy theories, and other loony behavior from the increasingly unhinged right wing. Starting with number five:

5. Fox News

As George Zimmerman’s second-degree murder trial for the killing of Trayvon Martin begins, Fox News has ramped up its efforts to defend the former neighborhood watch guard. To put it mildly, it’s not going well.

“I know that George Zimmerman’s attorney will prove that he has no criminal background, he’s not an aggressive guy,” Fox News host Jamie Colby said on Monday. “That he’s a gentle, kind, caring soul who was minding the neighborhood.” But how will they prove that Zimmerman was acting in self-defense?

“I know everybody keeps sarcastically saying about the Skittles,” Burns noted, referring to the fact that Martin was carrying iced tea and skittles. “You could probably kill somebody with Skittles.”

“It’s very compelling,” Colby agreed. “Only a kid who hadn’t had dental work could eat Skittles.”

“The thing is, yeah, you’re spinning a lot of hypotheticals,” Burns later said. “And you could break a bottle of iced tea, right, with the jagged edge, and you could kill somebody with it.” Case closed!

If this is the best that Zimmerman’s actual lawyers can come up with, then he is about to go away for a long, long time.

4. Scottie Hughes


Image courtesy of the Christian Post

Scottie Hughes, an op-ed contributor for the Christian Post, has the perfect solution for fixing the IRS’ broken institutions: appoint Michele Bachmann to run the organization.

“The IRS has wronged Conservatives,” Hughes writes, apparently unaware that not a single Tea Party organization was denied tax-exempt status. “The only way to restore a semblance of trust in the institution is to appoint someone that can be counted on to clean house and keep the rogue institution from overstepping its bounds again.”

“That person? Michele Bachmann,” Hughes writes.

“Conservatives, and the taxpayers that they fight for, are owed more for what they are forced to contribute,” she continues, disregarding the fact that red states almost universally contribute far less in federal taxes than they receive in per capita benefits. “Why not a principled leader with an LLM degree in tax law from William & Mary who worked five years in the IRS as a lawyer?”

Aside from the fact that she’s a certifiable crazy person who believes that the IRS is secretly a political hit squad? No reason at all…

3. Pat Robertson

700 Club host Pat Robertson, who is certainly no stranger to This Week In Crazy, took a break from gushing over “tremendous” Tim Tebow’s muscles Monday to warn America about a grave threat: Dungeons and Dragons.

According to Robertson, the tragedy of teen suicide can be explained by three pressures: bulimia, anorexia, and the evil game:

Oddly enough, this is not the first time that Robertson has targeted the fantasy role-playing game. As Right Wing Watch points out, back in April Robertson called the game “demonic,” part of the “occult,” and warned that it has “literally destroyed people’s lives.”

2. Steve Stockman

Steve Stockman portrait

Genuinely crazy Representative Steve Stockman (R-TX) had quite a busy week. The Texas congressman kicked things off in an interview with right-wing radio host Steve Deace, in which he called President Obama’s re-election a “scam,” and stated that “you had 120 percent people voting in the primary in just patriotic precincts.[sic]”

With that bit of confusing, conspiracy-laden syntax out of the way, Stockman moved on to Alex Jones’ insane conspiracy show, where he told guest host Mike Adams (who serves as a “health ranger” in his day job) that Texas “is becoming the last bastion” of freedom in the United States.

“New Hampshire used to be that way but it seemed like everybody from Massachusetts moved there and they loved the freedom in New Hampshire and they immediately voted in people who hated freedom,” he added, presumably with apologies to noted Alex Jones fan Stella Tremblay.

Finally, Stockman wrapped things up by raffling off a Bushmaster AR-15 rifle — just like the kind that IRS agents are using to blow away your liberty!

All in all, it was a pretty standard week for the congressman  Mother Jones’ Tim Murphy perfectly described as “the closest his state ever came to electing a gun.”

1. Glenn Beck

It wouldn’t be This Week In Crazy without conservative carnival barker Glenn Beck, who over the past seven days has provided several crazy moments that could have qualified for the list. But they all pale in comparison to his Tuesday afternoon rant about Moloch-worship.

Beck recently released a new novel, The Eye Of Moloch, in which an evil PR firm attempts to destroy America by pinning a series of shootings on the heroic Founding Fathers-worshipping group, the Founders’ Keepers. (Happily, the good folks at Media Matters have read and analyzed Beck’s literary dumpster fire so you don’t have to.)

In a clumsy piece of cross-promotion, Beck devoted much of his Tuesday radio show to wild theories about how “whether we know it or not,” our society is fanatically worshipping the pagan gods Moloch and Baal.

You may not be shocked to learn that it all traces back to Occupy Wall Street. No word yet on how Cass Sunstein fits in to the plot.

Actor as Donald Trump in Russia Today video ad

Screenshot from RT's 'Trump is here to make RT Great Again'

Russia Today, the network known in this country as RT, has produced a new "deep fake" video that portrays Donald Trump in post-presidential mode as an anchor for the Kremlin outlet. Using snippets of Trump's own voice and an actor in an outlandish blond wig, the ad suggests broadly that the US president is indeed a wholly owned puppet of Vladimir Putin– as he has so often given us reason to suspect.

"They're very nice. I make a lot of money with them," says the actor in Trump's own voice. "They pay me millions and hundreds of millions."

But when American journalists described the video as "disturbing," RT retorted that their aim wasn't to mock Trump, but his critics and every American who objects to the Russian manipulations that helped bring him to power.

As an ad for RT the video is amusing, but the network's description of it is just another lie. Putin's propagandists are again trolling Trump and America, as they've done many times over the past few years –- and this should be taken as a warning of what they're doing as Election Day approaches.

The Lincoln Project aptly observed that the Russians "said the quiet part out loud" this time, (Which is a bad habit they share with Trump.)