This Week In Crazy: Put The Devil Back Into Hell
666 is not only the number of the Beast — it is also, it seems, the number of weeks this election cycle has been going on. Welcome to “This Week In Crazy,” The National Memo’s weekly update on the loony, bigoted, and hateful behavior of the increasingly unhinged right wing. Starting with number five:
5. Monica Cole
Well, I’m glad we have our priorities in order. Monica Cole, director of the American Family Association’s One Million Moms initiative, has her sights set on getting FOX’s new show Lucifer kicked off the air by organizing a boycott of companies that advertise on the network.
The new show, she writes, is “spiritually dangerous” because it “glorifies Satan as a caring, likable person in human flesh.” Cole complains that the show poses questions “meant to make people rethink assumptions about good and evil, including about God and Satan.”
Permit a digression into comic book geekdom for a moment. This TV series is based on the DC Comics’ title Lucifer, written by Mike Carey, but this interpretation of the character originally appeared in The Sandman, the groundbreaking comic penned by prolific scribe Neil Gaiman. Gaiman said he took cues for his Lucifer from John Milton’s Paradise Lost when he fashioned the character. So let’s all stop pretending that literary works using the Satan archetype to examine weighty issues of predestination, free will, and moral character is, like, Barack Obama’s fault, or something remotely new.
Gaiman issued a succinct rebuttal to the OMMs on his Tumblr, when the they got this boycott thing kicking eight months ago:
Ah. It seems like only yesterday (but it was 1991) that the “Concerned Mothers of America” announced that they were boycotting SANDMAN because it contained Lesbian, Gay, Bi and Trans characters. It was Wanda that upset them most: the idea of a Trans Woman in a comic book… They told us they were organizing a boycott of SANDMAN, which they would only stop if we wrote to the American Family Association and promised to reform.
I wonder if they noticed it didn’t work last time, either…
I should note here that organizing a boycott is totally cool — and hopefully trying to tell Olive Garden where to spend their marketing dollars will keep the OMMs distracted and occupied enough that they won’t do anything that might have an actual impact.
Next: Gordon Klingenschmitt and Lance Wallnau
4. Gordon Klingenschmitt and Lance Wallnau
It’s been a while since we’ve had Dr. Chaps on this page. Gordon Klingenschmitt, readers will recall, is the ringmaster behind the “Pray In Jesus’ Name” program, a pastor, and the Colorado lawmaker who said that a woman getting her child ripped out of her womb in an assault was God’s just punishment.
In an interview originally flagged by People for the American Way’s Right Wing Watch, Dr. Chaps hosted on his program Lance Wallnau, a proponent of Dominionist ideology which holds that Biblical literalists can and should control government and other social institutions.
Wallnau shared with Chaps a juicy tidbit he had received from former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (who last summer claimed to possess knowledge of a “secret memo” that the Justice Department was planning to legalize “12 new perversions,” so grain of salt and all that).
DeLay apparently revealed to Wallnau that leading left-wing political strategists had convened a secret meeting at which 100 very wealthy donors agreed to give a million dollars apiece to found and fund a series of progressive groups that would carry out their agenda while maintaining the appearance of independence.
Wallnau asserted that this secret effort, called “Thunder Road,” set out to identify the weaknesses in the conservative movement “and then created nine or 10 siege works, or engines, single-issue organizations that would be tasked to break down the wall and exploit the weakness.”
Here he listed the names of some of the groups tasked with bringing about this nefarious plot, including Media Matters, MoveOn, and Right Wing Watch.
Hat tip and video courtesy of the “Thunder Road” conspirators at Right Wing Watch
Next: Bill O’Reilly and Friends
3. Bill O’Reilly, Lis Wiehl, and Kimberly Guilfoyle
As you may recall, anti-abortion activists from the disingenuously named Center for Medical Progress (CMP) created a phony biomedical tissue procurement company, falsified their identities to set up surreptitiously filmed meetings, and then deceptively edited the footage they shot to make Planned Parenthood appear to be running a racket, harvesting and selling baby parts for profit.
The videos inspired a congressional probe and several state investigations (not to mention likely spurring a mentally disturbed man into killing three people at a Planned Parenthood clinic, citing “no more baby parts” as his motive). So far, the only malfeasance that’s been uncovered is that of the “journalists” themselves. A Harris County, Texas, grand jury handed down indictments of CMP founder Daniel Daleidan and an accomplice, one of which was for the felony of tampering with a governmental record.
Count on Bill O’Reilly to downplay the alleged wrongdoings and nakedly anti-women’s-rights agenda of the CMP, and praise them instead for their spunky ingenuity. Or as the no-spinster put it: The group “put together undercover stings designed to show that Planned Parenthood executives were marketing the body parts of dead fetuses.” (They were, indeed, “designed to show” it — in blatant contradiction of the facts — but O’Reilly neglects to mention that.)
Chatting with Fox News legal analyst Lis Wiehl and The Five co-host Kimbery Guilfoyle on the Factor Tuesday night, O’Reilly led a nice self-enclosed roundtable discussion, reinforcing the notion that the alleged crimes alleged (forging California drivers licenses) were entirely justified by the higher calling of “investigative journalism” to “uncover the practice that was happening,” as Guilfoyle put it. She also praised the group for its “fine work” and said the indictments represented a “witch hunt.”
According to Wiehl’s legal analysis, the charges were bogus since the fraudulent documents were not intended to commit fraud, but rather to “uncover illegal activity.” (That they didn’t actually uncover any seems not to matter terribly to her.)
The segment carelessly bandies the same falsehoods about Planned Parenthood, and the videos, that have been circulating since CMP released the tapes last summer. O’Reilly and his guests rally behind the anti-abortion crew on the dubious premise that they are “journalists.” In fairness, one could argue that what the group did was journalism — by Fox News standards.
Of course, they weren’t the only pundits on Fox News to praise the anti-abortion group…
2. Steve Doocy and Andrew Napolitano
On Tuesday’s edition of Fox & Friends, Steve Doocy and Andrew Napolitano gabbed a bit about how the indicted activists are no different from any other good gumshoe reporter. Regarding the crimes they are alleged to have committed, Doocy said: “Journalists use these techniques everyday.”
Once again —let’s be clear here — these are people who deliberately and deceptively edited their footage to convey untruths that would smear an organization that provides healthcare services for 2.7 million men and women in the U.S. every year.
This is really a head-scratcher. And I’m beginning to think that it is a political hit job on the people who did the investigating. So you have bonafide journalists assuming identities, pretending to be medical ethicists or people in the business of dealing with body parts going to Planned Parenthood saying, all these abortions, are you really selling the body parts? Well, yeah, we are. [emphasis, lots of it, mine]
No. No they’re not.
Hat tip and video courtesy of Media Matters — you can view the full transcript of their chat here.
1. Ann Coulter
In her syndicated column posted Wednesday, the #1 Donald Trump fangirl ticked off her reasons for remaining steadfast in her rabid devotion to The Donald. With typically breathless prose, and casual disregard for the facts of history as well as any modicum of decency, she sings an aria of ecstatic praise for the GOP frontrunner.
Here’s just one choice tidbit. Regarding Trump’s proposal to ban Muslims, Coulter writes:
After San Bernardino, Trump proposed a temporary ban on Muslim immigration, and the media reacted as if he’d flown two planes into the World Trade Center. He didn’t budge. It turned out that no one who is not a sanctimonious douche was offended.
In fact, quite a few people — prominent conservatives and Republicans included — who are not sanctimonious douches were offended. But this snippet is representative of Coulter’s conviction that Republican voters need to stop caring whether Trump actually stands for all the tenets of conservatism (“This is not an election about who can check off the most boxes on a conservative policy list,” she writes). She rips into other Republican candidates for being weak on immigration, at one point accusing Marco Rubio of having “nearly destroyed the nation with his amnesty bill.”
The pull quote above also exemplifies her logic throughout the piece, namely that if Trump gets away with something, that makes it perfectly okay and consistent with real American values. Since Trump is still in the race, and is the unquestioned frontrunner, playing everyone in the media like a fiddle, it stands to Coulter’s reasoning that he has been entirely justified in everything he has said and done.
She praises him for, among other things, bringing the offensive term “anchor baby” into the mainstream.
She praises the rambling, risible speech with which he kicked off his campaign last June as “the biggest one-address bombshell since Sen. Joe McCarthy waved the list of 57 (not 206) Communists.” McCarthy, she notes, “bought this country another half-century of survival, and that’s exactly what Trump is doing right now.” She means the speech in which Trump called Mexicans rapists, as Coulter recalls with delirious enthusiasm.
Since Trump has brought her brand of seething, senseless xenophobia to the fore, Coulter says “I’ve felt like I’m dreaming.”
“Everything we’ve been begging politicians to talk about for the past decade,” Coulter writes — presumably referring to herself and the White Supremacists getting a boost from Trump’s popularity— “Donald Trump has brought up with a roar.”
Coulter roars along too.
Image: Darwin Bell via Flickr
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