Green Room

Watch It, Cons

posted at 4:54 pm on October 23, 2009 by

You can go ahead and think the worst, on strong evidence, about the President, the Lunatic Liberal Left, and Maureen Dowd, but please try not to make a fool of yourself while you’re at it.

Michael Ledeen, and, via Ledeen, Rush Limbaugh, as well as assorted bloggers, were taken in by an apparent hoax today regarding the young Obama’s “missing thesis.” Credible reporting has the subject of that thesis being US-Soviet relations and nuclear arms, but Ledeen somehow ran across a late August post by Brian Lancaster at the “Jumping in Pools” blog claiming that the thesis instead focused on the US Constitution as a document that was “inherently flawed” in its failure to address economic democracy. The source was supposedly Joe Klein, who had supposedly been given privileged access to the thesis. Klein has firmly denied the story.

Ledeen has since confessed that he was “taken in.” Lancaster’s failure to link to any supporting evidence – such as the post he claimed to be quoting – should have been a tip-off.

Meanwhile, over at PowerLine, Scott Johnson has gotten himself annoyed enough with use of the obscene “tea-bagger” epithet to describe Tea Party protesters, that he’s gone searching for other offenses as well. In the second of two (so far) posts on “A dirty mainstream,” he moves from teabagging investigations to a Maureen Dowd column (the one I nominated last week for the eternal Hall of Lame), and he pieces together an, in a word, ridiculous case that the title of the column, “A Daisy Chain of Cheneys,”amounts to a crude reference to another sexual practice.

Frankly, I don’t think the charge is worth much discussion: “Daisy chain” is (or was, or should be) a perfectly respectable expression, with a sexual connotation only in the minds of those looking for sexual connotations wherever they can find them (i.e., everywhere).

There’s also a lot of discussion on “teabagging” over at The Corner today – an embarrassment to both Jay Nordlinger and Rich Lowry, in my opinion.  It’s the kind of thing that teenage boys brag and snicker about, not something for polite or would-be respectable discussion – and, no, I don’t care and don’t think it matters whether or not the Tea Party protesters attempt to “own” the intended insult.

Obama is ideologically suspect. He has spent much of his life and career rubbing elbows with radicals, and his earliest political forays were conducted in association with Democratic Socialists and fellow travelers (ACORN, the New Party, et al). That all might have made the thesis hoax more plausible, but it doesn’t excuse leaping at a dated and amateurish blog post to gild the leftwing lily. Instead, like Birtherism and Autobiography Trutherism, such exercises make any discussion of the President’s ideological background, connections, and orientation just a little more suspect, a little easier to laugh off and dismiss.

And the whole “teabagger” affair is a standing embarrassment for the likes of Anderson Cooper, Rachel Maddow, and Janeane Garofalo, as well as for (even) lesser lights on the left. Their intention to ridicule instead underlines just how narrow and degraded their own experiences, social circles, and values are, and every smirk and chortle etches the underline deeper. The NYT and Maureen Dowd have embarrassed themselves over and over again. What they clearly intend to be understood in their editorial content provides ample material to critics – no need to stretch for an indictment – or play Beavis-the-blogger looking for something “dirty.”

cross-posted at Zombie Contentions

Recently in the Green Room:

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Good post, and props to Abby Adams for catching the hoax in the headline thread this morning.

BadgerHawk on October 23, 2009 at 5:06 PM

And apparently Rush said that the story wasn’t credible later on in his show (though I didn’t hear exactly how he phrased it).

BadgerHawk on October 23, 2009 at 5:08 PM

Well, I happened to hear Rush earlier this morning – my usual “10 minutes of Rush after walking the dogs” break – and he was all over this story, completely taken in – and asking Snerdly or whomever to look up the title of Michael Ledeen’s latest book so he could give it a plug…

CK MacLeod on October 23, 2009 at 5:13 PM

Kind of funny that he would get taken in by fake quotes so quickly after fake quotes about him were spread so maliciously. Probably why he made sure to correct the record before the end of his show today.

BadgerHawk on October 23, 2009 at 5:17 PM

BadgerHawk on October 23, 2009 at 5:17 PM

That is ironic, I agree – and unfortunate – though, in Rush’s defense, calling Barack Obama’s respect for the Constitution into question on the basis of fabricated evidence may fall under “fake but accurate.”

CK MacLeod on October 23, 2009 at 5:26 PM

Rush confessed, twice, that the story was not true, and retracted. Then in his usual satirical way, he said the same thing those news outlets said about the phony quotes attributed to him, that even though the quotes were made up, he still knows that Obama thinks that way. He then played Obama’s 2001 interview with public radio about how he viewed the shortcomings of the SCOTUS and how the Constitution is primarily a document of negative rights. Important to note, Rush retracted and corrected his story within minutes of finding out it was not true.

Weight of Glory on October 23, 2009 at 6:00 PM

though, in Rush’s defense, calling Barack Obama’s respect for the Constitution into question on the basis of fabricated evidence may fall under “fake but accurate.”

CK MacLeod on October 23, 2009 at 5:26 PM

I’d say there’s plenty of pre-standing evidence to support that claim, without having to fake anything.

Rush retracted and corrected his story within minutes of finding out it was not true.

Weight of Glory on October 23, 2009 at 6:00 PM

Which was the entirely correct thing to do. The timing, coming so shortly after the fake Rush quotes spread like wildfire, makes me a wee bit curious if something else was going on here.

BadgerHawk on October 23, 2009 at 6:35 PM

Paybacks can be hell. I can believe the story even tho it wasn’t sourced or whatever. Sounded just like something the Won would say.

Kissmygrits on October 23, 2009 at 8:17 PM

Coincidentally, I sent an email to Glenn Beck earlier warning him that the WH will probably feed him a false “sensational” story to discredit him.

Daggett on October 23, 2009 at 10:03 PM

A well crafted hoax will play upon preconceived ideas. Everyone knows that Obama’s school records and writings exist somewhere. It would automatically become HUGE news if actual, authenticated portions of this came out — it would give added glimpses into what makes this dude tick.

You have to wonder what the hell will be in the Obama Presidential Library……a statue?

GnuBreed on October 24, 2009 at 6:12 AM

Daggett,
I think Glenn is way to smart to fall for a false story. He has said numerous times he has people check and re-check each thing he says. I just pray he won’t be discredited and fall for something. The wh is all over this man and Fox and would love to make him look like an idiot.
L

letget on October 24, 2009 at 2:43 PM

Good stuff here. One of the most important things we can do is police our own inaccuracies.

Black Yoshi on October 24, 2009 at 8:24 PM

There are dozens of You Tube Videos floating around with Obama, in his own words pissing and moaning because the Constitution wasn’t written by Karl Marx!

While a certain document may be wrong, this is one of those times that one can actually say “fake, but accurate” and be correct!

OBAMA: Constitution ‘reflected fundamental flaw of this country that continues to this day’ 2001 Chicago Public Radio Interview He discusses redistributing wealth:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iivL4c_3pck

Glenn Beck manages to play juicy quotes from this almost every day on Fox, and as of yet, no one is calling him on the Bat Phone to deny it.

gary4205 on October 25, 2009 at 1:45 AM

And what about that audio from the IPR (Illinois Public Radio) interview? Clearly, Obama doesn’t like the fact that the constitution is a “restrictive document of negative rights,” and it’s not a slander to say so, cause it’s TRUE!

gryphon202 on October 25, 2009 at 1:19 PM