Wednesday, April 07, 2010


Rush Limbaugh alluded to this on Monday, but he didn't say much, and he was just acknowledging a story that was already going viral: a video recently surfaced of Michelle Obama, in a 2008 campaign appearance, saying:

Barack has led by example. When we took our trip to Africa and visited his home country in Kenya, we took a public HIV test....

The right-wing freakout, of course, comes from the fact that Michelle referred to Kenya as her husband's "home country." All over Wingnuttia, it's believed that Michelle inadvertently revealed the secret non-American birthplace of her husband.

Now we turn to Glenn Beck. Does Glenn Beck believe that cockamamie theory?

Oh, heavens no.

Beck believes a different cockamamie theory:

... If you have ‑‑ if you're playing to your base and you are trying to paint people as crazy, as tea partygoers, as hateful, as people you just can't be around and you are trying to rally your base around you, wouldn't one of the best things that you could do is go on the Birther thing? ... So if you want to make them into moon landing people, what's the most effective sign that you could carry at a tea party? I mean, if you are thinking like the Obama administration, he was born in Kenya. It's the most effective sign to paint you into a nut job that you can carry. Why is this tape being released now? They need you to be perceived as a nut job!

In other words: according to Glenn Beck, the evil Obama administration deliberately released a two-year-old video of Michelle Obama inadvertently suggesting that her husband wasn't born in America for the express purpose of trying to get teabaggers to rise to the bait -- as if they need any help -- so he can portray them as crazy conspiratorialists and not the fine, wonderful, rational people they really are.

Here's the video:

I warn you that this goes on for seventeen painful minutes, and it takes a good long while before Beck arrives at his conclusion. On his meandering way to that conclusion, he and his posse make some ungodly noises -- and I mean that literally.

We know that Beck came out of the shock-jock/morning-zoo genre of apolitical radio, and that's pretty much what he's giving us here -- but it's shock-jockery without the sex and smuttiness, and it's really pre-adolescent. Basically, Beck sounds like my friends and me when we were about nine years old. This isn't radio -- it's recess.

A thought occurs to me: Is that why Beck is so popular, especially among elderly female tea party types? Because he reminds them of their grade-school-age grandsons?

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