Given the penchant of many of my fellow Americans to believe any preposterous spoof, spin or allegation that pops up on their computer screens – I'm talking to you, Victoria Jackson! – I want to make it perfectly clear that every statement in the next paragraph is false, no matter how much you may want to believe it's true.
President Obama visited a mosque and hosted Muslim leaders at the
This is all mighty big news and it comes to us from National Report, the media organization that also says ISIS has discovered Saddam Hussein's hidden weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and that, in the aftermath of the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision, Walmart is creating a corporate religion.
Even if I hadn't tipped everyone off, readers capable of critical thinking would have discerned that National Report is a news satire website that just makes stuff up. But, if you are a right-wing knucklehead who desperately wants to believe every bad thing said about Obama – yes, that's you, Victoria Jackson – each one of these fabrications would resonate with authenticity.
I keep mentioning Victoria Jackson. She is the former member of the "Saturday Night Live" comedy troupe who usually portrayed a bubble-headed ditz. Her characters met the criteria of every dumb blonde joke ever told. Apparently, she is just as dumb in real life. After seeing the National Report's story about Obama hanging out with Muslims on July 4, she re-posted it on her website and sent out a message of alarm on Twitter.
Jackson was not joking around. She opened her post by writing, "Obama continues to slap America in the face and spit on her. I am outraged. If you're not, you are uninformed."
This champion of being "informed" is a fervent right-wing evangelical who posts lots of curious items, including allegations of a government plot to force people to move from the suburbs to the inner city, creaky old exposés about the evils of Freemasonry and "proof" that Obama is a Muslim who not-so-secretly aids America's enemies.
Jackson's fans immediately swallowed the Muslim Fourth of July story and went ballistic. "Of course," wrote one respondent. "He has to drop in on his terrorist 'bros' and say hello." Another wrote, "This story should surprise no one. Obama is a MUSLIM."
The comments went on like that until somebody posted a message pointing out the inconvenient reality that the story was satire. In response, one of Victoria's comrades wrote back, "Doesn't matter."
And it really does not seem to matter to the fantasy-mongers on the right. Even before Obama's first inauguration, paleoconservative bloggers were spreading the mendacity. Not only was the new president a Muslim, a socialist and a noncitizen, some religious sites made the case that he was very likely "the Lord of the Flies," a.k.a., the Antichrist. Lately, they've added the charge that he is secretly gay.