Several conservative media figures are in an awkward position this morning after Cliven Bundy, the Nevada rancher they've spent weeks lionizing and comparing to civil rights heroes, was quoted by The New York Times saying appalling things about "the Negro."
In a story published late Wednesday, the Times reported on a news conference Bundy held on Saturday, in which he "wondered," among other things, whether blacks were "better off as slaves":
"I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro," he said. Mr. Bundy recalled driving past a public-housing project in North Las Vegas, "and in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids -- and there is always at least a half a dozen people sitting on the porch -- they didn't have nothing to do. They didn't have nothing for their kids to do. They didn't have nothing for their young girls to do.
"And because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do?" he asked. "They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I've often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn't get no more freedom. They got less freedom."
Bundy's racism follows weeks of conservatives championing his cause and comparing his fight with the federal government to those of fugitive slaves, Rosa Parks, and Martin Luther King Jr.
Much of Mychal Massie's May 31 WorldNetDaily column is your typical right-wing rant that Michelle Obama is a "bitter harridan" who "has a deep contempt for white people in America." But Massie also tries to revive one of the more discredited myths about her:
A tape that was reportedly filmed in 2004 during the Rainbow/Push Coalition Conference at Jeremiah Wright's Trinity United Church has mysteriously disappeared from public view. The tape allegedly showed Michelle Obama hysterically ranting about "Whiteys" and savagely attacking Bill Clinton as responsible for African genocide. The wife of Louis Farrakhan was one of the honored guests.
Massie seems not to have considered the possibility that the purported tape has "mysteriously disappeared" because it never existed in the first place. Obama's campaign has stated that "No such tape exists. Michelle Obama has not spoken from the pulpit at Trinity and has not used that word." Even conservative blogger Michelle Malkin noted that the purported tape was being hyped by "buffoons" whose claims about it were constantly shifting.
If Massie is going to embrace the idea of something that has shown no evidence of ever existing, it's also likely that he's not going to be too concerned about getting actual, provable facts straight. Indeed, Massie falsely claims that Michelle Obama's Princeton thesis "was made unavailable until Nov. 5, 2008 (interestingly the day after the election)." In fact, Politico published it in February 2008 after receiving it from the Obama campaign -- which Massie should know since he cited the Politico article in his column.
Massie, however, appears to be too busy bashing Michelle Obama as a would-be "hybrid Leninist" and President Obama himself as having "genetic predisposition to embrace Leninism" to get his facts straight.
As attention turns to speculation that May 21, 2011, will be the Biblical day of rapture, Media Matters revisits a litany of fringe right-wing media figures who foretold that President Obama might just be the Antichrist - the latest in a long line of world leaders presaged as "the beast."
Immediately following President Obama's announcement that Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden had been killed in Pakistan, right-wing media took every opportunity to attack the president for his actions and remarks regarding the mission that led to bin Laden's death. Conservative media outlets and personalities have declared that the death of the world's most famous terrorist was just another opportunity for the president to "strut like [a] peacock" and make it all about himself.
WorldNetDaily founder and editor Joseph Farah reportedly wrote in a recent email exchange with Salon's Justin Elliott, "Admittedly, we publish some misinformation by columnists." Indeed, Farah is right: WorldNetDaily columnists -- and reporters -- have published numerous falsehoods and smears as well as some of the most absurd anti-Obama conspiracy theories and falsehoods.