CPAC has always been a welcoming venue for the far-right fringe

CPAC has always been a welcoming venue for the far-right fringe

Blog ››› ››› JAMISON FOSER

Over at Newsbusters, Media Research Center director of media analysis Tim Graham's feelings are hurt by a reference to CPAC as having been a venue for the right-wing fringe:

CPAC made the front page of Friday's Washington Post, but reporter Philip Rucker wrongly insisted the convention was "once a venue for the right fringe" of the GOP, but now it hosts presidential aspirants.


When were the days of "right fringe"?

Gee, where would anybody get the idea that CPAC was "once a venue for the right fringe"? Oh, right:

Others at the conference chafed at the accusations of an anti-Clinton conspiracy, all the while promoting their own conspiracy theories.

Reed Irvine, the head of Accuracy in the Media, made jokes about the scandal and criticized the first lady's accusation. Then he accused the government of various coverups.

Irvine brought up the widely discredited theories that White House aide Vince Foster was murdered and that TWA Flight 800 was shot down by a missile. He pointed to "volumes of evidence" that, he said, have been ignored by the media and government investigators.

"How come the reporters didn't report this?" Irvine asked indignantly.

Oddly, his conspiracy theories have one thing in common with Hillary Clinton's accusations: They both fault independent counsel Kenneth Starr for his involvement in a conspiracy.

But in Irvine's theory, Starr was conspiring with, not against, Clinton by confirming that Foster's death was a suicide. [St. Petersburg Times, 1/31/98]

I don't know about you, but thinking Ken Starr was in league with Bill Clinton and that TWA 800 was shot down by a missile strikes me as pretty fringe-y. If Tim Graham disagrees, that tells us more about him than about Philip Rucker.

(By the way, CPAC hasn't stopped being a venue for the fringe -- it's just that the conservative movement is more and more comfortable directly associating with its nuttier elements.)

Tim Graham
CPAC 2010
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