How Fringe Media Helped Turn A Conspiracy-Loving SNL Star Into A Politician
Blog ››› ››› OLIVER WILLIS & BEN DIMIERO
(Image from Jackson's 2010 video, "There's a Communist Living in the White House)
When former Saturday Night Live cast member Victoria Jackson announced this week that she will be seeking political office in Tennessee, it capped perhaps the most bizarre recent career in fringe conservative media.
After appearing on SNL in the 80's, Jackson had largely faded from public view until she reshaped herself in recent years as a tea party activist and conservative bomb-thrower. Her proclamations that Obama is definitely a communist and possibly the Antichrist sparked something of a second career, leading to a stint as a columnist for conspiracy website WND, a web-TV series, occasional Fox News interviews, and regular appearances at conservative and tea party events.
This week, Jackson "filed to run as an independent candidate for a seat on a county commission outside Nashville, Tenn."
During an interview promoting her book on Fox News last year, Jackson told Bill O'Reilly that while she had always been a Christian, she was apolitical until 2007 when she discovered an "underground conservative group of people" in Los Angeles that "educated" her about how a communist named Barack Obama was running for president. A Miami New Times profile of Jackson from 2012 tracing her journey from SNL to the tea party explains that while she refuses to name the "secret organization" that helped awaken her political side, she "is clearly talking about Friends of Abe," a group of conservative celebrities whose members reportedly include Jon Voight, Kelsey Grammer, Pat Boone, and Gary Sinise.
After this political awakening, Jackson took to political blogging, making headlines in 2008 for writing on her website that Obama "bears traits that resemble the anti-Christ" and asserting that it was important to "ask if Barack Hussein Obama could be a Muslim terrorist sympathizer or a Marxist mole." Despite her extremism and nonsensical political views, she was nonetheless quickly absorbed into the conservative movement, appearing in an October 2008 National Republican Senatorial Committee ad attacking her former SNL colleague Al Franken.
Jackson's fledgling conservatism was apparently heavily influenced by Fox News and its fever swamp coverage of Obama's first term.
During a 2009 Hannity appearance -- which followed her presence at the first Los Angeles tea party rally, where she reportedly carried a sign with the slogan "We don't want no socialism" -- Jackson once again called Obama a communist, told Hannity, "I'm your biggest fan," and broke into cheer saying, "Fox News, yay! ... The only one with the truth. Yay!"
Thanks in part to promotion from conservative sites like WND, a satirical 2010 video Jackson made called "There's A Communist Living in the White House" garnered several hundred thousand views. In the song, she cites then-Fox host Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Mike Huckabee, and tea partiers as the only people that "understand."
Jackson also got involved with the Tea Party Express -- a shady faux-grassroots organization that formed in 2009 and was given a huge publicity boost by Fox News -- in 2010. According to the organization's website, she appeared at rallies around the country alongside people like then-GOP senate candidate Sharron Angle and Joe "the Plumber" Wurzelbacher. In March 2010, Jackson appeared at a tea party rally in Nevada to "Defeat Harry Reid" that also featured Sarah Palin. Jackson was billed as one of an "All-Star Cast of Conservative Leaders."
In March 2010, Jackson appeared on Fox & Friends to promote her role with the Tea Party Express. After Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy disagreed with Jackson's assertion that Obama is "a communist," Jackson explained that Glenn Beck "taught me well. Progressive is the new word for communist."
Jackson's heavy involvement in the early days of the tea party and her incendiary political commentary led to opportunities for her in fringe conservative media (in addition to the Fox News appearances). Following the success of Jackson's "There's a Communist Living in the White House" video and her numerous appearances as part of Tea Party Express, WND hired Jackson as a columnist in late 2010.
She would later be hired in 2011 as part of a conservative-slanted View knockoff called Politichicks, after, according to Miami New Times, she "hit it off immediately" with the founder of conservative website Patriot Update on the "Tea Party Cruise for Liberty." (Jackson left that show in 2012 for her own spin-off web series.)
Jackson's political commentary has been marked by absurd accusations against President Obama (including that he may dispatch a private army to kill her and other Christians); making anti-gay, anti-Muslim, and anti-Mormon comments; and trafficking in strange conspiracy theories about the Illuminati.
And now she's running for office.
Some more lowlights from Jackson's time as a conservative commentator are below.
Jackson Thinks Obama Wants To Destroy Christianity And Possibly Kill Christians Like Her
During her 2013 appearance on The O'Reilly Factor to promote her book, while discussing her passion for the tea party movement, Jackson claimed, "I'm going to die soon." Adding, "Because the first thing they do is they kill the Christians or persecute them or jail them." For his part, Bill O'Reilly countered, "I don't think we're real close to that, Ms. Jackson."
A 2011 Jackson column for WND laid out the ways Obama is supposedly like Hitler, including their mutual hatred of Jewish people and love of private armies. After writing that Hitler "killed his political opposition with his private Army," Jackson added, "I am Obama's political opposition. That's why I am concerned":
Hitler, like Obama, was a "socialist" who came from a dysfunctional family, had a communist father who abused alcohol, womanized and sired several children from different mothers, had a white mother, suffered child abuse and neglect, moved often, lied about his birth and heritage, changed his name, was a narcissist, rose to power with the help of disreputable men, had the Rothschilds as financial backers, stirred up racial conflict and class warfare, wrote a biography about race at age 35, followed up with another book used to launch a political career, supported infanticide (partial-birth abortion), gave big speeches in stadiums, promised change and a new social order, had youth groups singing his praises, used propaganda, used voter fraud and intimidation, controlled the media, created "crises," used a poor economy, hated Jews (Israel), pretended to be "Christian," advocated population control and euthanasia, socialized medicine, formed a private army and then ... killed his political opposition with his private army.
Well, I am Obama's political opposition. That's why I am concerned.
In a post on her website last year, Jackson offered a "List of Facts proving that Obama wants to rid the United States/world of Christianity." After posting lists of evidence from various conservative websites, Jackson concluded:
You see where this is leading. Our military is being trained to attack U.S. citizens, Christians and conservatives. Dissidents. To seize guns. To seize land. This is communism all over again, but under a new label - "Progressive."
Jackson Engaged In Repeated Attacks On Homosexuality And Marriage Equality
Jackson wrote in her WND column that a gay kiss on the Fox TV show Glee was "sickening" and part of a plot to "shov[e] the gay thing down our throats," adding that "two men kissing on the mouth" was "ridiculous." She appeared on HLN's Showbiz Tonight to discuss the episode and cited it as evidence that "secular humanism rules the airwaves, and it's stealing the innocence away from this whole generation of children."
In a 2012 interview at CPAC, Jackson said that same-sex marriage is "not marriage" because opposite-gender marriage is "in the Bible" and "God created it," but not same-sex marriage. She also argued that "a judge, probably gay, activist judge, overturned" the ban on gay marriage in California and attributed his decision to "communism."
Jackson: Islam "Is A Satanic Cult," And Should Be Banned
In the first episode of her web series, Politichicks, Jackson sang an anti-Islam song where she said Muslims "like beheadings and pedophile weddings."
On her blog, Jackson attacked Islam as "a Satanic cult written 600 years after the bible" that "takes the Word of God and rewrites, distorts it." She also wrote that there should be "an amendment to the First Amendment" that says "Any religion that kills, or threatens to kill the other religions is banned from our country." She went on in the same post to describe Islam as "a military system and a political system."
In a YouTube video filmed in New York City, Jackson noted "the skyline minus the Twin Towers which were right about there, that some Muslims crashed into."
She also complained that a box of make-up she purchased had "Arabic writing" on it.
Jackson: "Evil" Beyoncé Possibly Involved With Illuminati, Satan
Posting to her website after last year's Super Bowl (during which Beyoncé performed the halftime show), Jackson promoted the conspiracy theory that Beyoncé and her husband Jay Z are involved with the Illuminati secret society and the occult. Jackson quoted an article from Newsmax which featured the head of a fringe Super PAC claiming Beyoncé was "making hand symbols" associated with the Illumnati and the New World Order and claiming she "has a long history of serving the godless Illuminati and their Satanic cult."
Jackson also embedded the below video, which she says "does a good job explaining things."
Her fascination with the Illuminati has apparently continued. In December, she opened a post titled "The Illuminati Created Communism?" by writing:
Have you seen all the satanic symbolism in Kanye West, Jay Z, Beyonce, Nikki Minaj, Lady Gaga, Madonna, etc.'s videos and Superbowl performances? Have you heard the rumors or watched the Youtube videos about a secret Luciferian society called the Illuminati - The International Bankers who control everything, and whose goal is a one world government that enslaves the masses and is ruled by the elite? I have.
Jackson Believes Mormons "Don't Take The Holy Bible Seriously" And Are Part Of A "Satanic Cult"
While Jackson had long been a Glenn Beck supporter, in a post last month on her website, she took offense at the conservative pundit's support for same-sex marriage and attacked his Mormon faith. According to Jackson, "I guess Mormons don't take the Holy Bible so seriously" since the Book of Mormon "doesn't mention that homosexuality is an abomination to the Lord." In a previous post, Jackson claimed that "both presidential candidates in 2012 came from Satanic cults, a Mormon and a Muslim." She also claimed that Mormons are "misguided" and "deceived" and that "Satanic symbols decorate Mormon temples."
Jackson claimed Beck's support for marriage equality explains why "his organization" had been "in some cases downright mean" to her. "It's the gay thing!!"
Jackson Called For "White History Month," Defended Paula Deen
Jackson, in a now-deleted blog post, called for a "white history month," and argued she was "just really tired of the white male, and especially the white conservative Christian male, being attacked in cartoons, movies, TV shows, politics, Affirmative Action, etc."
Reacting to news reports that TV chef Paula Deen had been fired from Food Network for allegedly have used racial slurs, Jackson complained on her blog that "political correctness is 'censorship'" and lamented that "all the rap songs use the N word." She added, "So, black people can use the N word and white people can't. What if you're half and half?"