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Gonzo birtherism

My short article on Tim Adams’ masters thesis garnered quite a number of comments (116 as of just now). Adams’ exercise in creative writing towards an English degree is, according to him, an example of “gonzo journalism” a style made famous  by journalist Hunter Thompson. (I’m a fan of one modern gonzo journalist, Jon Ronson, the author of several accounts of his travels with racists and conspiracy theorists.) Rather than an objective observer of events, the gonzo journalist is personally part of the story. This from Adams:

I’m wearing my most appropriate gonzo journalist attire; a fine braided men’s straw hat with pheasant feather band (birds were indeed harmed in the production of this product, and eaten too, no doubt). I have a single silver conch shell, a token from the Native Hawaiian people’s movement, given to me in the islands, with my black out sunglasses hanging from the brown leather thong that circles my neck. I’m wearing an Alfred Dunner plaid linen jacket, size 44 regular. It was an original from the mid-sixties, one I’d pulled out of second hand shop for three dollars, and in excellent condition. The light green/brown plaid on off white patterned fabric goes well with the mint green Hawaiian shirt I’m wearing beneath it, festooned with huge white plumeria blossoms. I’m also wearing a gold watch and new khaki colored trousers with a pair of dark brown Docksider shoes. Nothing in my ensemble is cheap, and the colors and style allow me to pull this off, just barely enough to appear professional, and I stay much cooler in the ninety-degree heat of this sticky, summer day than the stiffs  sweating it out in the gray pinstripes.

The rambling thesis is the personal narrative of what followed when Adams showed up at a white racist  gathering and subsequently gave a radio interview on a racist program where he said that he was an elections worker in Hawaii and from that knew that Barack Obama had no long-form birth certificate. When asked to explain what he was doing at a white racist convention1, Adams claims that he was covering it as a journalist. Adams is the center of his birther story.

I cast about in my mind for another example of a gonzo journalist birther (what I’m calling “gonzo birtherist”) and of course Jerome Corsi comes to mind. He acts as a journalist, writing articles for WorldNetDaily and what he describes as investigative books. Recently Corsi was in Surprise, Arizona, where he spoke to a Tea Party group that subsequently presented, along with Corsi, a petition to Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, asking him to investigate Barack Obama for identify fraud.

Can you think of other examples of birther activists acting as journalists?

Read more:


1The Council of Conservative Citizens Statement of Principles forms the basis for calling them racist.

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14 Responses to Gonzo birtherism

  1. avatar
    richCares August 23, 2011 at 3:50 pm #

    Gonzo? you guys need a spelling lesson, it’s Bozo, OK!

  2. avatar
    ASK Esq August 23, 2011 at 4:03 pm #

    Perhaps Mr. Adams isn’t the utter raving fool he seemed. I haven’t slogged through his thesis, but is it possible that he punked the birthers?

    Or am I giving him too much credit?

  3. avatar
    Bran Mak Morn August 23, 2011 at 4:22 pm #

    Tim is a typical birther: self-adulating, thinking he is so important, he can do a thesis on himself!

  4. avatar
    Dr. Conspiracy August 23, 2011 at 5:15 pm #

    I think that unlikely.

    ASK Esq: is it possible that he punked the birthers?

  5. avatar
    G August 23, 2011 at 5:26 pm #

    I think he’s repeatedly punked himself… he’s just not smart enough to realize it.

    ASK Esq: is it possible that he punked the birthers?
    Or am I giving him too much credit?

  6. avatar
    Majority Will August 23, 2011 at 7:05 pm #

    ASK Esq:
    Perhaps Mr. Adams isn’t the utter raving fool he seemed. I haven’t slogged through his thesis, but is it possible that he punked the birthers?

    Or am I giving him too much credit?

    Too much credit.

    Interesting article on Tim Adams:
    http://ohforgoodnesssake.com/?p=10857

  7. avatar
    misha August 23, 2011 at 8:13 pm #

    “The Council of Conservative Citizens Statement of Principles forms the basis for calling them racist.”

    The Council of Conservative Citizens is the KKK in business suits.

  8. avatar
    J. Potter August 23, 2011 at 11:00 pm #

    Haskins, perhaps? He’s been attempting to create stories with his misguided “challenges”.

  9. avatar
    bob August 24, 2011 at 11:07 am #

    Thanks for posting the CoCC’s statement of principles. If you actually read Adams’s “thesis,” in it he makes hay about how Keith Olbermann “falsely” reported that the CoCC had racist statements on its website.

    Adams mentions this to make the point that the media is full of liars. So you proved Adams to be wrong, again. And in his gonzo description of the CoCC meeting, it is full of CoCC racist statements — Olbermann (and others) were certainly correct in labeling the CoCC as a racist organization.

  10. avatar
    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater (Bob Ross) August 24, 2011 at 11:15 am #

    J. Potter: Haskins, perhaps? He’s been attempting to create stories with his misguided “challenges”.

    He’s busy looking like an idiot on amazon just as he did a few weeks back on turning the scale.

    http://www.amazon.com/Anyone-want-to-make-5000/forum/Fx3O0GUS5OOQ7GV/Tx2YCER97GYZ3P9/1/ref=cm_cd_fp_ef_tft_tp?_encoding=UTF8&asin=1936488299

  11. avatar
    J.Potter August 24, 2011 at 12:13 pm #

    You mean the CCC is linked to the KKK in ways other than phonetic and alliterative? And I thought they were trying to link themselves acronymically to the Civilian Conservation Corps. Silly me.

    misha:
    “The Council of Conservative Citizens Statement of Principles forms the basis for calling them racist.”

    The Council of Conservative Citizens is the KKK in business suits.

  12. avatar
    J.Potter August 24, 2011 at 12:14 pm #

    Yes, I know; when will he realize he is his own worst enemy? Thus my question mark. He’s definitely (hyper)activist, but a journalist? Only a wannabe.

    Dr. Kenneth Noisewater (Bob Ross): He’s busy looking like an idiot on amazon just as he did a few weeks back on turning the scale.

    http://www.amazon.com/Anyone-want-to-make-5000/forum/Fx3O0GUS5OOQ7GV/Tx2YCER97GYZ3P9/1/ref=cm_cd_fp_ef_tft_tp?_encoding=UTF8&asin=1936488299

  13. avatar
    T.L. Winslow (@historyscoper) August 24, 2011 at 3:37 pm #

    How about an afterbirther? 🙂

    http://thehistoryscopersobamawatchblog.blogspot.com/

  14. avatar
    Bill DuBerger August 24, 2011 at 4:38 pm #

    I read the entire Tim Adams ramblings…painful though it was.

    Despite his best gonzo efforts, he only manages to come off as a reasonably well-read goofball, who accidentally stumbled into minor league infamy.

    His understanding of politics is remarkably ill-informed. He said that when Obama became president, the only change from Bush was the skin color.

    I looked for new birther info…there wasn’t really any.