Martha Trowbridge is the writer of a blog called The Terrible Truth. It’s not one of the places I usually visit because the material there is rather too fantastic to be of interest. [Update: The site has converted to a paid subscription model.] I’ve commented about her in three articles and this will be number 4.
I wouldn’t be writing this except that Ms. Trowbridge mentions me and this web site in her new article: Truth, Obliterated: The “Obama Conspiracy Theory” Psychological Assault Weapon. (The acronym is “OCTPAW”.)
The gist of what she says is that every time someone tries to tell the “truth” about Barack Obama, there are others ready to label it a “conspiracy theory.” I think she’s half right; the part I would quibble about is the use of the word “truth.” Certainly many things said about Obama that are absolutely not true (including those by Trowbridge herself) have been labeled as conspiracy theories. I think that many, myself included, are generally dismissive of the birthers. After having cried “wolf” so very, very many times, Birthers are not taken seriously, and even if one day they came up with something really bad about Barack Obama that was really true, it would would be an uphill battle to win over anyone outside the Birther movement because of the movement’s reputation as cranks, nut cases and conspiracy theorists (a well-deserved reputation, I might add).
When I started this blog, I worried a lot about whether the phrase “conspiracy theory” properly characterized the Birther claims and whether marginalizing Birthers would make this site a less-trustworthy source of news. Over time, Birthers transmogrified [always wanted to use that word in a sentence] in to unmistakable conspiracy theorists, and they essentially marginalized themselves to the point that one couldn’t write a straight news story without an element of marginalization just from the absurdity of what was being reported on. (If you really want to insult a birther in print, quote them fairly and in context.)
But back to me. Trowbridge writes:
Why, there’s even a website, ready and ever-vigilant, that immediately shoots down on the web any talk of Truth about “Obama”. Via posts by “Dr. Conspiracy”, and a vigorous, nasty horde of attacker commenter ‘identities’, Obama Conspiracy Theories thrashes and trashes any person who seeks or states Truth about Obama’s personal history. http://www.obamaconspiracy.org
Notwithstanding [sic] the skilled guidance of “Dr. Conspiracy,” OCTPAW was The 2008 Obama Campaign’s most highly prized weapon.
As readers here know, this blog which now reaches just under 20,000 people a month, started in December, 2008, shortly after Barack Obama was elected President. Marginalization of birthers and the labeling of them as “conspiracy theorists” was not under any “guidance” by me during the 2008 Presidential Campaign. (Temporal fallacies like this plague Trowbridge’s writing, such as placing Barack Obama in Indonesia at a time he was documented to be in Hawaii.)
Trowbridge then goes on to catalog various attacks made against birthers, and I won’t go tit-for-tat on that subject (you might want to read what she says), except to note that there are over 300 million people in these United States, and some of them have said some pretty nasty things about birthers.
One final note: the Trowbridge characterization of OCTPAW as an orchestrated attack on Birthers, is definitely a conspiracy theory.