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Obama conspiracy theories in the media

Arizona Auditor General may look into Cold Case Posse donations

According to the Arizona’s Politics blog, the Arizona Auditor General will consider information about the County/MSCO/Posse relationship. Information published on this blog, Brian Reilly’s first hand accounts of the Posse, and my investigation of the lack of CCP financial accountability, are things that may be considered.

I do not understand, however, how the Arizona Auditor General can audit the Cold Case Posse when they are a private non-profit.

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Unfair and unbalanced

I just added Fritz Wenzel to my list of “Birthers From A – Z,” based on an article at Media Matters for America. They wrote:

Wenzel is a birther who has called President Obama an "imposter," and teamed up with conspiracy site WND to push dubious polling about the president’s birth certificate.

A couple of days ago, I finished reading Gabriel Sherman’s book, The Loudest Voice in the Room: How the Brilliant, Bombastic Roger Ailes Built Fox News–and Divided a Country. The book documented what I empirically observed, Fox News is intentionally propaganda and entertainment, not news. Their trademarked “fair and balanced” means that they will go as far as they can to the right to balance what they perceive as a media bias to the left. I also learned from that book that Media Matters for America was created largely as a response to Fox News.

As a general rule I don’t watch Fox News or read Media Matters. While I find useful material at the MMA web site, I am also troubled by their readiness to label someone a birther, and in this case it’s Fritz Wenzel. It is not without some hesitation that I added Wenzel to the “Birthers from A to Z” list. I followed the MMA article to a source at RightWingWatch a site belonging to People for the American Way, and from there to two WorldNetDaily articles questioning President Obama’s eligibility (2009) and his legitimacy (2010). Those WND articles left me wondering whether Wenzel was a birther or simply a propagandist, and I am also wary of any claims that someone is a birther today based on what they said before April of 2011 when President Obama released his long form, and the number of birthers in polls tumbled. I’ll go with the preponderance of evidence in the case of Wenzel and leave him on my birther list, but proof beyond a reasonable doubt is not there in my mind. (I have a similar pause with the non-rigorous use of the “racist” label.)

The Ailes biography has certainly spawned much thought on my part about propaganda. I have a long-standing aversion to any attempt to mislead others with tricky words, and misrepresented facts. I personally believe that the best way to fight fire is not with fire, but with water; or un-metaphorically, the best way to fight bias is with non-bias, not more bias in the opposite direction. This is why when I want news, I go to NPR and PBS, not MSNBC.

Major media preparing for shattering of universe

I don’t have much to say except to note yet another fantastical story based on the last Carl Gallups show, that the major media was readying to report Sheriff Joe’s Obama investigation findings.

By “major media” I guess they mean the Greeley Gazette, and the Sonoran News. Read the silliness at Birther Report in an article by Sharon Rondeau. It’s all remarkably vague.

I try to cultivate a sense of bemusement about how birthers continue to sustain hope in the wake of so many failures. Today is a good day to think about those failures because of two anniversaries.1 Yesterday was the 2nd anniversary of the first Arpaio / Cold Case Posse press conference, where Sheriff Joe said those memorable words about President Obama’s birth certificate and Selective Service registration:

Based on all the other evidence…I cannot in good faith report to you that these documents are authentic.

One year ago today, Zullo and his posse said through Carl Gallups, “We will be gaining an audience with some VIPs from around the nation… we have some attorney generals and some congressmen who have said that they would perhaps speak with us; and one congressman in particular WANTS to meet with us….”

And all through this time we’ve seen “person of interest,” “enormous,” “block buster,” “definite plan of action,” “full steam ahead,” “there will be new revelations,” “this isn’t speculation any more,” “breathtaking,” “indisputable proof,” “you won’t believe the bombshells,” “explosive evidence,” “shocker,” “[Arpaio] will do something after the election,” and “surprises are coming.” In January 2013 we learned that due to unfortunate circumstances, the Cold Case Posse turned to the far-superior “Plan B.” With plan B “full steam ahead” we learn about “absolute forensic verification” and that they are in “total law enforcement perspective” mode again with a “definitive plan of action now in the works,” “gaining audience with some VIP’s,” “powerful things could begin happening,” “possible that something monumental will occur,” “real progress over the next several months (this was a year ago),” “undeniable evidence,” and last April, “the investigation is over.” With the completion of the investigation, Zullo concluded, “we’re in the driver’s seat.” Then, “information breaking” about VIP’s, “hopefully by mid-summer (last summer),” “light at the end of the tunnel,” “possibly mid–summer,” “three to six month window is still very plausible,” “the evidence is mounting up,” and “it will be universe shattering.”

And here we are two years later with none of this having come to pass. The VIP’s never materialized, what arguments that were released were shot down, and the Reed Hayes report remains unreleased. For the past two years we have seen nothing but publicity and promises from the Cold Case Posse. It’s pretty pathetic.


1Thanks to the RC Radio Blog’s MCSCO Cold Case Posse Timeline for these items.

The birther albatross–sharing the pain

Yesterday’s online edition of the Dallas Morning News carried a political story about an endorsement of Katrina Pierson, who is running for Congress from Texas district 32. Typically when we read news of an endorsement, there is a photo of the candidate and the endorser. Here’s such an image (although not newspaper style) from Pierson’s own campaign web site.

image

The image from the Dallas Morning News showed the endorser, but rather than showing the candidate, the other person in the photo was Mike Zullo. :shock: Here’s the image:

image

In addition to Sarah Palin and Ted Cruz, Pierson has been endorsed by none other than Sheriff Joe Arpaio, and when describing Arpaio, the article said:

In 2013, a federal court ruled that Arpaio’s office had used racial profiling to enforce those laws, a constitutional violation.

Arpaio has also repeatedly asserted that President Barack Obama’s birth certificate is fraudulent.

I don’t know if this Tea Party candidate is a birther, but now she has the weight of a birther endorsement (maybe that helps where she lives).

Conservatives, long tarred with the birther brush, are anxious to share the pain. In another story yesterday, this one from WorldNetDaily and picturing President Obama’s birth certificate, an article titled: “Dems want GOP candidate’s birth certificate,” they wrote:

While the demand for Barack Obama’s birth documentation has been met with indignation and ridicule, Democrats in Montana, nevertheless, are calling on a Republican congressman running for Senate to release his birth certificate.

The issue? The candidate claims to be a 5th generation Montanan, but was born in Southern California. According to a spokesperson for Republican candidate Steve Daines, his parents raced to California (I’m paraphrasing here) for him to be born, and then quickly returned to Montana. Sound oddly familiar? :roll:

Feeling informed

I’m currently reading a biography of Roger Ailes, titled The Loudest Voice in the Room, that includes this quote:

Viewers don’t want to be informed; they want to feel informed.

– Chet Collier
– Co-developer of Fox News Network

That fits so much that I see every day in the birther business. I get these chain emails that sound so authoritative and so knowing, but are actually junk. I read on Birther Report that “everybody knows” or “every expert says” that Obama’s birth certificate is a forgery, when that’s actually nonsense. They feel so very knowing and superior, but it only takes a minute engaging them with details to expose the fact that they are not informed at all.

Feeling informed feels good. How do you take that away from folks?