19 January 2007

Barack and Conspiracy Theory Time

News flash. Barack Obama attended a Muslim madrassa in Indonesia. This is a source of great excitement among the right-wingosphere. (I've decided that I may as well add -osphere to everything - it sounds so 21st century.)

Here's the prediction about how the Barack Obama conspiracy theory will finally be spun. I can just hear Rush Limbaugh passing this along.

"Folks, I don't know if this is true or not. I don't know if the rumors about Barack Obama basically being a Manchurian candidate, a sleeper cell candidate for Muslim extremists, are true or not. I do know that these kinds of rumors make me nervous. I mean, what do we know about this guy? He was a nobody two years ago!" And like that, Obama will lose 10% in the polls. If it were property Rush were defacing he could be charged with vandalism. As it is, it's just considered politics as normal.

There are at least two really wonderful things about a conspiracy theory. One is that the lack of evidence to support it simply reinforces just how insidious and powerful is this conspiracy. And two, even though a conspiracy theory makes it sounds like the bad guys are in charge, it at least reassures people that someone is in charge. Things aren't actually unpredictable and difficult to understand.

The model of media as something that discovers facts and then reports on them is so old school. As our right-wing talk show hosts are about to show us once again, it is so much more cost-effective to just create your own facts.


Eric Byers said...

It reminds me a lot of Kerry and the Swift Boat Veterans thing. Something that may or may not be true, can be completely spun by the other side. It's a distraction from the real issues. Unfortunately it seems the right has been doing that a lot lately, although I don't think the left is immune from the problem.

What happened to the days (or maybe they never existed) in which people got to know the candidates for who they actually were, and the other side let them do that. Like the era of Ford (although I don't know much about him), he showed who he actually was..and faced the consequences for it.

Anonymous said...

As someone from the right, I find this whole thing rather rediculous.

I searched the following web sites (I believe the biggest Right Wing Blogs) for your story:


I couldn't find your story anywhere. And you don't provide a link. Most intesting!

Ah, here it is at right wing news:


If you follow the link, you will find that the news quotes Hillary Clinton as talking about the Madrassa incident and beating Obama with it. The commentor at right wing news finds this to be rather (typically) vicious of Hillary.

And you claim that this is a piece of news about the right blogosphere!!!

Are you lying? Or do you really not understand the difference?


Ron Davison said...

Readers - James is right, so far. James,it's early. Give it time. Predicting energy around this issue is like predicting cold weather in January.

Eric,it could indeed be Swift Boat redux.

Anonymous said...

Hi Rob,

You say: Give it time.

I say: That is the most "out on a limb", "long shot", "hail mary", "one in a million" prediction I have ever seen in politics.

If it comes through, you are really smart, or really lucky.

I'm on the right, and if I had a blog, I'd never consider using it. Its only useful if you have a bunch of MSM cover and you want to attack the guy (ie - Hillary), or if there is a lot more to the story than she said.

I guess its possible that the Madrassa is used to train suicide bombers, Obama knew that, and there is evidence that Obama knew that. Without those pieces, the only person with the clout to get away using it (against Obama) is Hillary.

I may be wrong of course. In which case you have my respect forever.