Try digitalPLUS for 10 days for only $0.99

Op-Eds

News Opinion Op-Eds

Victoria Jackson, not the sharpest mind in the Obama chorus [Commentary]

Given the penchant of many of my fellow Americans to believe any preposterous spoof, spin or allegation that pops up on their computer screens -- I'm talking to you, Victoria Jackson! -- I want to make it perfectly clear that every statement in the next paragraph is false, no matter how much you may want to believe it's true.

President Barack Obama visited a mosque and hosted Muslim leaders at the White House on the Fourth of July (false!). Obama also plans to host a Muslim gay marriage ceremony for St. Louis Rams football star Michael Sam and his boyfriend (false!). Meanwhile, the Obama's own marriage is on the rocks after Michelle caught Barack drunkenly flirting with actress Halle Berry at a White House event (false!). In fact, the president and first lady have been secretly divorced for more than a year and reports say there is a sex tape of the president engaged in a threesome with Ms. Berry and singing superstar Beyoncé  (false!).

This is all mighty big news and it comes to us from National Report, the media organization that also says ISIS has discovered Saddam Hussein's hidden weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and that, in the aftermath of the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision, Wal-Mart is creating a corporate religion.

Even if I hadn't tipped everyone off, readers capable of critical thinking would have discerned that National Report is a news satire website that just makes stuff up. But, if you are a right wing knucklehead who desperately wants to believe every bad thing said about President Obama -- yes, that's you, Victoria Jackson -- each one of these fabrications would resonate with authenticity.

I keep mentioning Victoria Jackson. She is the former member of the "Saturday Night Live" comedy troupe who usually portrayed a bubble-headed ditz. Her characters met the criteria of every dumb blonde joke ever told. Apparently, she is just as dumb in real life. After seeing the National Report's story about Obama hanging out with Muslims on July 4th, she re-posted it on her website and sent out a message of alarm on Twitter.

Jackson was not joking around. She opened her post by writing, "Obama continues to slap America in the face and spit on her. I am outraged. If you're not, you are uninformed."

This champion of being "informed" is a fervent right-wing evangelical who posts lots of curious items, including allegations of a government plot to force people to move from the suburbs to the inner city, creaky old exposés about the evils of Freemasonry and "proof" that President Obama is a Muslim who not-so-secretly aids America's enemies.

Ms. Jackson's fans immediately swallowed the Muslim Fourth of July story and went ballistic. "Of course," wrote one respondent. "He has to drop in on his terrorist 'bros' and say hello." Another wrote, "This story should surprise no one. Obama is a MUSLIM."

The comments went on like that until somebody posted a message pointing out the inconvenient reality that the story was satire. In response, one of Victoria's comrades wrote back, "Doesn't matter."

And it really does not seem to matter to the fantasy mongers on the right. Even before Mr. Obama's first inauguration, paleoconservative bloggers were spreading the mendacity. Not only was the new president a Muslim, a socialist and a noncitizen; some religious sites made the case that he was very likely "the Lord of the Flies," aka the Antichrist. Lately, they've added the charge that he is secretly gay.

The publisher of National Report says he and his merry bunch of faux reporters purposefully aim their straight-faced satire at right-wingers because they are so gullible and quick to spread misinformation. That would be hilarious if it were not so depressingly true.

Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner David Horsey is a political commentator for the Los Angeles Times. Go tolatimes.com/news/politics/topoftheticket/ to see more of his work.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
  • Could a state property tax cap stimulate Baltimore's economy?

    Could a state property tax cap stimulate Baltimore's economy?

    When Gov. Larry Hogan announced his rejection of the Red Line, an east-west rail transit line in Baltimore City, he seemed to derail the high hopes of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and many other supporters of the $2.9 billion project. "He canceled a project," lamented the mayor, "that would have...

  • Urban America should give up on the Democrats

    Urban America should give up on the Democrats

    In my lifetime (I was born in 1950), the Democrats have had an extraordinary opportunity to run some of America's largest cities and apply their brand of liberal policies to the social and economic problems that have plagued them. Look at the history in just eight of these cities, according to...

  • Inequality of opportunity in the U.S.A.

    Inequality of opportunity in the U.S.A.

    We like to tell ourselves stories about the virtues of America, particularly as Independence Day rolls around each year. There is, perhaps, no better example than the story we tell our children that no matter your race, gender or wealth, in America you can become anything you want to be. This particular...

  • The burdens of being black

    The burdens of being black

    I was born human more than a half century ago but also birthed with the burden of being black. I discovered racial discrimination early in life. I grew up among the black poor in Hartford, where a pattern of housing segregation prevailed. One city, but separated North end and South end on the basis...

  • Partnerships improve health care in Maryland

    Partnerships improve health care in Maryland

    For decades, as health care costs continued to spiral upward and patients were stymied by an increasingly fragmented health care system, policy leaders, politicians and front-line caregivers strained to find a better way to care for people.

  • The deep roots of housing bias

    The deep roots of housing bias

    The Supreme Court's ruling last week that factors other than intentional racial discrimination can be considered in determining whether policies promulgated by government or private entities violate the 1968 Fair Housing Act is simply a reminder that the century-long struggle to end such practices...

Comments
Loading

73°