While most of the media is doing their best to help the Republicans fling massive amounts of poop against the wall to see what sticks in order to distract from the things we ought to be talking about leading up to the mid-term elections, at least The Nation's Chris Hayes filling in for Rachel Maddow framed the ginned up controversy for what it is; a farce that started with a far right conspiracy theorist named Pam Geller who belongs in the same box as Orly Taitz.
HAYES: For centuries, a cult of eccentrics and amateurs and self-appointed scientists in the Middle Ages tried and failed to turn inexpensive metals like lead into gold. Now, in the environment of 21st century media apparatus, the political right has figured out how to do this. They have succeeded in a very special kind of alchemy—it‘s an alchemy that is able to transmute totally crazy, trivial, ginned up fake stories into media-captivating national debates.
So, while everyone sort of sifts through the media goal, that is the planned Park 51 Islamic community center, it‘s useful, I think, to trace it back to its origins as lead.
I did the same sort of thing as a reporter for “The Nation” magazine back in 2007 when I looked into the origins of the “Obama is a secret Muslim” rumor. What I found was that in all likelihood, the myth originated with a very strange figured named Andy Martin, a perennial Republican Senate candidate, notorious litigant, and self-described independent contrarian columnist, who was raising bizarre allegations about Barack Obama‘s heritage as far back as 2004.
Here‘s what else I learned about Andy Martin at the time. He was known as one of the most notorious litigants in the history of the United States, having filed hundreds, possibly thousands of lawsuits often directed at judges who ruled against him.
He once referred to a federal judge as a, quote, “crooked, slimy Jew, who has a history of ling and thieving common to the members of his race,” and once attempted to intervene in the divorce proceedings of a judge who ruled against him, petitioning the state court to be appointed as the guardian of the judge‘s children.
We saw similarly bizarre origins when we traced back the birther movement that. That began with famed dentist/realtor/lawyer Orly Taitz, whose $20,000 fine for filing for those lawsuits was just upheld by the Supreme Court.