Brent Bozell and Sean Hannity, human pretzels. They have to be human pretzels to twist this conversation into what they did. It begins with the Paul Ryan budget and moves from there into the birther issue, one that Hannity has flogged mercilessly on every opportunity he possibly can.
In a moment of faux media criticism, Hannity spreads the deck of recent birther stories spawned by his buddy Donald Trump, aided by Bachmann, Palin, and the rest of the wingnutosphere, then asks Bozell why, oh why it is that the media is so obsessed with the whole birther thing?
Bozell's response is worthy of the Most Intellectually Dishonest Twister Award of 2011. Maybe the entire decade.
HANNITY: Media's obsessed with it. Donald Trump kept saying in an interview with Stephanopoulis "I don't want to talk about it, my campaign's bigger than this, ask me about this, this and this" and seven times he interrupted him about the birth certificate issue.
BOZELL: Sean, if you think conspiracy stories are important, let me give you one that's even a hundred times more important.
How about the suggestion that the President of the United States was complicit on the attack on 9-11? Remember all those attacks on George Bush?
"Bush lied; thousands died?" That he deliberately got us into a war to profit from it from Halliburton? How about that as a conspiracy theory? Now this is a conspiracy theory that has been promoted by people like Rosie O'Donnell from ABC, and President Obama's own green jobs czar Van Jones, who he himself has promoted this.
Where are the media talking about those lugnuts? Where are the media exposing those whackjobs? They're silent on it. But if a conservative says something, they're all over it.
So many twisters, so little time. Well, let's begin at the beginning.
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The birther issue is once again in the forefront because Donald Trump and his minions have been flogging it for publicity. Sean Hannity was one of the first to step up and give him a platform to do exactly that. So if Hannity wonders why it's such a huge big deal, I'd recommend he review his show tapes from the past 60 days or so on that "fair and balanced" network he works for.
It's once again a huge issue because there are a zillion stupid Republicans out there who actually believe this nonsense, and Fox News plays to them on a daily basis. Even Bachmann, when confronted with the actual document, could not do more than say "I take the President at his word"? WTF? The document was right there, why didn't GSteph ask her to take the document at its word? No, no, that would kill the golden goose. Hannity's golden goose.
Let's move on now to the truther issue, brought to us by Brent Bozell, and in particular, his smear of Van Jones, which was flogged by Hannity back in 2009, despite the fact that the signatories to that particular petition had been misled as to what they were signing. It was a smear job just like Shirley Sherrod's smear job, and yet Bozell doesn't hesitate to bring it up to continue to spread the perception that Van Jones is some kind of whacked-out conspiracy theorist, despite Jones' apologies, which were conveniently left out.
Remember now, Brent Bozell heads up the Media Research Center, ostensibly to keep media honest. What a joke.
Let's move on to the war "conspiracy theories", which Bozell also shrugs off as "whackjobs", while conflating truthers with those of us who believe the Iraq war was absolutely planned as a way to get access to Iraq's oil fields. The truther theory and the Iraq war theory are separate and distinct. One is nonsense (truther); one is proven with government documents. Now he's got a problem.
Just this week, a British site reported the release of hundreds of memos showing that the plan was to tap into Iraq's oil reserves after toppling Saddam Hussein. Since they have not published the documents and have a shaky reputation for journalism, let me offer up some other, more solid sites crowing over Iraq's reserves. We have McClatchy in January, 2011, crowing about the massive reserves being tapped. Also the Wall Street Journal in November, 2010. We have this piece from Public Record in 2009, which quotes US government documents as saying this:
The New Yorker ‘s Jane Mayer later made another discovery: a secret NSC document dated Feb. 3, 2001 – only two weeks after Bush took office – instructing NSC officials to cooperate with Cheney’s task force, which was “melding” two previously unrelated areas of policy: “the review of operational policies towards rogue states” and “actions regarding the capture of new and existing oil and gas fields.” [The New Yorker, Feb. 16, 2004]
By March 2001, Cheney’s task force had prepared a set of documents with a map of Iraqi oilfields, pipelines, refineries and terminals, as well as two charts detailing Iraqi oil and gas projects, and a list titled “Foreign Suitors for Iraqi Oilfield Contracts,” according to information released in July 2003 under a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by the conservative watchdog group, Judicial Watch.
No, no, no, Brent Bozell. You might have gotten away with the whine had you not actually tried to paint the lead-in to the Iraq war as a whackjob conspiracy theory. The evidence is insurmountable on that one, and on your pet theories, not so much.
The sad thing is that all those faithful Hannity viewers actually believe this crap. Facts don't matter when they're getting all that 'fair and balanced' Fox News reporting.