With the guest lineup of World Net Daily's Taking America Back 2010 national conference, it was no surprise that birtherism and bigotry were prevalent throughout the convention. After all, WND's Joseph Farah and Jerome Corsi are perhaps most (in)famous for their repeated birther attacks against President Obama.
Displaying shocking ignorance of his own publication, Farah kicked off WND's first national convention by asking if "anyone at WorldNetDaily ever asserted" that President Obama "is foreign-born." We can. It turns out that one of WND's commentators, Craige McMillan, has referred to President Obama as an "illegal alien" in at least three separate posts on WorldNetDaily's website. Despite Farah's suggestion that WorldNetDaily held itself above the tired questions about President Obama's citizenship, Jerome Corsi was quick to jump on the case.
Questioning the president's citizenship, and thus his eligibility as president, was not the only way speakers at WND's convention attacked Obama. Speaker after speaker attacked Obama's faith as a Christian. Jerome Corsi alternatively claimed that Obama "doesn't believe in God" and that he's a Muslim, Floyd Brown claimed that Obama "hates Christianity" and "is a Muslim," while Aaron Klein said that the president "has a certain affinity toward Islam."
Other attacks against Obama included the zombie lie that Obama supported "infanticide" and an absurd demand by Corsi that Obama "come out and renounce Lucifer." Floyd Brown also stated that the "most important step" for the next session of Congress is to impeach President Obama.
Anti-gay bigotry was also out in force at the Taking America Back convention. WorldNetDaily founder, editor, and CEO Joseph Farah suggested gay marriage would lead to "sexual anarchy" and claimed that opposing gay marriage was akin to opposing "sexual offenses" such as "polygamy, incest, statutory rape, child pornography, molestation, [and] prostitution." Noted anti-gay bigot Robert Knight similarly compared a gay marriage ban to bans on polygamy and incest. However, Jerome Corsi refused to be outdone in this vein, going so far as to link same-sex marriage to pedophilia and bestiality.*
Speakers at the convention were also, to put it mildly, displeased with Imam Rauf's proposal to build an Islamic community center in Manhattan to serve an existing Muslim community as a place for worship and community. After nine months of right-wing anti-Muslim bigotry and incidents of violence against mosque sites nationwide, WND's speakers decided to rachet up the rhetoric against the Islamic community center by declaring that its intention is to promote further attacks by Muslims against America. Aaron Klein flatly stated that "the individuals behind" the Islamic community center in Manhattan don't "have peaceful intentions." As well, WND speaker William Murray said that the purpose of the community center is to host "raiders" to "do even more damage" in America.
Just how does WorldNetDaily plan to top all of this with its next national convention?
Media conservatives, led by Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin, are comparing a Florida church's plans to burn Qurans on the anniversary of the 9-11 attacks to plans to build an Islamic community center in Manhattan.
Andrew Napolitano smeared the Obama administration as being "in tight" with the New Black Panther Party, citing the myth that the Obama Justice Department would not prosecute a party member for "[i]ntimidating voters with a weapon." In fact, the decision to not pursue criminal charges was made by the Bush DOJ, and the Obama administration won an injunction against the party member who carried a weapon.
Following Fox News' lead, conservative media outlets celebrated Labor Day by attacking labor unions, often smearing them as "socialist" and violent.
Much of Glenn Beck's "Restoring Honor" weekend -- and the run-up to it -- focused on one thing: Glenn Beck. Beck introduced a Beck-sanctioned clergy group that he claimed represented "180 million people," repeatedly associated himself with Martin Luther King Jr., made outlandish claims about the impact of the events, and was praised as "one of America's most trusted and honored citizens."
Right-wing media are attacking President Obama's statement that he "believe[s] that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country" and are entitled to build a mosque in Lower Manhattan.
Dr. Laura Schlessinger's racially charged rant, in which she "articulated the 'n' word all the way out -- more than one time," is only the latest in a year of public displays of racially loaded rhetoric by right-wing media figures.
Glenn Beck falsely claimed that Feisal Abdul Rauf, who is heading efforts to build a community center in New York, currently "employs" an imam who blamed "the Jews" for 9-11; in fact, the imam resigned in 2001 prior to making those comments. Beck also absurdly claimed Rauf was "connected to Hamas" and attacked Rauf for making comments about the 9-11 attacks that are strikingly similar to comments Beck himself made in April.
Liz Cheney spread the myth that the stimulus bill has "not worked" to mitigate job losses. In fact, many independent and private analysts have agreed that stimulus spending significantly raised employment over what would have happened without it.
Yesterday on Fox News' Your World, Neil Cavuto and Monica Crowley discussed an alleged drunken-driving incident in Virginia in which a Catholic nun was killed and two others were injured. Cavuto and Crowley were displeased that newspapers had not properly obsessed over the fact that the driver involved is an undocumented immigrant, which Crowley declared to be "the most consequential detail to the story." Crowley used the incident to make the preposterous assertion that "most of the violent crime that we are seeing comes out of the illegal immigration community."