When people find themselves tangled in knots, sometimes there's no telling how illogical the outcome will be.
A perfect example is watching the conservative movement deal with the zombie-like resurgence of the thoroughly debunked birther story that was of minor interest three years ago. Conservatives, especially those in the Obama-hating right-wing media, have been cheering this spring's Return Of Birther production, courtesy mostly of Donald Trump, who has used the discredited conspiracy theory to vault to the head of the GOP line among Republican voters searching for next year's nominee.
Large chunks of the far-right press, led of course by Fox News's trademark irresponsibility, have been deliriously happy to watch Trump's birther show take flight for the very simple reason that they hate Obama with a white-hot intensity, and they think the birther talk hurts him politically. (There's no evidence it does.)
On the flip side, there are some conservatives who realize the birther talk simply cements the perception of Republicans as being beyond the mainstream of American politics. And yes, that's the position Andrew Breitbart himself took in 2009, when he called the birther obsession "narcissistic" and un-provable.
But here's where the tortured, pretzel twisting comes into play today. Instead of taking the obvious course and condemning birthers, what do Breitbart bloggers do?
Surprise! They blame the (liberal) media [emphasis added]:
I've never doubted Obama was born in the United States, mainly because there was no way the Ambition Machines we call the Clintons would've ever let something like that pass I also believe the White House and their partners in the MSM love the Birther issue because it allows for them to scream "racism" at the Right — their favorite political weapon.
As you can see in the video above, though, Ann Coulter's able to concisely and quickly blow the Birther theory out of the water, something the MSM could do but refuses to in order to keep the issue alive on behalf of the White House. This cynical partisan tactic of intentionally leaving questions unanswered surrounding the issue is, however, now starting to backfire. Trump isn't something they expected. And now they have a tiger of their own creation by the tail.
Isn't it blindingly obvious that the MSM have had a long-running agreement with the White House to not debunk the birther conspiracy? (Even though the press has done that, relentlessly) And isn't it obvious that if the press had debunked the birther story it wouldn't be raging today? (Because logic and fact-checking play such a central role in birther circles???)
Apparently it's now the media's job to clamp down on delusional Obama haters. It's the media's job to drain the right-wing swamps of the legion of nut jobs who call it home and who have built up large followings trafficking in every conceivable Obama conspiracy. (You know he's recently had brain surgery, right?)
Gimme a break. Here's a novel thought for Breitbart bloggers: How about just once you take responsibility for actions of the wing nuts you find so embarrassing. If Andrew Breitbart and his team are so opposed to birtherism, why doesn't he use his websites to say so? Why doesn't Breitbart publish a serious of blistering critiques that put nutty birthers in their place? Why don't they thoroughly debunk the myth (again) and put the tin foil hat crowd to shame, rather than whining about how the liberal media won't do their heavy lifting?
The right wing has tied itself in knots over the birther nonsense. In the wake of the 2008 campaign, the CW within the conservative movement was that birtherism was a non-starter and that Obama critics had a laundry list of attacks to take up against Obama. Now, two years later that laundry list is running short, which is why the birther battle is being re-joined. (i.e. The Obama-bashing cupboard is bare.)
But you know what, shutting down birthers is not the job of the Beltway press. Fact-checking them and making sure news consumers understand the facts? Absolutely. But it's not the media's job to dismantle the right-wing, birther Frankenstein creation that conservatives have cheered.
Note to Breitbart bloggers: Stop the habitual whining and take some responsibility.