The right-wing blasted off into the outer realms of sanity by fearmongering about the Missile Defense Agency's decision to revamp its logo from this:
Free Republic's RaceBannon kicked off the frenzy with a February 21 blog post proclaiming: "Missile Defense Agency Changes logo to look more like Obama logo." And, just for good measure, asked: "Tell me, is it a coincidence it also looks like an Islamic Crescent?"
The Washington Times' Kerry Picket picked up the story with her February 23 blog post, asking if the "Missile Defense Agency logo takes a cue from Obama campaign '08?":
Now compare the new logo to the Obama campaign 2008 logo:
So it is one thing for a private company like Pepsico to alter its image (image below) and seemingly get behind Mr. Obama during his 2008 campaign, because consumers can just stop buying their products, if they are disappointed with a company's political leanings:
However, if a governmental agency's logo begins to look scarily like a presidential campaign theme, even if done unintentionally, that is a problem and should be corrected immediately. Can anyone at DOD say National Endowment for the Arts scandal?
But it gets better. Picket updated her post today to show the eerie similarities between the MDA's logo and the Iranian Space Agency's logo. I wish I were joking:
Could TMP Government [the logo's designer] possibly come up with something else that does not seem to remind people of an American campaign long finished or a space agency whose nation's leader is a tyrant that wants to see our country's demise?
Then Drudge Report joined in, drawing both the Obama logo and Islamic crescent parallels:
And although Michelle Malkin admits that the new logo was launched last fall and this "story" is "not worth blowing a gasket over," neither of those facts stopped her from connecting the dots for you between the logo's designer, TMPGovernment, and its history of "unabashed cheerlead[ing] for the Obama campaign's social marketing strategy."
Fox News, of course, was happy to lend this fringe blog story the power of its megaphone, with this "logo-gate" article on FoxNews.com, and a shout-out on the February 24 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Bret Baier:
Not to be out-Foxed, Andrew Breitbart's Big Government hitched a ride on the rocket, with Frank Gaffney proclaiming that the "New Obama Missile Defense Logo Includes A Crescent[!]" "Can this possibly be true?" In a post that seems beyond parody, Gaffney called the "symbolic action" "nefarious," stated that "the new MDA shield appears ominously to reflect a morphing of the Islamic crescent and star with the Obama campaign logo," and claimed that "Team Obama is behaving in a way that -- as the new MDA logo suggests -- is all about accommodating that "Islamic Republic" and its ever-more aggressive stance."
Gaffney concluded: "Watch this space as we identify and consider various, ominous and far more clear-cut acts of submission to Shariah by President Obama and his team." We can't wait to see what they come up with next. Have they tried listening to President Obama's Nowruz message backwards?
Tonight, Fox News apparently found it worthwhile to devote nearly 15 minutes of its evening programming to inform viewers that former "green jobs czar" Van Jones got a new job and was given an Image Award by the NAACP. According to a Media Matters analysis of the February 24 broadcasts of Glenn Beck, Special Report, The O'Reilly Factor, and Hannity, Fox News spent 14 minutes and 33 seconds covering Jones' recent good fortune.
Beck -- perhaps Jones' most notorious detractor -- got Fox's coverage started this evening with 5 minutes and 27 seconds of discussion about Jones' new job, award, and his speech earlier this month at Columbia University (which according to Beck will "let any dirtbag speak there"). Besides his oft-repeated charge that Jones is a radical communist out to lead some kind of revolution against vampires, Beck also compared Jones getting his new job to Tiger Woods "install[ing] a stripper pole" in his guest house:
BECK: It's basically if Tiger Woods got caught in bed with an exotic dancer, and in response installed a stripper pole right there in his guest house while leaving the key at Scores.
Beck's freak-out over Jones was followed by 59 seconds of coverage on Special Report, 1 minutes and 49 seconds on The O'Reilly Factor, and 6 minutes and 20 seconds on Hannity.
Fox's coverage of Van Jones is hardly surprising if you consider how the network led the witch hunt against Jones and other Obama "czars" in the past year. With their apparent obsession with anything Jones does, some kind of Griff Jenkins-hosted reality show centered on Jones' everyday life can't be far off.
From Ann Coulter's February 24 syndicated column:
Right now, Americans are hopping mad, swinging a stick and hoping to hit anyone who so much as thinks about nationalizing health care.
If they could, Americans would cut the power to the Capitol, throw everyone out and try to deport them. (Whereas I say: Anyone in Washington, D.C., who can produce an original copy of a valid U.S. birth certificate should be allowed to stay.)
Sean Hannity is not terribly interested in telling his Fox News viewers the truth, as his track record all too amply demonstrates. So, it's no surprise that Hannity would twist the words of Jimmy Carter in order to portray President Obama as weak.
On his February 24 show, Hannity asserted that Carter is "fuming" that a Foreign Policy magazine article made comparisons between Carter and Obama. Apparently, Hannity insisted, "President Obama has made such a mess that even Jimmy Carter is now distancing himself from the president."
Except that's not what happened at all. Carter was, in fact, complaining about Foreign Policy's attempt to paint Obama as "a new Jimmy Carter" as a symbol of Obama's supposed "weakness and indecision." At no point did Carter distance himself from Obama. His complaint was joined by a letter from Carter's national security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, making a similar argument.
Hannity has a tired Obama-bashing script he must adhere to, no matter what -- and he's certainly not going to let the facts get in his way.
From the February 24 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor:
It is this sort of extremist rhetoric that drove 80 advertisers from Beck's show last year. They decided they didn't want to be associated with Beck and his comments, and pulled their ads in response. Ever since, Beck's commercial breaks have consisted of ads for gold, "As Seen on TV"-type products, conservative organizations seeking a friendly audience and other Newscorp subsidiaries, along with an inordinate number of Fox News promos.
And yet, Visa has advertised on Beck's last two Fox News programs. Visa must be aware of this year-long advertiser boycott, so we have no choice but to assume that the company wishes to be associated with the following Beck comments:
At least 80 advertisers have reportedly dropped their ads from Glenn Beck's Fox News program since he called President Obama a "racist" who has a "deep-seated hatred for white people." Here are his February 24 sponsors, in the order they appeared:
It snowed in Moscow -- Moscow, mind you, not Havana -- and so National Review's Greg Pollowitz was compelled to make a crack about global warming:
I can only assume conservative journalists are compelled to take some sort of oath never to let facts or science get in the way of a bad joke.
UPDATE: A reminder:
Bill Hemmer, the anchor of Fox News' America's Newsroom, claims in a TVNewser interview that Fox News' "opinion" programs don't bleed into his "news" program:
TVNEWSER: The evening opinion hosts get a lot of press and a lot of attention ... I'm kind of wondering, do you think that there's any sort of effect on the news reporters and anchors?
HEMMER: I hope not. You wonder if some of that bleeds over into other areas. In our case, it does not. On our broadcast, with Martha MacCallum and me, we shoot it down the middle at 9am and for the next several hours after that.
From the Media Matters archive of America's Newsroom:
And finally, a picture example of America's Newsroom shooting "it down the middle":
Fellow Fox "straight news" anchor Jon Scott -- when he's not cut and pasting GOP research as own or repeating fake stories that have already been retracted -- has also defended the integrity of the channel's news hours.
UPDATE: Seriously, where would anyone get the idea that the "opinion" shows bleed into the "news" programs?
(3/13/09; 1/12/09; 2/2/09; 3/13/09; 6/9/09)