Fox Reports On Those Who Believe The Conspiracy Theories They Have Been Spreading

There’s nothing really surprising in this story. We already knew that the tea party movement is dominated by people from the far right, and that these people are prone to believing conspiracy theories. What is surprising is the source–Fox. The story not only reports on the falsehoods widely believed by those at Tea Party rallies, but even points out that they are untrue:

…while organizers have held the tour as a way to stay front-and-center as a political force, the rallies have also attracted the kinds of mistruths, exaggerations and conspiracy theories that make Tea Party leaders cringe. Though the movement is still trying to shore up its credentials as a grassroots power that’s here to stay, the so-called “fringe” and its accompanying antics continue to give critics fodder.

“Obama, to me, is a socialist. He’s a Muslim and all he wants to do is bankrupt us and run us into the ground,” Ken Schwalbach of Escanaba, Mich., said at a rally on Friday.

Though Obama is a Christian — and his Christian faith was a focal point of debate during the campaign-era controversy over his former pastor Jeremiah Wright — the allegations that the president is a secret Muslim persist years later.

The charge of socialism has been a common theme at Tea Party gatherings — but some activists have gone beyond merely portraying Obama as a European-style, big-government liberal.

Some suggest Obama wants to keep Americans unemployed so that they become dependent on government-run programs. Lenin and Stalin have become catchwords to describe Obama in the speeches denouncing his policies.

Going further, swastikas, as well as pictures of Obama’s face next to Adolf Hitler’s, have appeared on signs at dozens of rallies blasting the president and the Democrat-controlled Congress.

Other Tea Party members continue to question the president’s citizenship — a sign reading “Show Us Your Birth Certificate” popped up at a recent rally in Traverse City, Mich.

“What’s more disturbing is that he’s not answering them,” Tea Party member and conservative blogger Andrea Shay King said of the questions over Obama’s birthplace.

The Hawaiian government twice confirmed during the 2008 presidential election that a copy of Obama’s birth certificate was authentic. Factcheck.org tracked down the birth certificate and posted copies of it online.

Questionable characterizations of the massive health care legislation have also resurfaced at Tea Party gatherings.

Ron Moore of Petoskey, Mich., said he stood firm in his belief that the Democrats’ goal was to implement “death panels” to decide who receives medical care and who does not.

“They’ve already started,” he said.

It is good to see any source point out that these beliefs of the far right are false. However, as Think Progress points out, Fox is responsible for spreading many of these false beliefs:

But of course, one of the primary reasons that so many of these right-wing activists believe these conspiracies is because Fox News has pushed them. For example, the “birther” conspiracy has been advanced on Fox News websites. The “death panels” myth has been advocated by Fox News personalities Peter Johnson Jr, Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Brian Kilmeade, and Michelle Malkin, among others.

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4 Comments

  1. 1
    mark says:

    He should just show the birth certificate. I dont get the big deal. Is there something to hide

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    As even Fox’s article points out, it has even been posted on line. There is nothing to hide, and nothing to this conspiracy theory.

  3. 3
    JMK says:

    Mark, go to Factcheck.org, you can view it.  Also, the state of Hawaii has confirmed he was born there, including the Republican governor Linda Lingle, on several occassions.  Of course, for conspiracy theorists who watch Fox News… there is no hope for reasoning.

  4. 4
    pat1944 says:

    RT @ronchusid: Fox Reports On Those Who Believe The Conspiracy Theories They Have Been Spreading -http://is.gd/bqe9E #p2

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