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Ed Driscoll

How Badly Does Salon Hate President Obama?

January 24th, 2013 - 11:05 am

Or at the very least, how much does Salon distrust Obama?

Much like the Atlantic publishing a Scientology infomercial last week — and then realizing the full horror of what they had done, sending it off to 404-land later the same day — yesterday Salon published a pro-“Truther” article titled “Give truthers a chance?,”  and then pulled it even faster than the Atlantic’s own disappearing act.

The Salon article ran two days after Obama’s second inauguration, but for a moment, cast your mind back to 2008 and early 2009, and his initial presidential campaign and inauguration. On the day before the Fourth of July in 2008, as a presidential candidate, Barack Obama declared that George Bush was “unpatriotic” merely because his administration was spending too much. (Chutzpah, thy name is Barry O.)

Immediately upon taking office, don’t you think Obama would have loved — loved! — to have been able to give a nationally televised speech from the Oval Office and stentoriously explain to the American people in copious detail the full horror of what he had discovered after finally having the chance to go through the White House files? Considering who would have had to have been involved — from Bush and Cheney to Rudy Giuliani down to the team that wired up the WTC with explosives — Obama would have had his dream moment of destroying the Republican brand name forever.

And if not Obama, then why not someone on his staff? As Mark Steyn told Hugh Hewitt in September of 2009 when self-admitted Truther Van Jones crashed and burned:

HH: In Obama’s America, Van Jones has come to great prominence. Today, the latest, he’s President Obama’s green jobs advisor, last night he had to apologize for calling Republicans a**holes.

MS: Right.

HH: And the remark said they do not reflect the view of this administration. Actually, I think they do reflect the views of this administration. But today, it was revealed, he’s a truther. He joined, in 2004, he signed a statement calling for then-New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and others to launch an investigation into evidence that suggest high level government officials may have deliberately allowed the September 11th attacks to occur. How long would a Bush administration official who called Democrats a**holes and was a truther lasted, Mark Steyn?

MS: Exactly. I mean, this is the thing. We’re supposed to be the crazy guys. We’re supposed to be the ones who don’t distance ourselves from the loons. You know, we’re the…Glenn Beck is supposed to be bananas. The birther movement are supposed to be the nuts. And yet, and yet, it is somehow the reality-based community, or whatever these guys call themselves, that has managed to put a 9/11 truther two doors away from President Obama in the Oval Office. And if he really thinks that the federal government pulled off 9/11, then he’s inside the system. Why doesn’t he uncover the truth of it? He’s the green jobs czar. Presumably, in the previous administration, George W. Bush was the steel melting czar. So why doesn’t he just take a look in the filing cabinets, and expose the truth on it? It’s an absolute, it’s not just ludicrous, but it is absolutely outrageous that this fellow has been appointed as one of Obama’s various czars. What I found interesting about the guy is that he’s a communist. Now I assume when people say oh, he used to be a communist, that they were communists in the 60s or 70s, you know, when it was cool, the spirit of 1968 and all that. This guy became a communist in the 90s. He became a communist after the Russians and the Bulgarians and the Romanians and the Czechs and even partly the Chinese, and even the Vietnamese had all given up on it.

So clearly, by 2013 and the time of Barack Obama’s second inauguration, if there was an inside job to bring down the WTC, Obama must know about it himself — and he’s covering it up. He’s in on it! And yet, the same 35 percent or so of Democrats who are Truthers — who all believe in this wheels within wheels Oliver Stone meets the Manchurian Candidate meets Seven Days In May on-steroids vast conspiracy to this day — all voted for a man who must now be part of the conspiracy himself. Otherwise, he has to be the biggest dupe in the history of the White House for not being curious enough to ask his aides to find out what happened now that they have the keys to the kingdom themselves. And this is the story Salon chose to run two days after his inauguration.

All of which means that over a decade after 9/11, PJM contributor Kathy Shaidle’s own Occam’s Razor-esque debunking of Trutherism still rings true. As Steyn wrote in 2006:

When I was on the Rush Limbaugh show a couple of months back, a listener called up to insist that 9/11 was an inside job. I asked him whether that meant Bali and Madrid and London and Istanbul were also inside jobs. Because that’s one expensive operation to hide even in the great sucking maw of the federal budget. But the Toronto blogger Kathy Shaidle made a much sharper point:

“I wonder if the nuts even believe what they are saying. Because if something like 9/11 happened in Canada, and I believed with all my heart that, say, Stephen Harper was involved, I don’t think I could still live here. I’m not sure I could stop myself from running screaming to another country. How can you believe that your President killed 2,000 people, and in between bitching about this, just carry on buying your vente latte and so forth?”

Over to you, Col. de Grand Pre, and Charlie Sheen, and Alan Colmes.

Do the Truthers ever ponder any of this? Or is it simply a case, as with JFK’s assassination, of wanting to imagine that the scope of the events leading up to a world-changing catastrophe are equal to the horror caused by the moment itself? Or, again, as with JFK, not wanting to explore the worldview of the perpetrator of the crime? And even more so than the death of JFK, given the magnitude of destruction on 9/11, and the number of insiders whom the truthers think must be in on the logistics, note that none have yet to come forth to sell the rights to his story, or at the least, to do a 60-Minutes style interview where they’ve disguised his voice and pixelated his image.

Another question: do the layers and layers of fact checkers and editors at a publication like Salon ever ponder any of these notions?

Related: From John Nolte at Big Journalism, “Salon Doesn’t Believe Fire Melts Steel”:  This is what happens “when you watch Rosie instead of reading a book.”

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