We all remember when the conservatives discovered Stephen Colbert was joking. It took them awhile to figure it out. They thought he was one of them.
Some of them still do.
Why did it take so long when he was so outrageously over the top? Because they themselves are so outrageously over the top. He fit right in. His message blended with theirs.
Colbert so had the right-wing fooled that in 2006 he was invited to the White House Correspondents Dinner – as a conservative. That was the wake-up call for some, but apparently not all.
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As recently as April 2009 the Huffington Post was writing that “according to a study from The Ohio State University, which proves, with math and stuff, that lots of conservatives seem to not understand the intrinsic, underlying joke of The Colbert Report.”
Conservatives seem endlessly capable of having the wool pulled over their eyes. Our first clue was their ready acceptance of George W. Bush. Some of them still believe what he said. Some of them still believe Cheney and Rove, or maybe they’ve too much invested in the lies now to admit they were wrong.
And look how eagerly they lap up the vapid rhetoric of people like Sarah Palin, Sharron Angle, Jan Brewer and Michelle Bachmann.
In some way, if they weren’t so dangerous, watching these clowns would be as entertaining as watching a prime-time sitcom. More so.
Either way, they’ve been fooled again, this time by a site called christwire.org.
The New York Times profiled the site and its creators on September 3 of this year. As the NYT put it, “Since 2008, ChristWire.org has emerged as the leading Internet site for ultraconservative Christian news, commentary and weather reportage.”
But it’s all a joke: 27 million page views in August, and none of it is true.
As with the Colbert Report, the news and the views expressed are so outrageous that conservatives cannot tell it apart from their own distorted worldview.
The originators of the site are Bryan Butvidas and Kirwin Watson. Mr. Butvidas expressed their goal as follows: “Let’s write stuff to expose how stupid people are.”
They seem to have succeeded beyond their expectations. They even fooled Marie Jon, a writer for RenewAmerica.com, a conservative organization that claims as it’s purpose, the expansion of “the influence of America’s grassroots — both among individual citizens and among principled groups — in the cause of preserving our nation upon its founding ideals, specifically those in the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution, as well as those derived from biblical principles” while somehow pretending to be “nonpartisan and nondenominational.”
Maybe conservatives do have a sense of humor!
But let’s leave fantasy behind and return to the world of the real: Ms. Jon used to allow her stories to be reposted to ChristWire.
I guess you can believe anything if you try hard enough. Or perhaps, the point is, that people don’t try hard enough. That, at any rate, was the operating premise of ChristWire’s founders.
“There’s just rampant idiocy in the media sometimes,” Mr. Watson said. “People watch their favorite news channels, don’t question it and will regurgitate it the next day at the office. That is no good at all.”
“Our main culprit,” he adds, “is Fox News.”
Imagine that. FOX News, the show so over the top that nobody but conservatives believes it’s actually news.
It’s interesting that conservatives cannot see how gullible people like Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Glenn Beck and Ann Coulter have made them with their non-stop propaganda parade. The more outrageous the crap that spews from those mouths the more eagerly it is lapped up. The less relationship it has to reality, the more it is believed.
Does anybody on the right know how much Colbert and sites like christwire.org have in common with Limbaugh, Beck and the others. False piety and false news and false patriotism seems a pretty potent mix when you mix it in with a little bombast. And it’s hard to say who is more bombastic, the joking Colbert or the right-wing clown-show.
I wonder, sometimes, will these conservative pundits will wake up one day and realize what caricatures they have become? If they do, you can be it will be long after the fact has been recognized by the rest of the planet.
Hrafnkell Haraldsson, a social liberal with leanings toward centrist politics has degrees in history and philosophy. His interests include, besides history and philosophy, human rights issues, freedom of choice, religion, and the precarious dichotomy of freedom of speech and intolerance. He brings a slightly different perspective to his writing, being that he is neither a follower of an Abrahamic faith nor an atheist but a polytheist, a modern-day Heathen who follows the customs and traditions of his Norse ancestors. He maintains his own blog, A Heathen’s Day, which deals with Heathen and Pagan matters, and Mos Maiorum Foundation www.mosmaiorum.org, dedicated to ethnic religion. He has also contributed to NewsJunkiePost, GodsOwnParty and Pagan+Politics.
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