The ODS-afflicted right is so eager to pounce on anything derogatory about President Obama, the First Lady, their children, their dog, and whoever or whatever else about which Limbaugh spews or the far-right blogosphere scribbles in crayon, that whether or not the story has any shred of truth or credibility to it makes no difference. (See birth certificate, the First Lady’s purse, her staff, etc.) The latest is the “thesis hoax,” which the ODSers jumped on like a hungry man on a ham sandwich.
The web site Jumping in Pools posted this on August 25:
“A political science major, Obama was seen as a top student, according to his classmates. Professors even asked the young student to lecture several times. Obama was required to write a ‘senior seminar’ paper in order to graduate from Columbia. The subject of this paper, which totaled 44 pages, was American government. Entitled Aristocracy Reborn, this paper chronicled the long struggle of the working class against, as Obama put it, “plutocratic thugs with one hand on the money and the other on the government.”
…the President also singled out the American Constitution: “… the Constitution allows for many things, but what it does not allow is the most revealing. The so-called Founders did not allow for economic freedom. While political freedom is supposedly a cornerstone of the document, the distribution of wealth is not even mentioned. While many believed that the new Constitution gave them liberty, it instead fitted them with the shackles of hypocrisy.”
Hysteria and histrionics ensued. Michael Ledeen at Pajamas Media wrote:
“Maybe instead of fuming about words that Rush Limbaugh never uttered, the paladins of the free press might ask the president about words that he did write. Maybe he’d like to parse “the so-called Founders,” for example. I’d like to know what he thinks of those words today. And what about the rest of the thesis?”
“What on earth does this President have to do to get the media coverage he so richly deserves!…maybe a decades old claim that the U.S. Constitution didn’t give early Americans liberty but fitted them with the shackles of hypocrisy doesn’t deserve some questions, like what did you mean by that and when and how did your thoughts change — if they did?”
And of course, the big Kahuna, El Rushbo himself, had to get in on the act, saying on his radio program, “He [Obama] doesn’t like the Constitution…this little boy, in college, writing about it with utter disdain, and he still shares those same feelings.” Listen:
One minor detail was overlooked, the whole thing was satire. It would have saved the bloggers and Limbaugh a great deal of embarrassment if they had simply looked at the tags at the bottom of the Jumping in Pools post, “satire” is there. But never ones to let truth get in the way of a good smear, that didn’t matter. “We don’t need no stinkin’ corroboration, run with it.”
And then the backtracking commenced. Ledeen writing, the hoax “worked because it’s plausible.” Keohane trotted out the old “what about _____” attempt at misdirection, writing that he, Ledeen, and Limbaugh;
“…all posted corrections or backed off the story or both within hours or less. Was that the case with the major media and many on the left with the fake Limbaugh quotes, or the fake TANG documents about Bush, or Jesse McBeth, or…”
Rush’s non-retraction retraction went like this:
“I don’t care if the quotes are made up, I know Obama thinks it.”
So now we can add to Mr. Limbaugh’s many other ‘talents on loan from God,’ the ability to read minds.