Crazed wingnut blogger Pamela “Shrieking Harpy” Geller has a book out, which must have been a real chore for the unlucky editor who had to correct her misspellings and tortured grammar. Elon Green has a look at this work of fiction (co-written with her fellow anti-Muslim fascist sympathizer, Robert Spencer), and asks the relevant question: Why Is Simon & Schuster Spreading the Wild Conspiracy Theories of an Unhinged Islamophobic Blogger?
Threshold Editions, the imprint upon which megapublisher Simon & Schuster dumps books it’s too ashamed to release under its own name, made a ballsy bet: that Pamela Geller — a deeply unhinged blogger who famously claimed that Barack Obama is the bastard child of Malcolm X — has an audience sufficiently large and loyal to justify a six-figure advance. Makes sense! If MSNBC, Fox, NBC and CNN have Geller on, the pool of inbred, 50-something Tea Partiers desirous of an icky melange of silicone and Tom Tancredo talking points cannot possibly have gone dry. Right?
Mary Matalin, the head of the imprint, is making a play for a crowd that can’t spell “niggar” but won’t mind reading a book about a man they see as just that — so long as it confirms their half-baked theories. What better way to siphon off Tea Partiers than through a lady who cheerfully befouls the Upper West Side with a toxic brew of rotating hatreds? On days ending in Y this includes Muslims (“The motor of this presidency is submission to Islam”), transgenders (“Does [Obama] chill with anyone who is normal?”) and health care reform — or as she calls it, “rape.”
This is bull goose loony territory, but it happens to be the language of modern conservatism. William Buckley’s body had not been in the ground 10 minutes before the National Review embraced Geller, happily laundering stories they wouldn’t publicly touch with a 10-foot noose. Here’s how it works: A couple weeks prior to the last presidential election, a Review editor linked to Geller’s blog and asked, “What is the deal with Obama’s birth certificate and citizenship status?” (Sort of like Seinfeld, but Catholic!) This, in turn, gave the magazine license to spend 4,000 words answering the question.
In another era, Pam Geller would be rotting away on Blackwell’s Island, counting cockroaches. Instead, the former associate publisher of the New York Observer managed to parlay her ability to find common cause with fascists and mid-level neo-Nazis, and her overt hatred of Muslims and liberal Jews, into an asset instead of a disqualifier. For Geller, a Borscht Belt Ann Coulter shtick is profitable.
Since the New Black Panther Party has been the race-baiting rage lately, here’s a related cover image from the Lizard Collection: issue #52 of Fantastic Four, a classic released in July 1966, an arguably more innocent and open time. This book featured the first appearance of African superhero Black Panther, who would go on to become one of the Avengers. It’s Jack Kirby and Stan Lee at the top of their talents, drawing on 60s memes and cultural icons to create a new, distinct, and very influential form of pop art.
Today the Anti-Defamation League surprisingly and inexplicably released a statement opposing the Park51 community center: Statement On Islamic Community Center Near Ground Zero.
Proponents of the Islamic Center may have every right to build at this site, and may even have chosen the site to send a positive message about Islam. The bigotry some have expressed in attacking them is unfair, and wrong. But ultimately this is not a question of rights, but a question of what is right. In our judgment, building an Islamic Center in the shadow of the World Trade Center will cause some victims more pain – unnecessarily – and that is not right.
For a civil rights organization to take the position that feelings are more important than civil rights is, frankly, stunning.
And it’s even more stunning that the ADL acknowledges the open bigotry of many Park51 opponents, but still very publicly supports them.
Humorist Will Rogers once said about the repeal of Prohibition, “Repeal is all right, but the wrong people are for it.” In this case, the wrong people are against Park51, and if Abe Foxman and the ADL can’t keep their personal feelings out of the issue, they should have just kept quiet instead of handing the Bigot Brigade a public relations gift. What a disgrace.
Confirming everything I’ve written about them, John Hawkins takes a poll of the right wing blogosphere on their attitudes toward race. It’s bad as you might imagine.
Get a load of Hawkins’s title: Polling Conservative Bloggers On Race, Jesse Jackson, the NAACP, & False Accusations of Racism. Now that’s how you take a poll! Gallup, please note.
This poll makes it very clear why the wingnuts united in lockstep to promote Andrew Breitbart’s fraudulent Shirley Sherrod scam: they live in a giant Internet-equipped echo chamber.
100% of them oppose any type of affirmative action, all of them hate the NAACP, all of them deny being “racially prejudice” (except one, who admits it), an overwhelming majority think whites are victims of racism, and 100% of them think most accusations of racism are false.
Apparently nobody noticed the cognitive dissonance of the last two items.
1) How big a problem is racism in our society today? Is it a big problem, somewhat of a problem, a small problem or not a problem at all?
A) A big problem: 4.8% (3 votes)
B) Somewhat of a problem: 20.6% (13 votes)
C) A small problem: 60.3% (38 votes)
D) Not a problem at all: 14.3% (9 votes)
2) If you honestly assessed yourself, would you say that you’re racially prejudice [sic]?
A) Yes: 1.6% (1 votes)
B) No: 98.4% (62 votes)
3) Do you think blacks have achieved racial equality, will soon achieve racial equality, will not achieve racial equality in your lifetime, or will never achieve racial equality?
A) Have achieved: 78.7% (48 votes)
B) Will soon achieve: 16.4% (10 votes)
C) Won’t achieve in your lifetime: 4.9% (3 votes)
4) In general, do you approve or disapprove of giving preferences to blacks and other minorities in things like hirings, promotions, and college admissions?
A) Approve: 0% (0 votes)
B) Disapprove: 100% (63 votes)
5) Do you believe that the government discriminates against white Americans based on their skin color?
A) Yes: 79.4% (50 votes)
B) No: 20.6% (13 votes)
6) Do you believe that people who are opposed to illegal immigration could best be described as…
A) People who want to see the border secured, support law order, or believe illegal immigration is bad for America: 96.8% (61 votes)
B) People who don’t like Hispanics: 0% (0 votes)
C) Not sure: 3.2% (2 votes)
7) In your opinion, have you or a group you’re a part of ever been falsely accused of racism?
A) Yes: 86.9% (53 votes)
B) No: 13.1% (8 votes)
Do you think the majority of accusations of racism in politics today are false?
A) Yes: 100% (62 votes)
B) No: 0% (0 votes)
9) Do you think that NAACP would better be described as a group that…
A) Represents black Americans: 0% (0 votes)
B) Represents liberal black Americans: 100% (62 votes)
10) Which of the following do you think best describes Jesse Jackson & Al Sharpton?
A) People are genuinely trying to fight against racism and injustice: 1.6% (1 votes)
B) People who make mostly false accusations of racism to get attention, make money, or for political gain: 93.7% (59 votes)
C) Not sure: 4.8% (3 votes)
11) Do you believe that the Democratic Party falsely tries to convince black and Hispanic Americans that Republicans hate them as a political strategy?
A) Yes, they do: 100% (63 votes)
B) No, they don’t: 0% (0 votes)
C) Most Republicans do hate black & hispanic Americans: 0% (0 votes)
These people really suck.