The Wild Conspiracy Theories of an Unhinged Islamophobic Blogger
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.