In case you haven't heard, a series of rallies involving truckers who are supposedly fed up with President Obama is scheduled for D.C. this weekend. The plan is supposedly for 3,000 truckers to flood the Capitol Beltway and slow down traffic, all as a show of protest against the Obama administration and the Democrats in Congress. It's being called "Truckers Ride for the Constitution," because, of course.
While Fox News and the usual suspects within the conservative entertainment complex are helping to promote this thing by giving its co-organizer and public face, a woman named Zeeda Andrews, a public platform from which to push for everyone to get behind it, they're also portraying those involved as average Americans with an understandable beef against out-of-control government.
Believe that's the whole story? Yeah, I didn't think so.
From Media Matters:
Zeeda Andrews... apparently thinks that President Obama and Osama bin Laden are somehow the same person; that Obama is a secret Muslim; that the Boston bombings were a "false flag"; that the CIA murdered Buzzfeed journalist Michael Hastings; and that the Department of Homeland Security is stockpiling ammunition in order to slaughter Americans. On her Facebook page, Andrews identifies as a fan of two 9-11 conspiracy theory movies, a documentary that postulates that the government may be secretly injecting aluminum into the atmosphere to block the sun's rays, and a film based on the lectures of British conspiracy theorist David Icke, who believes a secret race of lizard people run the world. (Radio host Peter Santilli, who has appeared in press reports as a spokesperson for the event, is also a 9-11 conspiracy theorist. Santilli made news earlier this year when he suggested Hillary Clinton should be "shot in the vagina" for treason.)
This is a good example of what I talked about yesterday. It's one thing for a news or public information outlet to have those on-staff or as guests with legitimate political grievances. Nothing wrong with that. But those views have to be based in reality in order to be taken seriously, and to mask somebody's insane underlying beliefs by not mentioning them or, worse, to cast those beliefs as benign or even laudable is wholly unethical. Fox News, the Blaze, and so on -- all of them know Zeeda Andrews is very likely a paranoid whack-job, but since her long-term political goals line up with theirs, no harm, no foul. She's a nut, but she's our nut. I don't even need to tell you that thinking this way isn't journalism. It's not even advocacy. It's heresy.
Anyway, now you know. Just remember, if you are going to the big truckers' rally this weekend, when you get there be sure and tell 'em Large Marge sent ya.
Sorry, couldn't resist.