News broke last night that conservative author and filmmaker, Dinesh d’Souza, was indicted on federal charges of using straw donors to contribute to a senate campaign. Since that news broke, it has been met with the kind of conspiracies we are used to seeing from the right. They seem to have coelesced around one standard meme here that d’Souza was targeted not for the alleged crime, but rather for being a conservative. Even the legal minds in the right wing blogosphere push this notion, including Ann Althouse and Glenn Reynolds.
What else is interesting is that none of them seem to try to defend the actual crime that d’Souza is charged with. In fact they seem more or less admitting that he did it, but rather arguing that he is only being charged because of his political beliefs. And that false narrative is working. Just read the comments on these right wing sites and you see this suddenly being added to the potpourri of conspiracies the right has concocted about President Obama.
But is this a charge only reserved for the minority party or some “political enemies list”? Maybe its easy to assume that, but the facts will quickly dismiss that. Let’s look at this case. d’Souza is accused of funneling $20,000 to a candidate through the use of straw donors. While you maybe thinking that is an odd crime you never heard of, it is a crime and has been prosecuted before:
Straw-donor cases have been brought against prominnent individuals from time to time. For example, in 2011, a prominent Los Angeles attorney, Pierce O’Donnell, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor chargest of making $20,000 in donations to the presidential campaign of former Sen. John Edwards and reimbursing straw donors.
This is a story you won’t see mentioned on right-wing blogs, even though I got the link from Drudge. So why would these blogs ignore this story, even though their premiere news source is even linking it? Simple – misdirection. What they want you to do is believe there is some big conspiracy transpiring at the highest levels of the Obama government. They know this story will punch a hole right through that conspiracy, so they choose to ignore it. Perhaps that’s the reason Drudge decided to push the link, entitled “FLASHBACK: Edwards donor charged with misdemeanor for same crime…”, as a warning that there is an actual story out there damaging their claims.
But the right is not nor hasn’t been about facts for the past several years, especially since President Obama took that oath of office. And the d’Souza indictment isn’t the only example of this.
Another meme that has been going on for the past couple of weeks is that the Holder DOJ is investigating Chris Christie’s bridgegate because he is a) a Republican and b) the only republican that was beating Hilary in the 2016 polls. They want you to think that the Holder DOJ only goes after those with an R by their name and that the US Attorneys are nothing more than the Gestapo of Obama/Holder. And that is why you see no mention of this on any right wing sites today:
The federal criminal investigation into New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez is broader than previously known, NBC 4 New York has learned.
The Department of Justice is investigating Menendez’s efforts on behalf of two fugitive bankers from Ecuador, multiple current and former U.S. officials tell NBC 4 New York. The probe into Menendez’s dealing with the bankers comes as federal authorities are also investigating his relationship to a big campaign donor from Florida.
Now usually the right will jump on any story involving an investigation into a Democrat, but they are eerily silent on this one. Why is that? Again, sleight of hand. They want their readers to believe that the DOJ will only go after Republicans and give Democrats a pass. This story, like the Edwards one, proves that theory categorically false. The wingnuts can not have that, so they again choose to ignore the facts and continue pushing their meme. Read their comment sections and you also see that it is working.
People talk about the widening partisan divide in our nation, and it is a problem. What is ignored is the bigger cause of the problem. That problem is sites, like the right wing blogs, that omit the facts to prove their case wrong, in order to generate outrage.
Did you hear that the IRS was targeting conservative groups? Sure you did. Did you hear that they were also doing the same to liberal groups? Maybe not, because the right wing blogosphere and media don’t want to report that. And when you couple that omission with what is being reported, you quickly deduce that what occurred wasn’t really targeting, but rather the IRS doing their job.
And when you see the stories I linked about, you quickly deduce that the DOJ isn’t targeting conservatives, but rather anyone that breaks the law. In other words, the DOJ is doing their job. And if this is under the direction of Eric Holder or even Barack Obama, well then they are only guilty of upholding their oath to the Constitution, and to protect and defend our laws. Of course the right also wants you to believe that Holder and Obama are doing just the opposite, ignoring their oath. Again – sleight of hand.