You Don’t Always Need to Read the Book to Know It’s BS

One of the favorite media outlets of the “conservative” fringe — the semi-to-full-cuckoo faction of the right wing — is WorldNetDaily, which has just run an article about journalists who declined to read a new anti-Obama book. The story, which I’m deliberately not linking to so that I don’t help its search ranking, does make one interesting point: that journalists using email with people they don’t know well should remember that their own words can be used to make them look either foolish or petty, as several do in this case.

I’d heard about this book and wasn’t interested in reading it for several reasons. The main one, as I told a Twitter user who pushed me to read the thing, is that whatever truth it contains, it can’t be trusted at all. How do I know that, since I haven’t read it? Because people who have read the book have noted that an entire chapter is devoted to promoting the idea that Obama is occupying the White House illegally because he either isn’t a citizen or (it gets complicated) has lineage that prevents his office-holding. This is birtherism on steroids.

When I pointed this out to the Twitter person, he tweeted (seriously): “Not all who question the exalted messiah is a ‘birther’. Love how libs shut down discourse w/ BS buzzwords. “

No, I shut down discourse, first, when people make the ridiculous assumption that I regard Obama as an exalted messiah; anyone who’s read what I’ve written and Tweeted about his extension of the Bush-era civil liberties abuses, among other things, would understand that. I also shut down conversations when the other parties use over-the-top language to push their own political agenda without regard to what I’m actually saying.

Again, it’s simple: An author who pushes birtherism as a basic part of his anti-Obama tract loses me before he starts.