The attacks on Sandra Fluke have taken a decidedly nasty, personal turn. It was bad enough that Rush Limbaugh would stoop so low as to call her a slut and prostitute and demand she post sex videos on YouTube, all based on his completely made-up thesis that she wants taxpayers to pay for her birth control (she never said anything of the kind).
But now even her boyfriend and his family are being attacked. The pile-on started with Bill O’Reilly, who first revealed the identity of Fluke’s boyfriend, giving the right-wing bloggers their fresh meat. And now we have hacks like Jim “Dim” Hoft, who calls Fluke a “far left activist” and attacks her boyfriend as a “socialist.” (Other hacks refer to the boyfriend as A “socialist Jew.”) Hoft lifted year-old vacation pictures from her Facebook page, the message being, “she wants you to pay for her birth control so she can have hot sexy sex with radical leftists in Yurp. Yer tax dollahs!!!”
Again: this smear is based on Rush’s original lie, because nowhere in Sandra Fluke’s testimony did she ever say that she wanted taxpayers to foot the bill for anyone’s birth control: hers or anyone else’s. But don’t let facts stand in the way of a good smear.
Well, there’s a reason we call Hoft the dumbest man on the internet. Weigel does a good job debunking Hoft’s many lies and misrepresentations, but Right Blogistan is in full bully mode and there just isn’t enough bandwidth in the universe to debunk all of the sludge. Here’s a representative headline from a place called TheGraph, and you’ll just have to Google it because I refuse to give these hate sites any hits:
Or, Google “Sandra Fluke boyfriend” and you’ll see what I mean.
This has been the week in All Things Sandra Fluke Hot Sex Babe, which led up to the smear’s shining moment: CNN’s Dana Loesch, writing on her website that Fluke’s boyfriend should pay for her birth control because,
His father donates heavily to Democrat candidates. The couple is currently enjoying spring break in California, which poses the question of how Fluke can afford a trip across the country when she can’t afford birth control pills.
CNN should be so proud. Again: she repeats the lie that Rush started, but this one has an extra twist with the Democratic donor stuff. It’s gotta be a conspiracy, I tell ya!
This kind of bullying is what we’ve come to expect from the right wing blogosphere. It’s only a matter of time before Michelle Malkin reprises her role as trash-sifter in chief — if she hasn’t done so already. But let’s remember that Bill Maher called Sarah Palin dumb once in a comedy sketch. Both sides do it!
Surely there has to be more to this intimidation campaign. My guess is it’s designed to give any liberal citizen with the temerity to speak out on an issue pause. Speak out and expect the Rush Limbaugh/Fox News/conservative blogosphere to go in full attack mode. Not just you but everyone you associate with will be fair game.
I wouldn’t wish this on anyone but the more they attack based on an utter fabrication of her actual statement, the more ammo Fluke has for a defamation suit. And I really, really hope she sues Rush from here to kingdom come. The more right-wing bloggers make her life intolerable, the bigger her potential case. Especially since every one of these attacks repeat what Gene Weingarten referred to as Rush’s “invented calumny.” Textbook slander, indeed.
One of the most surreal images of the past month was that of the now-deceased Andrew Breitbart, glassy-eyed and repeating “be-HAVE yourself” over and over and over again at Occupy protestors. That, plus an interview in which he revealed deep paranoia about Media Matters and MSNBC, capped by a long, final Twitter stream of insults at strangers, are his last messages to the world.
I can think of no more fitting illustration of the right wing attack machine than this. Unhinged, paranoid, and full of hate, I have to wonder if these aren’t the last gasps of a dying breed, just as they were the last utterances of a dying man. I wonder if, like their standard-bearer Breitbart, they won’t soon be found metaphorically tits-up on a sidewalk, consumed by their own hate.
Sue, Sandra Fluke, sue. Sue and win. So no one else inspired to speak out on an issue they care about ever has to pay the price of character assassination and intimidation. Never again.