Follow The Links, People


Thanks to my friends at Wonkette, it appears this whole smear started in the most predictable of places: the lying liar Frank Luntz:


Well, nobody could’ve anticipated ….


This almost seems too petty to be believed, except it’s such a classic example of how the right-wing smear machine works that I just had to share it.

Our travel through the conservative cesspool begins at The New York Times, where we have this innocuous little story about the White House executive pastry chef leaving his position in June. Here’s the tantalizing lede:

WASHINGTON — The first lady, Michelle Obama, is soon to lose her executive pastry chef, Bill Yosses. And she is partly to blame.

Ooh, yummy! What did that wretched woman do now? Ah, it’s all fun and games, as the story goes on to say that FLOTUS has inspired Chef Yosses’ newfound interest in healthy food. Oh, okay! They were joshing us. Indeed, Yosses was originally famous for his rich desserts, but he changed his ways at the direction of Mrs. Obama and has a new culinary calling. Not only has he changed his own diet, he’s found a new passion for creating healthier yet still delicious dessert treats:

She has piqued his interest in the relationship between food and health, he said in a recent telephone interview, so the man who made the Hawaiian chocolate-malted ganache for the White House state dinner for France is now headed to New York with an aim to teach children and adults about eating better. In the meantime, he has given up his usual breakfast doughnuts for a smoothie made with apple, kale, spinach and ginger — from time to time.

Oh! So the Times was just using a time-honored literary device to pull readers into the story. Nicely done. The chef further tells the Times,

The result — oatmeal bars, baked apples and pear-quince cobblers, among many others — will have a lasting impact on his eating habits, as will Mrs. Obama.

“She has done it with humor and good will, without preaching, just the way you would hope the ‘Mom in chief’ would do,” Mr. Yosses said. He called her “definitely an inspiring boss, a combination of spontaneity and seriousness.”

Hugs and kisses all around! The openly gay chef will get to finally live with his husband of three years — they’ve been separated for their entire 11-year-relationship — and Chef Yosses has found a new career direction. So, a nice little (dare I say it?) fluff piece, yes? Nothing to see here, move along.

Unless you’re The Daily Caller, of course! Over at Tucker Carlson’s Little Conservative Lie Machine, a nothing little story about the White House pastry chef is given a complete 180 and turned into a major smear of FLOTUS.

Here’s the screen shot:


Nice way to take quotes out of context there, guys! See how they mashed up the Times piece to put an entirely new spin on what Chef Yosses actually said:

White House executive pastry chef Bill Yosses is resigning after First Lady Michelle Obama fundamentally changed his job duties to focus on healthier food.

Yosses is leaving the White House in June to work on a new project focusing on “food literacy” and The New York Times says Michelle is “partly to blame.” The openly gay chef was hired by Laura Bush in 2007 to make his trademark cookie plates and sugar sculptures. Mrs. Obama took over in 2009 and ordered Yosses to make healthier plates in smaller portions.

Yosses began replacing butter with fruit puree and sugar with honey and agave. But Yosses was never fully committed to the new policy.

“I don’t want to demonize cream, butter, sugar and eggs,” Yosses said, noting that his departure from the White House is a “bittersweet decision.”

Oh, I see what you did there! That nice twisting of facts and quotes to give them an entirely new context is what we in the business call “fundamentally true but essentially bullshit.” Just enough plausible deniability to prevent a lawsuit in these United States — but don’t try that shit in Britain, Patrick Howley! You’d get your ass sued.

Oh, and give them extra points for actually linking to the original New York Times story. That takes balls. It appears the business model of The Daily Failure is to assume nobody follows links. Considering how lazy the right wing readership is, I’d say that’s a pretty good gamble.

But our little story isn’t finished, kids. Nope: along come the usual rabble of right-wing idiots like Tennessee’s own Marsha Blackburn to post the “smear” version of the Chef Yosses story on Facebook, with a snarkly little anti-Obama quip to feed her brain-dead followers:

blackburn page

This takes talent, it really does. This is how the conservative bubble operates. None of this would work if just one person followed the links from a Daily Caller story and actually compared the two versions. But they don’t. Clearly Marsha Blackburn didn’t — she didn’t need to. Because what matters to them is not what’s actually true, but what they want to be true. And they want to believe that even the White House pastry chef hates Michelle Obama. The entire right-wing spin machine is created to make a fringe minority believe they are a persecuted majority. It’s how the outrage stays alive.

This is not something Democrats need to aspire to in any way, shape or form, but it is something we need to be aware of the next time someone tries to launch another Swift Boat attack on a war hero or tries to sell death panels and FEMA camps to the masses.


Filed under conservatives, FLOTUS, food, media, Rep. Marsha Blackburn

41 responses to “Follow The Links, People

  1. My favorite part is how the commenters on Blackburn’s page are taking the bait – hook, line, and sinker. To wit: Mary Anne Gillam posts, “Michelle does know zip about food. Every time you see her stuffing her mouth is on something fattening. The big A$$ has never reduced, only gotten larger. She does not nor has she studied nutrition and the amounts of food needed. You can tell from the school lunches. The kids are still hungry and won’t eat the slop she wants them too.”

    • This is the RW information bubble personified. I’m sure Limbaugh and Hannity will now quote the Daily Caller story, and all of the true believers will continue to feel justified in their opinion that Everyone Hates Michelle Obama until the next time when they are proven 100% wrong. The pastry chef thing is petty and stupid, but they follow this exact same model on policy things and political candidates. This is how they all believed Mitt Romney would be president in 2012.

  2. Frank Luntz is pimping the lie on the twitters. I thought he quit to do sports?

    Frank Luntz ‏@FrankLuntz 47m

    White House chef resigns over Michelle Obama’s anti-pastry campaign

  3. tnlib

    I’m kind of at the point I can’t even be half-way polite with these ignoramuses.

  4. Joseph Stans

    The conservatives have been in deep derp for sometime now and they are clutching at anything. Some house members will be taking to the road to compare a health care plan they don’t have to the ACA.

  5. “Demo – I agree with you that this is stupid to with this story.”

    And that means that you also dismiss Luntz and the other lying sacks-of-shits’ FABRICATED HORROR STORIES about everything else.

    Uh, right, yeah, I didn’t think so.

    The thing about people like you, Jimbo, is that you’re quick to disagree with shit that you KNOW is ignorant, hateful and demonstrably dishonest. Your problem is that you only see it when you want to.

    Healthcare and health insurance which you are able to get without selling your house or dipping into your 401k are, in your opinion, not something people should get help with; others–those who CAN’T get healthcare because they can’t afford it–are undeserving, in your eyes. That you’re lumping career criminals, actual welfare scammers and folks that are willfully disregarding common sense advice about diet and exercise* with the working poor, single mothers with children (I’d say “single parents” but we know that “mothers” are the overwhelming number of single parents who have custody of their children) and others who CANNOT afford health insurance or healthcare does not concern you in the least.

    Luntz is a lying fuckbag, as are virtually everyone at FuckTheNewsCorpse and all of the talking shitheads and “grassroots” advocashills that take their coin from the Koch brothers and other ReiKKKwing KKKorparatists.

    I know that you wish that people like Luntz would only lie about shit that you want them to lie about and NOT get involved in shitflingin’ that is so transparently dishonest and obviously partisan.

    Lay down with dogs, Jimbo, get up with fleas and then get bubonic plague and die because other people with bubonic plague weren’t taken care of by the “streamlined” gummint that you so heartily yearn for.

    * As if affordable healthcare and health insurance are things that those three groups should NOT have.

    • Jim in Memphis

      I have no clue who Luntz is as I do not watch Fox News – assuming he is on that station (hell I don’t even have cable – who can afford that?). You all seem to think I plug into some conservative show and download “talking points” but I can honestly say that is just not the case. Most times I check out a few blogs – mostly liberal – to see what they are whining about. If it interests me then I will search the web for more information. Otherwise I have plenty of other things to do other than worry about what some dumb shit politician or journalist is saying be they conservative or liberal.

  6. jdrhoades

    “It appears the business model of The Daily Failure is to assume nobody follows links. Considering how lazy the right wing readership is, I’d say that’s a pretty good gamble.”

    I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve clicked through to links provided by wingnuts to “prove” their assertions and had those links turn out to prove no such thing. I don’t think they read past the headlines. If they read at all.

  7. “I have no clue who Luntz is as I do not watch Fox News ”

    You used ten words more than were necessary, counting backwards from “News”.


    “Luntz frequently tests word and phrase choices using focus groups and interviews. His stated purpose in this is the goal of causing audiences to react based on emotion. “80 percent of our life is emotion, and only 20 percent is intellect. I am much more interested in how you feel than how you think.” “If I respond to you quietly, the viewer at home is going to have a different reaction than if I respond to you with emotion and with passion and I wave my arms around. Somebody like this is an intellectual; somebody like this is a freak.”[3]

    In an article in The New Yorker Luntz is quoted as saying, “The way my words are created is by taking the words of others…. I’ve moderated an average of a hundred plus focus groups a year over five years… I show them language that I’ve created. Then I leave a line for them to create language for me.”[8]

    In a January 9, 2007, interview on Fresh Air with Terry Gross, Luntz redefined the term “Orwellian” in a positive sense, saying that if one reads Orwell’s Essay On Language (presumably referring to Politics and the English Language), “To be ‘Orwellian’ is to speak with absolute clarity, to be succinct, to explain what the event is, to talk about what triggers something happening… and to do so without any pejorative whatsoever.”[9]

    Luntz’s description of “Orwellian” is considered to contradict both its popularly-defined meaning as well as that defined by George Orwell.”

    and this:

    “Luntz was Pat Buchanan’s pollster during the 1992 U.S. Republican presidential primary, and later that year served as Ross Perot’s pollster in the general election.[11]

    Luntz also served as Newt Gingrich’s pollster in mid-1990s for the Contract with America.[12] During that time, he helped Gingrich produce a GOPAC memo that encouraged Republicans to “speak like Newt” by describing Democrats and Democratic policies using words such as “corrupt,” “devour,” “greed,” “hypocrisy,” “liberal,” “sick,” and “traitors.”[13][14]”

    are both from wiki. There’s a fuckton of primary source material on Luntz, a lot of it true, the rest is from GOP/RNC sources and various ReiKKKwing “(NON)Think tanks” and “expertz.”.


    “IN THE SPRING of 2009, as the titanic fight over President Barack Obama’s health care proposal was beginning, Frank Luntz—an infamous Republican consultant who specializes in the language of politics—drew up a confidential 28-page report (PDF) for congressional GOPers on how they could confront, and defeat, Obama on this crucial issue. He suggested that they use a particular phrase: “Government takeover of health care.” And they did. Again and again, for the entire months-long debate. During one Meet the Press appearance, Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio), then the House minority leader, referred to Obama’s plan as a “government takeover” five times (without once being challenged).”

    is from Mother Jones (an unabashedly progressive source–one that is not funded by some deep pocketed billionaire assholes who have a vested interest in extracting money (without offering anything of value in return) from the working poor and middle class) and there’s plenty more to read.

    Luntz and his fellow Liars-for-hire pretty much CREATED the current problems that we are seeing with Obamacare. A large part of their “work” concentrated on disinformation, misinformation outright fabrication to sway the low information voter (Yes, Jimbo, that would be your crowd). Utilizing pretty much the same tactics as the MIC (you can look it up) and the NRA and the KKKristianist ReiKKKwing to gin up the hatred for all things that do NOT make the 1%’ers any moolah. To get the fundies and other Teabaggists on their side they throw them the red meat on hot button issues like teh GAYanything, evillution, uppity wimmen and their satanic desire to control their own vaginas, AGW and last, but certainly not least, people who have the temerity to be PWB*.

    Now, now, Jimbo, I know that you might want to offer that Frank Luntz has a BA and a Doctorate from OXFORD UNIVERSITY. Indeed he does, those degrees qualify him to be a propagandist, not an economic analyst or healthcare delivery systems specialist.

    Read up on Luntz and his cronies or don’t and just keep coming here and shoveling their shit into the threads. I’ll be waiting to call “bullshit” and tell you that you’re an idiot.

    * Presidentin’ While Black

    • Kinda hard to take someone seriously who is so obviously uninformed about the workings of his own party, eh Demmo?

      • Jim in Memphis

        I am not registered to a political party. Political parties have nothing of value to offer me.

      • Aaaand there ya go. The vaunted “independent,” really just an uninformed person listening for the right dog whistle. Pfft.

      • Southern Beale:

        Hard to take Jimbo seriously? I’m reminded of this (I’ll be Mr. Bogart’s. “Rick” to Jimbo’s “Ugarte”):

        “I am not registered to a political party. Political parties have nothing of value to offer me.’

        Yeah, I get that, Jimbo. Why join the party, donate money and time and work the neighborhood when you can just sit back and get shit for nothing. Taker.

  8. Jim in Memphis

    Well lets see – after all of the taxes I pay, I feel I am paying more than my fair share and would hardly be considered a “taker.” I guess I could give some time to a politician but I think I would rather volunteer at my kid’s school, at church, or about 1,000,000 other places first.

    What do you think SB? Has your time and money helped out the Democratic party in TN lately?

    • I actually don’t support the Democratic Party of TN. I support Democrats. Individual candidates. And many of them have gotten elected. So yes, what time and money I give to our Democracy has been fruitful. I also give my time and money to other causes that aren’t political. It’s not like you need to choose. But I don’t see how, for example, volunteering at the homeless shelter is going to do any good if the people elect a right-wing city council and mayor who won’t support these programs.

      • Jim in Memphis

        It will do good because these are things that should not be run by the government. Government wastes too much money trying to redistribute wealth. I would rather volunteer and donate to private charities that I know are not wasting the money but actually providing the services.

      • “This message brought to you by the Koch Bros.”

        Thanks for playing along. You really are an idiot, Jim.

        Speaking of charities not wasting money, check out Page 10 of this study. Charity CEOs getting over $1 million and paying their relatives over $100,000. Nope, charities never waste money. Of course, we can always vote the crooks out … OH WAIT you can’t. That’s one of the downsides of the private sector. You’re stuck with the losers. Free hand I guess will take care of that. Let’s ask those people killed by Toyota how that worked for them.


      • Jim in Memphis

        I get to choose whether or not to donate to charities that waste money. I have control on whether those organizations get my money. This is not so for the government. They get my money whether or not I agree with what they are doing with it. Anything that can reduce the overall size of government is a good thing now. There are so many federal, state, and local programs that need to be shut down entirely or greatly cut back (yes Defense is one of the worst). The only good thing about the government is that I do get to vote even if I don’t donate directly to a politician. Of course more and more people are realizing they can vote themselves to a share of other people’s money. We are getting close to the tipping point of having more people taking money than putting money in and that will lead to a tremendous crash of our country.

    • ThresherK

      Please let’s not let anything interfere with your fantasy.

      • If voluntarism was a viable alternative it would have worked at some point in the past 4-5,000 years of human history, and most notably in the post-WWII years where we’ve seen the fastest growth in standard of living across the board in all of human history. The fact of the matter is, the Libertarian ideal does not exist anywhere on the planet, for good reason.

  9. “Well lets see – after all of the taxes I pay, I feel I am paying more than my fair share and would hardly be considered a “taker.” ”

    Tough shit. You’re not working for the party that’s working for you. Makes you a taker by definition, Jimbo.

    “I guess I could give some time to a politician but I think I would rather volunteer at my kid’s school, at church, or about 1,000,000 other places first.”

    Sure ya do.

    “It will do good because these are things that should not be run by the government”

    Right. That’s why there are so many HUGE fucking church affiliated homeless shelters; “Meals for the Needy” kitchens (OR churches giving money to the poor so they can, y’know, buy their own groceries helping them with utility bills so that they can cook and eat their own food in whatever luxury welfare condo they’re living in); rape crisis and pregnancy/family planning centers–other than those which are thinly disguised anti-abortion propagandists–in every major U.S. city. Oh, yeah, I almost forgot; all of those charities are doing their “good work” without regard for their clients race, religion, sex/sexual orientation, politics* or anything else that isn’t subject to regulations or rules. Gosh, Jimbo, I could just go on and on, listing all of the ways in which private, especially religious, charities go about unreservedly helping those who come to them, regardless their situation. I could do that; it would be completely fabricated bullshit, pretty much the same sort of claptrap as you keep trying to peddle here as a concerned “independent” MAKER.

    You are aware that much of the money that trickles through to the poor is NOT money that was donated to a charity by its benefactors, yes? You do realize that a FUCKTON of private “charity” is redirected gummint dolluz? I’m guessing your answer is:

    “I’m not a person who reads anything that doesn’t relate to my making money. Reading for pleasure or to gain a better understanding of the world around me has nothing to offer me.”.

    * That’s actually a really big problem for me, one that churches really don’t engage in. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to the VA or the SSA and told them that I think they’re fuckin’ commies or fascists or dupes of Obama and had them flat out refuse to treat my ills or mail me a check for my totally socialized healthcare and retirement assistance funding. Yeah, that happens every time–oh, wait, no it doesn’t.

    • Jim just drank a bunch of anti-government Kool-Aid. Ironically, a lot of the church-affiliated soup kitchens, homeless shelters, medical clinics and other services DEPEND ON GOVERNMENT GRANTS to provide those services. He’s just ignorant about How Things Work, which is why I usually ignore him because he offers nothing substantive to the conversation.

      There’s absolutely no evidence showing government is any more or less wasteful than the private sector. Newspapers are chock full of examples of the private sector behaving horribly, hell look at Duke Energy dumping coal ash waste into the Cape Fear River for years, treating the public waterways like their private sewer. In Jim’s perfect world we’d all stop using Duke Energy’s product in retaliation and the Freeeeee Haaaaand of the Maaarrket would do its glorious work.

      And we’ve already had this conversation a gazillion times already but if there were any reason to suggest that non-profits and churches could handle the tremendous burdens of sickness and poverty that is the reality of life on planet earth, we wouldn’t need the public sector in the first place. Christ, he acts like he doesn’t know that the Catholic Church was responsible for caring for the sick, elderly, widows and hungry for a big chunk of Western history. And what did we get out of it? Papal palaces, more hungry and sick people, and the fucking REFORMATION.

      There’s a reason this stuff happens. These idiots who think they’re oppressed by taxes are the first to whine and complain as soon as the underfunded government is too weak to respond to a major weather event or disaster like a fertilizer plant blowing up an entire town (private sector again!).

      Sorry, Jimbo. Your GREED is showing.

    • Speaking of greed, Demo, did you see this?

      Philanthropy today: Larry Page, the Google co-founder with $32 billion and little record of altruism, says he’d prefer another tech billionaire inherit his estate instead of leaving it to charity.

      Right, because they’re so much more deserving. Meanwhile, remind me again how talking about income inequality is “class warfare” and “how the Nazis did it”?

  10. ” We are getting close to the tipping point of having more people taking money than putting money in and that will lead to a tremendous crash of our country.”

    Really? Where did you get tidbit, Jimbo. It’s a lie, but I’m curious who gave you the information. My guess is it wasn’t the CBO or anyone else connected with the reality of government finance and the U.S. GDP. By all means FURNISH SOME FUCKING DATA to prove your assertion, you tragically, albeit laughably, stupid git.

    • Jim in Memphis

      You can go through the reports and calculate it, but as of 2010, the top 50% of tax payers paid over 97% of federal income taxes. The bottom 50% paid less than 3%.

      • Jim in Memphis Actually, here is the link to the report showing the percent of income tax share. you can see that for 2010, the top 50% paid 97.64% of income taxes.

      • Yes that’s a figure that creates a lot of butthurt and OMG POOOOR ME I’M SO OPPRESSED wailing and gnashing of teeth until you dig a little deeper. But by all means, don’t look past your outrage at things like SALES TAXES which everyone pays, and the poor pay more as a % of their income.

        I can’t imagine why you’re feeling overtaxed in Memphis, Jim. We don’t have a state income tax here. We’re not a tax-free heaven, are we? Why is that? Maybe it’s the fact that as a result of our lack of income taxes we have one of the highest SALES taxes in the nation here. Almost 10% here in Nashville. Now, compare 10% of $100,0000 to 10% of $1,000 and tell me which person pays the largest share — the widows’ mite, if you will?

  11. Jimbo:


    “” We are getting close to the tipping point of having more people taking money than putting money in and that will lead to a tremendous crash of our country.”

    is your assertion.

    The two links you furnish–as evidence–say nothing about the impending, “…tremendous crash of our country.” or, maybe they say it in Teabaggese, I don’t have my translator, I’ll have to see if they’re still giving them away when you buy a $50 rock from the crack dealer down on the corner.

    So, you’re lying OR you’re too fucking stupid to be trusted with car keys, sharp objects, firearms or flammable liquids. I do understand that you think that the rest of the world is as gullible and credulous as TeabagMurKKKa but I’m gonna have to tell you, for the umptieth time, it just ain’t so, Jimbo.

    Those files you link to say a lot about a lot of things but they say nothing about an impending “crash” of the U.S. economy. If we want to save lots of money, really, really fast we can just stop funding the war machine. Of course the price of energy would probably triple in about six months, but the
    “Free hand” will handle it, I’m sure.


    “In terms of types of financial wealth, the top one percent of households have 35% of all privately held stock, 64.4% of financial securities, and 62.4% of business equity. The top ten percent have 81% to 94% of stocks, bonds, trust funds, and business equity, and almost 80% of non-home real estate. Since financial wealth is what counts as far as the control of income-producing assets, we can say that just 10% of the people own the United States of America; see Table 3 and Figure 2 for the details.”

    is from here:

    If you look at the report (not that I expect you to trouble your beautifully empty and narrow mind to do so) you might find a pretty good reason for the bottom 50% paying very little income tax. I’ll make it simple for you, bub, they have NO FUCKING MONEY or much of anything else. The majority of them who are lucky enough to have jobs work for assholes who don’t pay them a living wage and don’t give them healthcare benefits as part of their compensation. Since they have no money, they have no credit and they take on a fuckton of short term, high interest debt when they need to borrow any. They can’t buy houses, so they rent. All of their economic activity is DESIGNED to funnel their pitiful paychecks into the pockets of landlords, “Payday” loan companies and retail creditors. I’m sure all of that is fine with you, because it’s not happening to you.

    The other factor re: taxation, the one that you conveniently ignore, is the regressive sales and use taxes that are paid by rich and poor alike (in TN that rate is currently 7-9.75%, according to this:

    Of course you, with your $250K/annum might be paying several thousand of it in sales taxes, let’s say, $10K or 4% of your annual income. A poor person might only be paying 1/20th of that on his $12.5K income. Of course he’s also paying FICA on his TOTAL income, not having it capped at about $115K (latest figures I can find) or around 46% of your income. Not that you give a fuck that you’re getting something they’re not; after all you work hard all day and you’re a smarter and better person than poor people are so you DESERVE it. Yeah, sure ya do.

    In a way, I’m glad to have an idiot like you continually trying to sell the same tired memes that the 1% have been paying the GOP to push since I was a youth. They were lies then, they’re lies now. You and your precious lifestyle owe much to being able to make money at the expense of the working poor. If you had a fucking conscience you would be ashamed of yourself.

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  13. ThresherK

    God deliver us from every “small market” “rugged individualist” who’s able to retire because of FDR, unions, and LBJ.