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Birthers, Billionaires and Fox: The GOP Freak Show in Full Effect

By       Message Eric Boehlert       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink

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This is going to be an election season unlike any other. And not in a good way.

With a new breed of conservative media outlets making their presence felt during the 2012 campaign season, the emerging general election is being waged by the right with an unmistakable stamp of irresponsibility and a complete lack of adult supervision. Each passing day draws new revelations and guffaws.

Raise your hand if you thought 14 months after the White House released the president's long-firm birth certificate that birther booster Donald Trump would be dominating multiple campaign news cycles. But thanks in part to Fox News and the right-wing blogosphere, led by Breitbart.com, which finds the debunked birther topic fantastically alluring, the birthplace charade powers on indefinitely, complete with Mitt Romney's tacit endorsement.

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And who ever thought they'd read a dispatch like the one posted at Politico that announced a small stable of right-wing billionaires are willing to try to buy the November elections by flooding the campaign season with a tsunami of unlimited cash (ten figures), aimed at swamping the media landscape and driving down the approval ratings of Democrats with a nonstop barrage of attacks ads.

Of course, this week Fox News gave the billionaires' secretive super PACs a run for their money by producing its own campaign attack ad. Like Glenn Beck's infamous wake-up appearance three summers ago when he announced to Fox's breakfast audience that Obama was a "racist" with a "deep-seated hatred for white people," Fox & Friends debuting its blistering, four-minute evisceration of Obama, complete with jarring graphics and ominous music, will likely live in cable news infamy.

The brash and unethical move, which had been in the works for weeks and was cheered in real time by Fox hosts, represented yet another door the Fox Team has marched through in its unapologetic transformation into a purely political operation. Tired of playing the middle man and increasingly eager to be the origin of partisan attacks and campaign initiatives (not merely reporting on them), the ad was Fox News' not very subtle nudge to the Republican National Committee: This is how you go after a sitting president!

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