David Jackson, of Belmont, NC, does not like President Obama. He doesn’t like much of anything President Obama does. But he thinks the president has done a great many things that in fact never happened.
MSNBC Contributor Jonathan Capehart traveled to Belmont shortly after Sen. Ted Cruz’s pseudo-filibuster to gauge public opinion of the Affordable Care Act as the health insurance exchanges were about to open.
That’s where he met David Jackson, who shared his thoughts on Obamacare (he hates it) and Obama (likewise). Many of the claims Jackson made were almost astonishing in their inaccuracy, but in almost all cases, they can be traced back to some of the biggest names in the right-wing media sphere.
Here’s a breakdown of some of the sources of Jackson’s firmly-held beliefs.
Obama is in cahoots with the Muslim Brotherhood
Jackson told Capehart that “so many people” in Obama’s administration are part of the Muslim Brotherhood, they had “1,000 of their people come to the east lawn for a prayer session.” Jackson said he heard that on “the news.”
The “news” in this case would probably be Glenn Beck, who has extensively covered the president’s supposed ties to the Muslim Brotherhood on his website.
Elected lawmakers have made the claim too.
“Any time in any nation that they could choose the side of the Muslim Brotherhood, they’ve chosen the side of the Muslim Brotherhood,” Rep. Michelle Bachmann said in a September interview on Fox News.
Rep. Louie Gohmert told the conservative site World Net Daily, “This administration has so many Muslim Brotherhood members that have influence that they just are making wrong decisions for America.”
Jackson couldn’t name any of the Muslim Brotherhood members of the administration because “they’re not English.”
Obama has violated the Constitution
“He has done so many things in violation of the Constitution,” Jackson told Capehart.
Few pundits have actually named specific ways in which the president has violated the Constitution, but some have argued that Obama has often threatened to do so. Those threats have apparently become reality for people like Jackson.
Conservative radio host Mark Levin made similar claims on Sean Hannity’s Fox News program, complaining that the president’s threats of executive orders represent a violation of the Constitution.
“I’m sick and tired of him and his party and his sycophants constantly proposing ideas that will attack it,” he said, while talking about gun control.
“The Constitution does not confer this kind of power on the president,” he added.
Rush Limbaugh has spoken about the issue in general terms too, claiming that the president was “wreaking as much damage to the Constitution as he can get away with” when he nominated Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court.
Obama hates America
Capehart asked Jackson if he thought Obama loved the country.
“Not at all,” he responded. “Not one bit. Not one breath that comes out of his body.”
This claim is so common that it’s hard to find someone on the extreme right who hasn’t said it. Variations on the “Obama hates America” theme have come Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, and even celebrities like Ted Nugent and Hank Williams Jr., who claimed that Obama was a Muslim who “hates America.”
Osama Bin Laden was never killed
Jackson’s doesn’t believe the U.S. military took down the 9/11 terrorist.
“I don’t think that ever happened,” he said. “No one would ever give up a SEAL team’s names or what SEAL team went in there. I think that was a great mystery that they created.”
“I do not believe they killed him,” he said. “I will never believe it, especially dropping him off at sea.”
While Glenn Beck and even Fox News pundits have speculated about the Bin Laden assassination, you have to reach pretty far into the depths of the right wing media to find those who believe in the hoax as strongly as Jackson does. Radio host Alex Jones is one of the biggest proponents of the idea; he’s produced a number of videos in which he claims to “expose” the hoax that was the operation that took down the al Qaeda leader. A regular conspiracy theorist, Jones also has claimed the Boston bombing was a “false flag” attack and that the U.S. government staged the Aurora movie theater shooting to drum up support for gun control.
Obamacare will help only “lazy” people, “illegal immigrants”
“It’ll benefit a very small amount of people,” Jackson said. “And it’ll be the ones that are too lazy or unwilling to work along with the millions and millions of illegal aliens in this country.”
“Illegal immigrants” take food stamps, welfare, and money to help for their housing when “they’re not even supposed to be in our country,” he said.
These ideas all trace right back to the likes of Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, and even fringe email chains.
Limbaugh has spoken generally about Democrats wanting to support poor people who “depend on the government for their prosperity,” while Hannity claims Obama and the Democrats are “encouraging illegal immigrants to apply for food stamps.”
Beck pushed the “free health care” for “illegal immigrants” argument subtly, weaving it into a broader complaint about propaganda from The New York Times.
But it’s actually an email chain, described by Politifact as one of the longest they’ve ever read, that may be responsible for spreading this claim most widely. The fact-checkers debunked the chain in 2009, which included the false claim it was mandated on page 50 of the Affordable Care Act that “All non-US citizens, illegal or not, will be provided with free health care services.”