Rightbloggers and the Great Obama Skeet-Shooting Mom Jeans Conspiracy
The recent gun control furor seems to be similarly engineered. Whenever Obama makes a mild move in the anti-gun direction -- like his nothingburger executive actions a few weeks back -- the brethren go berserk, and ordinary Americans looking at the two sides are encouraged to think Obama's isn't the crazy one.
Last week, damned if Obama didn't do it again, with first an assertion and then photographic evidence that he had been skeet-shooting at Camp David.
It all started when Obama was challenged by The New Republic, "Have you ever fired a gun?" and he said, "Yes, in fact, up at Camp David, we do skeet shooting all the time." He was immediately and strenuously disbelieved by rightbloggers.
"Does Anyone Believe Obama Skeet Shoots 'All the Time?'" asked Keith Koffler of White House Dossier. "Funny we've never heard that before," scoffed Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit. "Our psychopathic, megalomaniacal president shoots himself in the foot over skeet," reasoned Clark County Politics. The Western Center for Journalism replayed an old video of Obama's shoulders rising momentarily at the sound of gunfire -- as if a President whose fiercest opponents are gun nuts wouldn't worry about that -- and headlined, "Skeet-Shooting Obama Jumpy Around Guns." "Bullcrapper Obama Exposed," hollered The Last Tradition.
"New York Times correspondent Jodi Kantor, who has gained perhaps more access than any reporter to the president and his administration, does not mention any instances of skeet shooting in her national bestseller The Obamas," said Eliana Johnson at National Review. "By contrast, when Supreme Court justice Antonin Scalia took Elena Kagan to his gun club in Virginia for a round of skeet shooting shortly after her confirmation, the news was featured on the NBC Nightly News and NPR, as well as in the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times."
Tennessee GOP Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn challenged Obama to a skeet-shooting match. Fact-checker Glenn Kessler brought the resources of the Washington Post to bear on the story, investigating whether the President shot, and if so, was it skeet he shot, and if skeet, did he shoot it "all the time," etc. Save a place on the shelf for that Pulitzer.
"The question becomes, how does one prove that Obama is not just spinning a tall tale here?" perorated Warner Todd Huston at Wizbang. "One way would be to discover photographic evidence to buttress the President's claim. But the problem is there isn't any --" though "the President is followed around night and day by a retinue of official photographers... So, if Obama does this 'all the time' there should be many photos of a grinning Obama happily blowing away airborne clay discs at the famed presidential retreat... But there aren't any."
Well, you know what happened next. Obama released the photo, and -- whattaya know! -- the brethren weren't satisfied. In fact, some declared an outright fraud.
Some carefully parsed Obama's assertion that "we do skeet shooting all the time," assuming that by "we" Obama meant "I" because he's so stuck-up. "One pic of the Imperial, anti-Second Amendment, gun control President Obama shooting a gun does not constitute him 'shooting all the time,'" asserted Scared Monkeys. "Unless they can produce multiple pics with Obama wearing different clothing at different times, its all still BS." Scared Monkeys then retucked his shirt.
Speaking of clothing, The Lonely Conservative sneered at Obama's "mom jeans" -- a bedraggled leftover meme from 2012, in case you're wondering. "Why is his cheek oozing over the stock?" demanded Darleen Click of Protein Wisdom. Gotta be photoshopped! In fact, Michael Harlin of American Thinker posted "Seven Reasons Why it's a Photoshop," making such unanswerable points as "the weapon is nearly level to the ground... his stance is leaning slightly backward... most shooters wear baseball style caps," etc.
Fox Newsman Todd Starnes reported, "Sources told Fox News... President Obama hardly ever goes skeet shooting -- and the one time that he did -- he looked 'awkward and uncomfortable.'" (Look out, Kessler, someone's after your Pulitzer.) "If President Obama can't be honest about a clay pigeon," added Starnes, "what makes you think he can be honest about Benghazi?"
Twitchy rounded up the rightblogger Twitter pushback: "So he went skeet shooting on his birthday, but we just now found out, huh?" "Those are some sweet Mom jeans." "So my 13 year old looks more comfortable with a shotgun than this." "WH declassifies Obama skeet photo... He's wearing mom jeans," etc.
Bookworm Room went with Colonel Mustard with a candlestick in the Library: "Obama was so upset about accusations that he lied about skeet shooting that he immediately released evidence supporting his statement," he claimed. "This sensitivity to his reputation for truthfulness doesn't square with Obama's ongoing refusal to release his original birth certificate." (Oh oh.) "Wouldn't you think that Obama would be more even intent upon proving his veracity when it comes to his constitutional bona fides than he would be about whether he shoots little flying saucers?... Given the peculiar absence of evidence about the circumstances of Obama's birth and his academic qualifications," etc. etc. oh Jesus not that again.
Maggie's Notebook really got into it: "The New York Times apparently first identified the gun as a 'rifle,'" she reported, "and then made a correction dated February 3, 2013 (this minute, it is is still February 2, 2013) the the gun is a 'shotgun, not a rifle.'" Backdating a story -- just like Lewis Lapham! Plus: "The above photo purportedly comes from The White House flickr account" -- or so they would have us believe. But questions remain!
"The arms don't look right," said littlebytesnew, "and I don't recall Obama having a little potbelly??" Pat Dollard dug deeper: The photo's labeled August 4, 2012, but the Lame Stream Media reported Obama was golfing that day! Plus Dollard has a photo of Obama on August 4, 2012 wearing different clothes than he wore in the gun picture. The lesson is clear: Show us the birth certificate!
PushBackNow showed a grassy-knoll style diagram and determined that "this looks to be another Barack Obama fabrication, and one that we hope he will not get away with... We have taken into consideration hi-speed 1/2000 or better shutters or frames of video. There is no reason for a shot taken, in our opinion, at this level an attitude for the muzzle. We believe this to be a staged shot so that the most uninformed will be mislead." The Pulitzer committee really has its work cut out for it.
Wizbang's Michael Laprarie speculated that "the President was somehow goaded into taking a practice shot during a shooting match at Camp David for the benefit of White House photographers, and never fired that shotgun at a target either before or since," for no better reason than that Obama is a "phony." "Why is Obama shooting skeet with a rifle, why an 'assault' model," asked Mark Steyn at National Review, "and why is he aiming so low (while wearing mom jeans)?"
To drum up more interest in this controversy -- not that it wasn't already fascinating -- Breitbart.com pointed out that "The White House also warns all you mischievous internet types to not mess around with the picture: 'This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails...'"
This is actually a standard disclaimer on White House photos (here's an example), but the saps didn't need to know that, and responded accordingly.