Wingnut Week In Review: “No Go Zone” On The Brain

Terrance Heath

From anti-choice bills in the House, to threats of lawsuits over Muslim “no go zones,” this week showed that the wingnut brain is biggest “no go zone” of them all.

But first, let’s relive the “burn” heard around the world. When President Obama delivered the State of the Union address. Republicans in Congress might have expected a humbled Obama to admit to another “shellacking,” hand the keys to the new Republican majority, and shuffle away to ride out the rest of his term as the lamest of “lame ducks.”

They certainly didn’t expect to hear from a Barack Obama who “doesn’t give a f**k,” to quote late night host Larry Wilmore. Nor did they expect him to tell them so.

Obama’s “mic drop” moment, launched a thousand Twitter memes, and left no oxygen for Sen. Joni Ernst’s Republican response. That’s a shame, because it allowed the media to ignore that Ernst’s narrative of gritty mid-western self-reliance left out one important detail: Ernst’s family benefited from nearly half a million dollars in farm subsidies from the federal government.

Ernst can stick to her “pulled myself up by my own bootstraps” narrative, but at least we know she had help getting those boots.

The “No Go Zone” That Is The Wingnut Brain

The other big surprise this week was an apology. Until now, being Fox News meant never having to say you’re sorry. That all began to change when Fox News terrorism “expert” Steven Emerson declared Birmingham, England, a “totally Muslim” “no-go zone.” The “no-go zones” myth bubbled up from the outer fringes of the of America’s wingnut fever swamps about eight years ago. Thanks to Fox News, it has now seeped into the conservative mainstream.

Prime Minister David Cameron called Emerson “an idiot,”. Emerson apologized. Fox Host Jean Pirro apologized for not correcting Emerson. Fox distanced itself, saying that Emerson wasn’t a Fox News employee, so that it wasn’t the network’s problem.

Then “Le Petit Journal” — the French version of “The Daily Show” — found multiple instances of Fox News employees repeating the “no-go zones” claim, and had a lot of fun sending reporters to visit the neighborhoods Fox News identified as “no go zones.”

Things got even sillier when it hysteria spread beyond Fox News, and elected officials started babbling about “no-go zones.”

Then it got real. The mayor Paris threatened to sue Fox News for its reporting on the city’s mythical “no-go zones.” That, finally, got a much broader apology out of Fox News.

Fox News has says atrocious things all the time, and never apologized for any of it. Why now? Because, while Fox may get away with slander in the U.S., the law in France and other European countries take slander and defamation very seriously.. The mayor of Paris might just have a case — a criminal case, even. That could get ugly. (The thought of Fox News going on trial in France sounds entertaining, though.)

It all goes to show that the real “no-go zone” is between the ears of your average wingnut.

MLK All The Way

Finally, here’s how some right-wingers celebrated Martin Luther King Day.

Here’s the rest of the best of the worst in wingnuttery:

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