I’m not going to say much in this post, because really what is there to say except wtf?
Several readers emailed me this story on TPM about this morning’s House Judiciary Committee hearing on the Comcast-Time Warner merger. During the hearing, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) made known his potential objection (I think?) to the merger, and it had nothing to do with monopolies, anti-trust, or over-consolidation in the media.
Rather, Gohmert appears to be concerned that Comcast is conspiring (with, I have to assume, Obama) to promote Al-Jezeera and silence Glenn Beck in some kind of intricate plot to force the United States into becoming a Sharia Law muslim theocracy.
Here is just one of the many money quotes, followed by a CSPAN video of the exchange:
“Al Gore was pushing the sale of Current TV, and Glenn Beck, the Blaze were trying to buy it. And it was reported that Al Jazeera wanted to get their Sharia law push into the United States, and they were willing to pay big bucks, regardless of whether they had oil and carbon all over the money. They were willing to pay big dollars but they wouldn’t do the deal unless Comcast was willing to keep them in its list of networks provided. So it was reported Comcast agreed, so Al Gore got all that oil and carbon based money. And then, that kept Glenn Beck off the air.”
As “proof,” Gohmert reads an anonymous email from an unidentified source saying that they (the anonymous unidentified person) are pretty sure that someone at Comcast would do this. When Comcast Executive VP David Cohen responds that there is no such plot, Gohmert basically accused him of lying to protect the conspiracy, asking him this:
“Cohen you’re a smart man and apparently a smart attorney. You understand the consequences of not speaking truthfully before Congress?”
Again, I don’t really know what to say. As I noted a while back, Gohmert has become one of the most visible leaders of the GOP despite the fact that he “has done almost nothing of note as a legislator, but is able to gin up the media machine by making ludicrous conspiracy theories about terror babies, the US. Government being run by the Muslim Brotherhood, or how the Aurora theatre shootings were caused by the Supreme Court’s school prayer ruling.” But most of that was just the stuff he uttered whenever Fox or some talk show host would invite him on to — well, to say stuff like that. But accusing the ExecVP of Comcast of conspiring to force Sharia Law on the United States during a US Congressional hearing takes the crazy to a very different — and scary — level.
Part of the Right is going to rally around him; part of the right is going to pretend he doesn’t exist and hope he magically goes away; the left is going to give him even more time in the spotlight than he’s already getting, which is going to make Fox and the radio-heads give him even more on air time; that’s going to make that first part of the right rally around him even harder.
I realize as I’m writing this that I’m going off of gut and not proof, but it’s hard for me not to connect this to the incidences in Nevada and Utah where citizens are arming themselves against federal authorities and declaring that war is coming.
This is all ceasing to be funny. It’s starting to scare me just a little bit.