Even as the “birther” hysteria seems to be dying down with more reasonable voices prevailing in the national debate, some supporters of the “movement” which casts the president as some sort of secret foreign agent have turned to a different tool to further their message: television.
On Monday night, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow mocked this so-called “Birthermercial” that has hit late night television in some southern media markets. The ad will be shown in smaller markets in Texas, Louisiana, Missouri, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia and Florida, she noted.
“The birthermercial stars LivePrayer.com founder Bill Keller,” Maddow said. “Not the Bill Keller who runs the New York Times, but rather an ex-con who runs the Christian Web site which features classy Christian videos, like this one …”
She played a clip of a fuzzy, black and white image of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler morphing into President Obama.
That video is on Keller’s Web site, found here.
A brief examination of the purportedly Christian site revealed a number of unusual features.
One image, below on the left, features a stuffed, fuzzy pig with the label “Mohamad.” It links to a YouTube video in which Mohamad the pig, adorned with a cross, explains why he converted from the Muslim faith to Christianity.
The image of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center towers in New York City links to the anti-Muslim propaganda film “Finta,” by Dutch politician Geert Wilders. “Finta” sets scenes of terrorism and destruction to verses from the Koran. It caused a wave of indignation across the Muslim world when Dutch television aired portions of it.
Another video stages a phony “debate” between Keller and Oprah Winfrey, in which he accuses her of not really being a Christian. And if a link to the “Birthermercial” were not enough to convey his feelings about the president, Keller’s site also features one of his sermons about how Obama is “God’s enemy.”
His late-night commercial is no less inflammatory.
For just $30, it gives viewers the chance to have their names included on a spam fax to all the states’ attorneys general and US Attorney General Eric Holder. Donors will also get their name on a petition somewhere and a sticker asking passers-by if they have a birth certificate.
Maddow equated the infomercial to “a fringe scam to separate gullible, stoned, late night birthers from their money,” but noted with sadness that in some markets it only costs roughly $100 to air the segment during off hours.
“This infomercial only needs to persuade three or four gullible, late night TV watching birthers to part with their $30 in order to cover the costs of keeping this brilliance on the air,” she said. “Any money that they raise on top of that goes, of course, to those 51 spam faxes, and then the organization that creates the ads gets to keep the rest.”
This video is from MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show, broadcast Sept. 28, 2009.