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| Inventing "The Other"|
|Fear And Loathing|
Pamela Geller is the epically insane writer who blogs at Atlas Shrugs (named after Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged) and at WND. She is well-known for her ridiculous vlogs, her hatred of anyone looking like a Muslim and her ability to post screeds occasionally so incoherent that it makes you wonder if she's got what might be politely termed a "problem".
While she is clearly unhinged, she has managed to land interviews with John Bolton and Daniel Pipes, been cited in the National Review Online, published by the Washington Times and has appeared on CNN, and Fox News, so apparently someone is taking her seriously. In early May 2015, two fundamentalist Muslims, claiming to work with ISIS, attacked her "draw Muhammad" event in Garland, Texas. Both attackers were killed immediately, with one security guard sustaining a leg injury.
A history of madness
It's difficult to isolate Geller's madness, as her style of writing is like one long primal scream. Her main focus — indeed, the only real common thread in her posting — is anti-Islam, including rants against the Park51 community centre. She does have a few other hobbyhorses, though:
“”Drunk on radical ideology, Stanley “Ann” Dunham became pregnant in the summer of 1960 in Seattle WA with the baby of a prominent black liberal activist...In the early 1960’s there were noticeable very few African Americans on the streets of Honolulu, and Obama Sr. was the only Black man from Africa on the island. Ann Dunham, in an effort to legitimize her mixed race baby, would have sought out one of the only black men on the island to convince him to use his name. And so Barack Hussein Obama Sr. was likely pressed into service as father and husband in name only.
The post attracted instant attention, all of it negative. Geller went into damage control mode, posting this string of excuses at the top of the original post: "I am not the author of this post, and I posted it because the writer did a spectacular job documenting Obama's many connections with the Far Left. The Malcolm X claim is one minor part of this story, and was of interest to me principally as part of the writer's documentation that Stanley Ann Dunham could not have been where the Obama camp says she was at various times. I do not believe that Barack Obama is Malcolm X's love child, and never did -- but there remain many, many unanswered questions about his early life and upbringing." Evidently, Geller is in the habit of posting material she doesn't believe, which might actually explain a lot of the following.
Ultimately, though, Geller made peace with the new President. She even posted an extra-classy photo spread of Obama's extended family.
Geller is ethnically Jewish (though her religion is unclear), and she occasionally uses her blog to discuss how everyone is an anti-Semite. Although she does occasionally find genuine examples of anti-Semitism, she also has a knack for finding hatred of Jews in the oddest places. Among the groups she has identified as anti-Semitic are:
- Organizing for America
- British teachers
- The Anti-Defamation League
- Supreme Court judge Elena Kagan (who is Jewish)
- On the other hand, the Jewish Federation of Los Angeles is not quite identified as out-and-out cabal of antisemites; they're just the moral equivalent of terrorist collaborators for canceling a speech by Geller.
By contrast, the following people are not anti-Semites in any way:
- Jerry Falwell
- The proto-fascist German political group Deutsche Liga für Volk und Heimat (German League for People and Homeland)
- Indicted war criminal Radovan Karadžić
Osama conspiracy theory
Geller helped spread one of the more popular conspiracy theories surrounding the death of Osama bin Laden through the wingnut-osphere: The order to take out Osama was given by means of a coup within the White House because Obama was too wimpy to do it.
In 2007, Geller published a letter from an anonymous Atlas Shrugs reader in Norway, who ranted about Muslims and claimed that "we" were "stockpiling and caching weapons, ammunition and equipment". Geller published the letter anonymously on account of potential prosecution by Norwegian authorities — here was someone saying they were stockpiling weapons! — and seemed very encouraging of his fight against the Muslim hordes. It has been suggested that this letter was from Norwegian domestic terrorist Anders Behring Breivik, who appears to have been influenced by Geller's regular Islamophobic hyperbole.
It's unclear if the letter was actually from Breivik himself. There are a few parallels, but some inconsistencies. The writer of the letter appears to have been a fundamentalist Christian, stating "I believe we are the very last generation on earth before the return of God", "I will stay and fight (...) for the God-fearing people", "God is with you too" amongst other religious rhetoric. However Breivik, despite initial reports suggesting he was a fundamentalist appears to be an atheist who calls himself a "cultural Christian" and his only link with religion is the maintenance of Christian heritage in Europe, rather than the establishment of a theocracy. However, some evidence from Breivik's online presence prior to his attack suggests that he was a fan of Geller, having recommended posts on Geller's blog.
Like other right-wingers who inspired Breivik, Geller has since backpedalled at the speed of light and edited the above e-mail to remove the sentence about stockpiling weapons. Whether the person behind the email was Breivik, someone else, or perhaps just made up from Geller's imagination (stranger things have happened) is immaterial, however, as what is known is that "anti-jihadist" rhetoric from the likes of Pamela Geller formed a major part of the influences behind Breivik's ideas, eventually leading him on a murderous rampage.
Other accomplishments of note
She also got on board the Boston marathon crazy train driven by Glenn Beck, which probably serves as another example of a baseless conspiracy theory acting as a particularly effective wingnut magnet. She managed to ban herself, and her group from entering the UK, putting her within the ranks of Michael Savage, Louis Farrakhan, Robert Mugabe, and an array of other individuals associated with terrorist organizations.
Geller is also a video blogger. If her writing was not enough to scare you off, then her speaking certainly will. Geller's vlogs cover a variety of topics, from political issues to her kids to satires of popular songs. If you have a strong stomach and no fear of death, you can find her vlog archive here.
- MediaMatters' 2010 list of Geller's greatest hits.
- Granted, the cite was by the only marginally more sane Andy McCarthy, but still...
- Probably in the "live bunny and pot of boiling water" sense.
- HOW COULD STANLEY ANN DUNHAM HAVE DELIVERED BARACK HUSSEIN OBAMA JR. IN AUGUST OF 1961 IN HONOLULU, WHEN OFFICIAL UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON RECORDS SHOW HER 2680 MILES AWAY IN SEATTLE ATTENDING CLASSES THAT SAME MONTH?
- The implication is that the rest of the post is reasonable. It's not. Seriously, don't click that link.
- AMERICA’S NEW FIRST FAMILY
- Barack Obama’s Anti-Semitic Website
- SUMMAFEMALE DOGES VOTE TO BOYCOTT ISRAEL UNIVERSITIES
- Anti-Defamation League Chief Bashes Rush Limbaugh
- The post was accompanied by a fake picture of Kagan in Nazi uniform
- JERRY FALWELL RIP
- A translation of a website listing Geller as a speaker at the 2009 DLVH conference
- THE PICTURES THAT FOOLED THE WORLD - YUGOSLAVIA DEATH CAMP HOAX
- SKULKING TOWARDS BIN LADEN: OBAMA OVERRIDDEN BY MILITARY AND INTEL OFFICIALS IN TAKEOUT OF OBL?
- Little Green Footballs - Oslo Terrorist ‘Tied to Right Wing Extremism’
- Little Green Footballs - Pamela Geller Edits Post to Conceal Violent Rhetoric in ‘Email from Norway’
- Pamela Geller's Grand Boston Conspiracy Falls Apart, Right Wing Watch
- This one makes for a handy alternative to Ipecac.