On Wednesday, Judge Derrick Watson of the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii blocked the implementation of Donald Trump’s revised travel ban nationwide. On Monday, former President Barack Obama arrived in Hawaii for his vacation. The naïve might assume these facts are unrelated. The journalists and bloggers of right-wing media disagree.
Yes. Why indeed was Barack Obama vacationing in Hawaii, the place he was “born,” with his family as he has done many times before? And why would Judge Watson rule against an effort that the president himself described as a continuation of the plan several previous judges had already ruled against? These are important questions—questions only a few brave outlets dared to broach. One was the Independent Journal Review, which on Thursday published an article by Kyle Becker titled “Fmr President Obama Made ‘Surprise Visit’ to Hawaii, Days Before Judge Issued Travel Ban Ruling.” From IJR:
[T]he president resided at a “private” undisclosed location, according to Hawaii News Now. As the story noted, the president’s motorcade was spotted on Tuesday afternoon. This is not to allege the former president met with Judge Derrick Watson, but merely to point out the timing and the opportunity was there ahead of a controversial court ruling.
IJR soon pulled the article. “IJR published an article that does not meet our editorial standards or represent IJR’s vision or values,” its statement read. “We have retracted the story, and we deeply regret the error.”
This was a move shocking not only in its implication that IJR has editorial standards, but also in its cowardice. As we’ve been told by conservative media for years, Barack Obama is a nefarious mastermind—a dark prince (imam?) trained in the black arts of cunning and deception. There’s surely no reason to abandon reasoned inquiries into his dastardly doings just because he’s left office. We can be assured, after all, that other conservative outlets will be hot on his trail long after his death is faked by agents of the Muslim Brotherhood and he’s spirited away to his secret birthplace in Mombasa, Kenya, where Saul Alinsky has been waiting in suspended animation for his beloved stepson’s return. Why shouldn’t IJR continue the pursuit?
Perhaps because this kind of thing has alienated some of its employees. Politico reported Thursday afternoon that congressional reporter Joe Perticone decided to leave the site after the story’s publication and that others have lamented the site’s shift “toward more ‘right-wing’ content.” Becker, for his part, was cucked into emailing an apology to the staff for “letting the company down.”
“I should have been more responsible and will exert utmost efforts to adhere to the highest journalistic standards I can, while taking into account audience readership pressures,” he wrote. “It was unwarranted to fuel baseless speculation, and there are no excuses.”
Barack Obama, meanwhile, is somewhere on the big island cackling madly into the night as a crane lowers an original copy of the Constitution, stained with the blood of patriots, into a tank full of sharks.