Friday, April 3, 2009

Conspiracy of the Week: Obama Appoints Wife-Beating Advocate

Posted By on Fri, Apr 3, 2009 at 6:47 AM

click to enlarge wife_20beater.jpg
The dark corners of AM radio are best left unexplored, lest you hear something you can't unhear. Yesterday, while fishing for distraction, I violated this rule and stumbled upon the newest (let's face it) right-wing conspiracy.

On AM 760, Christian Talk on Trevecca Nazarene University radio, Janet Parshall was talking about President Obama's supposedly controversial appointment of Yale Law dean Harold Koh for State Department legal advisor. Had I owned something cool like an iPhone, I could've Google'd Janet Parshall. There I would have found her 2006 appearance on Larry King Live, where she claimed gay adoption amounted to state-sanctioned child abuse. Then I could have turned my radio off.

Unfortunately, when I re-up with Verizon I go for the free phones. So I kept listening.

According to Parshall's guest, Koh once said that the Islamic law known as Sharia could be applicable in U.S. courts. Holy crap, I thought, does this mean we'll be stoning Muslim women for showing their face at 100 Oaks Regal?  Parshall wondered the same thing (kind of).

"We better warn anyone thinking about stealing from a 7-11," she said. "They better be prepared to have their hands chopped off."

Crazy, racially-charged comments aside, there is precedent that would make Koh's comments incredibly creepy...

Britian has been struggling with how to adapt to a growing Muslim population. Last year, the Bishop of Canterbury told the BBC that the adoption of some types of sharia law  was "unavoidable." Backlash was inevitable -- in some interpretations, sharia would make such joyous at-home activities like wife-beating legal.

Of course, that was all based on the fact that Koh actually said what he did. Which, five minutes of internet sleuthing later, proves not to be true.

Slate's Dahlia Lithwick dutifully traces the Koh-as-extremist-Muslim-supporter meme to its origins: the comments of one lawyer present at a Yale Club dinner where the appointee spoke. Those comments have since been refuted by the White House, the dinner's organizer and several people in attendance. In other words: It's bunk.

One more reason to keep the lights off those dark corners. And to stay on FM.

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