Rush wouldn’t doubt it, and neither would we.
Media Matters for America is hilarious. Its supposed mission is to expose conservatives saying outlandish things. But many of the things they “expose” are not all that outlandish at all, and the fact that MMA thinks they are really just exposes how delusional MMA is about the politicians they admire.
For instance: Is it outlandish to suggest Hillary Clinton would pull a stunt that is totally fake if she thinks it would help her political fortunes? Only a completely naive fool or the most partisan of Democrats would think so. But the fact that Rush Limbaugh merely acknowledged the possibility has gotten him in the crosshairs of Media Matters and, by extension, liberal media outlets like The New Yorker:
Several conservative pundits were branded “shoe truthers” by Talking Points Memo on Monday when they suggested Hillary Clinton might have arranged for a woman to throw a shoe at her last week. Their comments were probably satirical – or at least, we hope Fox News commentator Bernard Goldberg doesn’t actually think that, “Remembering the Bush incident, [Clinton] may have calculated that this would make her seem presidential.” We can’t say the same for Rush Limbaugh. When a caller asked about the incident on his radio show, Limbaugh confessed he hasn’t actually seen the video of Clinton’s footwear dodge, and is thus “ill-equipped to comment.” However, that didn’t prevent him from theorizing on how it all relates to Benghazi.
If you actually listen to Rush’s comments, he’s not really expressing the opinion that it’s fake as he acknowleges he hasn’t seen the video and isn’t all that interested in watching it. He merely suggests it’s never crazy to suspect phoniness and insincerity on the part of the Clintons. Listen for yourself:
As we see down below, the identity of the shoe-thrower is probably the best argument that the incident isn’t fake. She sounds pretty kooky.
But is it plausible to think Hillary and her people could have staged this? You have to start by recognizing that Hillary’s entire persona is fake. The notion that she is credible as a potential president of the United States is fake. The notion that her resume is impressive is fake, because she used her name and her by-associaiton-with-Bill political influence to get impressive-sounding jobs in which she did absolutely nothing. She faced fake gunfire in Bosnia. She made a fortune doing fake cattle futures trading. Her explanation for how she suddenly found those billing records was fake. Her exaggerated facial expressions are fake. Her marriage is fake. She is fake, fake, fake, fake, fake. So why would you consider it outlandish that any given event with which she is associated could be fake?
Let’s take a look at the incident itself:
I notice several things:
- She doesn’t duck out of the way until the shoe is already passed her.
- She doesn’t put her hands up to protect herself as you would expect when something is flying at your head. She sort of claps them. Does that look like a natural reflex action of someone who has just realized an object is flying at them?
- Does the snarky grin on her face (check the screen grab above) look like the expression of someone who feels afraid, startled, alarmed or surprised?
- At first she asks, “Was that a bat?” Have you ever been in a room where a bat was flying around? Once the bat has fluttered past your ear, do you just calmly say, “Was that a bat?” Or do you try to figure out where it is and how to catch or kill the damn thing?
- Then: “Was that somebody throwing something at me?” Listen carefully to the inflection. I’m just asking: Did that sound sincere?
- The Cirque de Soleil comment? Does that sound spontaneous? Or written for her?
Now, if it’s fake, why would she do it? Rush speculates it’s to make her Benghazi critics appear extreme. That way any time someone brings up Benghazi, you can immediately redirect the discussion so it’s not about her lies and incompetence, but about what a victim she is because those horrible people are throwing things at her.
That’s possible, but I’d say in a more basic sense it could be because she just likes to look like some sort of hero/victim who’s out there braving the flying shoes and whatever else those wild-eyed right-wingers are throwing at her.
Now, is there a case to be made that the incident could have been real? Of course. No matter how fake her reaction seems, that doesn’t necessarily prove that it is.
Ultimately the question probably turns on the identity of the shoe-thrower. Her name is Allison Ernst, and she is 36 years old and from Arizona. Supposedly she interrupted a pre-trial hearing for James Holmes and insisted he was innocent. She apparently is also suing Holmes.
She does seem a little unhinged, and that is surely an argument against the idea that she was part of a set-up involving Hillary and her people.
I guess you can decide what your own eyes are telling you. My rule when it comes to Hillary Clinton is: If it happened, it’s fake. You’ll rarely if ever go wrong presuming that.