The “Obamosque” Smears and the Money Fueling Them

Special Guests, a booking service that sends out daily press releases to reporters, producers, and radio shows, and which earlier this week described the proposed Park51 project as “Obamosque,” is today touting a Time magazine poll showing one quarter of Americans apparently believe President Obama is a Muslim. (A Pew poll out today shows that figure at 19%).

Why do that many Americans believe that? Could it be the use of terms like “Obamosque?” Or this photograph on the Special Guests website?

Today Special Guests is also promoting the special guest of Scott Wheeler, a long-time operative of right-wing smear campaigns against Democratic candidates and office-holders.

Wheeler is the executive director of the National Republican Trust PAC, which during the 2008 presidential campaign ran incendiary ads attempting to link Obama to terrorism. He’s a veteran of other efforts to conduct “investigative journalism” that is then used in campaigns to spread falsehoods about Democratic candidates. Currently, according to the Special Guests site, “he is preparing to spend millions of dollars for TV ads between now and the November elections to force elected officials to take a public stand on the building of the Mosque.” After House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called for an investigation into the money behind the Islamophobic fervor, Wheeler said, according to the Special Guests site, “Pelosi’s Stalinist tactics will not work on The National Republican Trust PAC. We ignited the issue of the Ground Zero Mosque with our television ad that was banned by CBS and NBC. We have demanded that every federal elected official declare where they stand on this issue so their voters can decide where their representative stands, with the American people or with the Islamists.” (Oh, I get it. Stalinists and Islamists.)

Since the National Republican Trust is a political action committee, its donors and expenditures are public information, available at the Open Secrets site maintained by the Center for Responsive Politics.