It started, as these things often do, with Drudge and rapidly ricocheted around the right wing nuttosphere. Here's fear-porn peddler Chuck Baldwin at News With Views:
Lest anyone doubt the communist leanings of President Barack Obama, look no further than to his decision to hoist the Red Chinese flag (for the first time in history) over the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Sunday, September 20.
ZOMG WHERE’S THE OUTRAGE!!!!1!!!11!!!ELEVEN!!!
Here’s the report from WingNut Daily:
The administration of President Barack Obama, whose official blogger while Obama was a candidate came under attack for hanging a Communist Party flag in his Harvard apartment, apparently has given permission to raise the emblem of Communist China over the south lawn of the White House.
The plan, reported by several English-language Chinese media outlets, has raised concern among those who are working to guard the United States from outside influences that could be threats.
According to the Global Times English-language edition, the national flag of the communist People's Republic of China on Sept. 20 will be raised for the first time on the White House's south lawn – a secured area seldom available for public events – in recognition of the Chinese anniversary.
ZOMG! The South Lawn is HALLOWED GROUND! Watered with the blood of PATRIOTS! There goes the Republic!!
This just proves what a big fat Commie Obama is!
The story has since been picked up by right wing news outlets all around the country; one columnist even wondered:
Where is Senator "Tail Gunner" Joe Mcarthy when you need him?
Of course Houston, we have a problem. This would not, in fact, be the first time the Chinese flag was flown over the South Lawn ever! Indeed, the Chinese flag flew on the South Lawn and all over the White House when George W. Bush welcomed Chinese President Hu Jintao in April 2006. The Associated Press took a lot of real purty pitchers from the welcoming ceremony. Lots of flags:
So, where were all these nut jobs when their beloved George W. Bush was flying Chinese flags (and even playing the Chinese national anthem) over the sacred White House grounds?
Adding even more insanity to this story is the fact that President Obama has not, in fact, ordered the Chinese flag to fly on the White House South Lawn tomorrow. The story was debunked by, of all people, Fox News:
The White House on Friday dismissed as inaccurate reports from China that the administration will mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic by flying the Chinese flag on the South Lawn.
China Daily, citing other media reports, claimed the president of the Fujian Association of the United States had been granted permission to hoist the flag "in a ceremony in front of the President's residence."
A ceremony, indeed, will take place. But it won't happen on the White House grounds -- rather, on the Ellipse, on the other side of E Street from the presidential residence.
China Daily's report -- which said the flag would represent strong U.S.-Chinese relations and recognition of China's success in hosting the 2008 Summer Olympics -- set off howls of protest on the Internet and among conservative talk show hosts despite failing to receive confirmation from the White House.
Of course it set off howls of protest: even though Bush did it too (and probably other presidents as well).
What a bunch of hysterical phonies. These are the folks we're going to listen to on healthcare reform? I don't think so.