In the wake of Donald Trump’s bizarre and unhinged speech to the 2017 Boy Scout Jamboree, a number of observers have drawn sharp contrasts with Barack Obama’s scouting history. While Trump never spent a day in scouting, Obama spent part of his childhood in Indonesia as the equivalent of a Cub Scout. But a prominent religious right talk show host scoffed at the idea that Obama had been a Scout. After all, he had supposedly been raised around pinkos.
Janet Mefferd, the early afternoon host on American Family Radio, riffed on the fallout from Trump’s speech on Tuesday’s show. People for the American Way’s Right Wing Watch got a clip.
“Now hang on a second. Hang on a second. The minute I read that, I said, ‘Obama was a Boy Scout?!’ Wait a second! Now, let’s see. All the Communist influence–his mother, and Frank Marshall Davis.”
Mefferd was referring to Frank Marshall Davis, a poet, pioneering black journalist, labor activist, and civil rights activist who was a close friend of Obama’s maternal grandfather, Stanley Dunham. The message was obvious–if they were supposedly turning Obama into a radical Kenyan socialist, how could they possibly allow him to be a Scout?
Mefferd had another belly laugh when she mentioned that Obama was involved in the Indonesian scouting movement.
“Maybe I missed it somewhere along the way, but if that were the case and Obama was a Boy Scout in Indonesia, why didn’t he come to the Jamboree?”
She then wagged her finger at the mainstream media for not “interrogating” Obama about his days as a Scout, saying it was yet another “unknown” about a two-term president.
With all due respect, Janet, the minute you engaged in red-baiting about Obama’s childhood, you might as well have sounded like a Peanuts adult. This is yet another attempt by a right-wing talk show host to brand Obama as an “other” and “not us.”
It’s not the first time Mefferd has carried water for the right. Back in 2011, she responded to an anti-immigrant activist’s call for a military coup against Obama by simply going to break as if nothing happened. A year later, she harrumphed that Sandra Fluke’s fight for birth control coverage was masking her desire to have sex at taxpayer expense, telling her, “If you want to go out and fornicate, you need to pay for it.”
Later in 2012, she fawned over Operation Rescue’s Troy Newman when he likened Obamacare to Naziism, and even called him a hero for standing up for the unborn. This is the same Troy Newman who kept Cheryl Sullenger on the payroll after she helped try to blow up a clinic and gave George Tiller’s court dates to his murderer, Scott Roeder.
Mefferd has been at AFR since 2016, alongside such religious right heavyweights as Bryan Fischer, Tim Wildmon, and E. W. Jackson. Judging by this screed about Obama’s past in Scouting, she fits right in.
(featured image courtesy Mefferd’s Website)