“Friends of Hamas”: World’s Dumbest Front Group?

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Apparently I missed the news that the latest right-wing conspiracy theory about Chuck Hagel is that he once received funding from an organization called “Friends of Hamas.” If you have a room temperature IQ, your first thought is that this is a distinctly unlikely name for a terrorist front group, sort of like the Third International trying to launder rubles into the hands of closeted communist sympathizers via a group called “Friends of Joe Stalin.” Probably not going to work.

But Dave Weigel, bless his hardworking heart, actually dug into this just to make sure. This is why he’s one of my favorite bloggers, though I worry sometimes about how long he can keep this up before his brain turns to tapioca. In any case, the answer seems to be just what you think it is: there’s no such group; the rumors appear to be just flatly made up; and they were first reported by (of course) Ben Shapiro. After that, all the usual suspects just decided to pile on because—well, because, why not? If it doesn’t work, they’ll just decide Hagel took money from “Friends of Pedophiles” or something.

Really, you can just say anything these days, can’t you? If you’re a conservative, anyway.

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We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

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