The New York Post reported on Wednesday that President Obama, mad with government-takeover fever, has attempted to orchestrate a drastic change to the cover (hat) in the U.S. Marines uniform.
“Thanks to a plan by President Obama to create a ‘unisex’ look for the Corps, officials are on the verge of swapping out the Marines’ iconic caps — known as ‘covers’ — with a new version that some have derided as so ‘girly’ that they would make the French blush.”
The French?! Not those pansies again, what with their … cheese. Why would Obama want the soldiers of his (adopted) country to look like such fools? The Post has no answer, though they do go on to print a scintillating “quotation” from an anonymous “senior source,” which is a practice advised in responsible journalism. “We don’t even have enough funding to buy bullets, and the DoD is pushing to spend $8 million on covers that look like women’s hats! The Marines deserve better. It makes them look ridiculous.” Someone should look into this startling lack of bullets as well.
I’d like to leave this space blank to allow you to make up some more fun crap, since the Post is already going hog wild at it. Here’s something to get your imagination going: “’The [new] cap looks too French, and the last people we want to associate our Marines with would be the French military,’ wrote one commenter on the Marine Times website.” Looks like that anonymous online commenter is simpatico with the Post vis-à-vis the French:
How about cost savings, can we throw in that conservative trope? Ah, here we are: “According to the memo obtained by The Post, requiring all troops to use the Daly cover will cost $8,221,958. Going with the traditional cap will save $284,043, because the current female caps are more expensive.” The same memo reportedly proposed swapping the flag’s red stripes with a nice lavenderish pigment developed by the Department of Defense at a cost of $5.6 trillion.
Here’s the not-fun part: Everything reported above is entirely made up. The actual story, if we can call it that, is admittedly less interesting. "The president in no way, shape, or form directed the Marine Corps to change our uniform cover," said Capt. Maureen Krebs, a girly half-Marine. "We're looking for a new cover for our female Marines for the primary reason that the former manufacturer went out of business. The Marine Corps has zero intention of changing the male cover."
Speaking of zero, that’s the degree to which the story’s boring falsehood stalled conservative outlets from picking it up. Fox News ran with it: “Obama wants Marines to wear ‘girly’ hats,” was their headline. A Washington Times employee typed the following: “U.S. Marines turn up noses at Obama’s new ‘girly’ hats; some fear it looks too French.” Man, these poor French. Last time they ally with us in every war we’ve ever won. (Vietnam was sort of the opposite.)
There is serious analysis somewhere in here. One could probably juxtapose the Republican defenses of “what war on women?!” with the fact that given even the prospect of a salacious story denigrating, not only women, but Marines that are women, conservative media took it to dog whistle city. (Bad place to be hungover.) We could bemoan the general insult that this story represents to journalistic pride, but all of it leads back to one thing: We’re talking about the Post. As long as you treat it like an unintentional Onion, nothing they say can hurt you.
It’s the person reading it next to you on the train you have to worry about.