MUST BE SOMETHING ABOUT DONUTS…. In May, Dunkin’ Donuts unveiled an ad featuring television personality Rachael Ray, holding a latte, standing in front of blooming trees. Ray, however, also wore a scarf, which far-right blogs said was a keffiyeh. A lot of conservatives freaked out, accused Dunkin’ Donuts of promoting “the mainstreaming of violence” (as Malkin put it), and the company quickly pulled the ad.

Now, some on the right have turned their attention to Krispy Kreme.

When I first noticed blog posts talking about far-right Krispy Kreme outrage, I assumed it was about the company’s promotional campaign in England this week. In honor of the Obama inauguration, the chain will offer free cafe Americanos to anyone who walks up to the counter and says, “Yes, we can!” I figured, this kind of political favoritism would generate some complaints.

But that’s not quite it. Some on the right are livid about the company’s innocuous-sounding press release this week:

“Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Inc. (NYSE: KKD) is honoring American’s sense of pride and freedom of choice on Inauguration Day, by offering a free doughnut of choice to every customer on this historic day, Jan. 20. By doing so, participating Krispy Kreme stores nationwide are making an oath to tasty goodies — just another reminder of how oh-so-sweet ‘free’ can be.”

Sounds good. A free-donut campaign to coincide with Inauguration Day celebrations seems like a tasty promotional gesture.

But Krispy Kreme used the “c” word, and the American Life League is outraged. “The unfortunate reality of a post-Roe v. Wade America is that ‘choice’ is synonymous with abortion access, and celebration of ‘freedom of choice’ is a tacit endorsement of abortion rights on demand,” the group’s president, Judie Brown said in a statement. ALL added, “President-elect Barack Obama promises to be the most virulently pro-abortion president in history. Millions more children will be endangered by his radical abortion agenda. Celebrating his inauguration with “‘Freedom of Choice’ doughnuts — only two days before the anniversary of the Supreme Court decision to decriminalize abortion — is not only extremely tacky, it’s disrespectful and insensitive and makes a mockery of a national tragedy.”

The Krispy Kreme press release was almost certainly referring to the freedom to choose presidential candidates, but no matter. The far-right fringe is on hair-trigger alert these days, and I doubt this will be the last hysterical overreaction.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.