CAPTURE THE FLAG…. The Washington Times published a 743-word story today about President Obama making public appearances in front of American flags.

Oh, say — can you see? Look. It’s President Obama, and he’s surrounded by American flags.

They’re on the dais in star-spangled glory. They’re at the town-hall meeting and the news conference, in bold folds of red, white and blue. The White House has rediscovered — or possibly reinvented — the patriotic cachet of Old Glory as a perfect frame for the new president.

That’s the same president who once would not wear an American flag pin. Things have changed.

Three months after the election, and conservative news outlets are still talking about flag pins. Seriously.

The article also offers keen insights from luminaries.

“Neo-Marxists recognize the power of Old Glory as they steadfastly pursue their agenda,” said talk-radio host Michael Savage. “As Castro taught them, ‘hasta la victoria siempre,’ always towards victory. As the street agitators themselves know, ‘by all means necessary.’ To them, our flag is just a rag.”

Let’s pause to appreciate how truly ridiculous this is. A newspaper ran an article today about the President of the United States making public appearances with American flags. To bolster the “premise” that this development is newsworthy, the newspaper quotes a lunatic who suggested the president is a Communist.

About a year ago, John Solomon, formerly of the Washington Post, took over the Times as its executive editor. Solomon vowed to take the paper — a project of cult-leader Sun Myung Moon — in a more credible and serious direction.

It looks like Solomon has quite a ways to go.

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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.