Down the rabbit hole, indeed

A variety of conservative media outlets, including Fox News, the New York Post, and the Daily Caller, are worked up this week about a newly-discovered White House outrage: a 2009 Halloween party.

It’s tough to pinpoint exactly what it is the right is upset about, but it seems to boil down to two main complaints: the White House (1) threw a lavish Halloween party during a recession; and (2) kept the event “secret.”

Even for conservatives, this is pretty thin. The White House did, in fact, host a Halloween party for the kids of military servicemen and women in 2009. Conservatives may have found the event needlessly showy — filmmaker Tim Burton reportedly helped decorate, and gave the party an “Alice in Wonderland” theme — but given that we’re talking about the White House doing something nice for military families, the right really shouldn’t raise such a fuss.

As for the notion of keeping this “secret,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz said yesterday, “If we wanted this event to be a secret, we probably wouldn’t have invited the press corps to cover it, release photos of it to Flickr, or post a video from it on the White House website.”

But the really funny part of this came yesterday when Dana Loesch warned that the entire story may well be a nefarious “set up” crafted by the White House. She wrote:

One could beg the question that the White House and media didn’t disclose this because they knew it was wrong. Why would it be wrong? Because of public reaction? This is where it gets sneaky. It’s a set up: The narrative will be that details weren’t released because the White House didn’t want folks freaking out over extravagances for military families provided by a Hollywood director and his actor/muse. The narrative will progress into a notion that conservatives are tight-fisted when it comes to providing military families with a nice Halloween, one that wasn’t even at the conservatives’s expense. It will reinforce the stereotype that conservatives and Hollywood will always be at odds, and can’t a film director throw a party for the military if he wants? GOSH. [emphasis in the original]

That east wing of the White House sure is sneaky isn’t it? In 2009, it looked as if officials were just doing something nice at Halloween for military families. But more than two years later, conservative media figures have gotten to the heart of the scheme — this was a “secret” and a “set up” intended to make the right look bad.

It’s increasingly difficult to understand how the right views reality.