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Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh fan rumor Obama plans to ban sport fishing. Guess 'birther' story lost traction.

March 11, 2010 |  9:05 am

A lone fisherman in Auburn, Ohio 

It's the latest craze among the right-wing media -- a claim that President Obama, that enviro-friendly politician who knows Al Gore personally, is about to prohibit Americans from fishing on some of the nation's oceans, coastal areas and great lakes.

Actually the White House has created a task force to study how to better manage the nation's use of its oceans, perhaps with an eye to limiting -- but not eliminating -- areas where sport fishing is allowed. There is, after all, an issue of depleting resources. In fact, the International Game Fish Assn. supports sustainable conservation efforts.

But to hear conservative talk show hosts tell it, Obama has already issued an executive order to ban fishing altogether.

On Fox News' "Glenn Beck" show, the fire-breathing conservative -- who apologized to his viewers the other night for giving disgraced Democrat Eric Massa an hour of airtime -- blasted the White House for a stealth move to deny Americans their God-given right to fish, "done in darkness by executive order." He added: "Forget about the frickin' fish. People are losing their rights. Who's more important: the fish or you?"

Not to be outdone, Rush Limbaugh also weighed in. The darling of the conservative radio audience told his listeners that "fishing is about to become a privilege controlled by Barack Obama" and that Obama "wants to ban sport fishing."

All of this apparently started because a blogger for ESPN speculated that Obama's task force could eventually suggest bans on fishing in certain areas. Lots of other journalists jumped in to point out that no such thing had occurred, but that didn't stop the right-wing flame-fanners from suggesting that it was a done deal.

Maybe the faux controversy about Obama's birth certificate has lost traction.

Or maybe Glenn and Rush can't afford fact-checkers.

-- Johanna Neuman

Photo Credit: Amy Sancetta/Associated Press

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