Robert Reich, who was Bill Clinton’s Labor Secretary from 1993 to 1997 and is now a professor at UC Berkeley, just promulgated an absurd conspiracy theory that the Berkeley riots were bought and paid for by Breitbart.
In an appearance on CNN, Reich said that the rioters “were not Berkeley students” and then proceeded to veer off the deep end by suggesting that it was some sort of vast right-wing conspiracy.
“There’s rumors that they actually were right-wingers,” Reich bloviated. “They were a part of a kind of group that was organized and ready to create the kind of tumult and danger you saw that forced the police to cancel the event.”
After Reich rambled on about how Berkeley supposedly didn’t trample on free speech even though they canceled the event, CNN anchor Don Lemon, who once seriously asked if a black hole swallowed up the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, asked Reich if the riots were conjured up by “right-wingers.”
“I wouldn’t bet against it,” Reich babbled. “I saw these people. They all looked very– almost paramilitary. They were not from the campus. I don’t want to say factually, but I’ve heard there was some relationship here between these people and the right-wing movement that is affiliated with Breitbart News.”
Of course, Reich offered no evidence to back up his claim; the fact that all he had was “rumors” to go showed that he was using a conspiracy theory to deflect blame from the left.
Reich seems to have a penchant for conspiracy theories; in 2013 he wrote on UC Berkeley’s blog that the Tea Party movement sought “to undermine the government of the United States, to destroy much of its capacity to do the public’s business, and to sow distrust among the population” and were “on the verge of dismantling pieces of it.” Reich even called his conspiracy theory “far-fetched” but based it off the sequestration cuts set to occur at the time–which originated from then-President Barack Obama.
Rush Limbaugh did the best mocking of Reich in the 1990s:
(h/t: Hot Air)
Follow Aaron Bandler on Twitter @bandlersbanter.