Right-wing media's newest fixation even more idiotic than usual

The right has really busted the president this time. There's an Obamacare hotline -- and it has numbers!

By Jim Newell

Published October 4, 2013 1:41PM (EDT)

Oh man, Barack Obama got so busted yesterday. There he was at his precious little desk, in his precious little office, thinking, "mwahahaha, let's just insult everyone in America, a country that I hate, with a totally nasty Obamacare hotline number, no one will ever catch me." Well, you have been caught by the right-wing Internet, mister president, sir. Show 'em what's what, Daily Caller:

Need health insurance? The Obama administration has you covered. Simply dial 1-800-FUCKYO to reach the next available health-care provider.

Far from being a mistype, that’s the official number that Health and Human Services wants Americans to dial when seeking health care. Obamacare’s national call center really did list its number as 1-800-318-2596, helpfully spelling out President Barack Obama’s tendency to blatantly flip the bird in plain view.

Nailed it. You just "simply dial 1-800-FUCKYO" to get ... well, nothing, actually. Because of math, 1-800-FUCKYO doesn't even have enough digits to take you anywhere. B-b-but, it's close! More Daily Caller:

1-800-3(F) 8(U) 2(C) 5(K) 9(Y) 6(O).

That’s 1-800-FUCKYO. Sadly, the Obama administration failed to swap the useless 1 for a more functional 8 to complete the heartfelt message, perhaps in consolation to former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel’s tragically shortened middle finger.

Yes, "sadly," the administration "failed" to do something that might have given the Daily Caller a worthwhile story. But, hey, nothing a bad Rahm Emanuel joke can't make up for (hat tip to Gawker for finding this idiocy, by the way).

The New York Daily News, in its "take," explains that "the telephone number designed to assist people looking for more information on the health care law can actually be made out to spell an abrasive insult." Can it? Nothing is nastier than a F1UCKYO. Maybe this is how nerds spell it, with their nerdy computer keys? "F1-UCK YO"! Good heavens, "abrasive" indeed.

Ooh, let's force a sex angle into this story:

Dialing the similar 1-800-F--KYOU (1-800-382-5968), without the letter-less “1” and with another “8” (at the end), connects callers with a sex hotline.

What an epic mess for the administration this is. Just look at how "similar" these numbers are:

• 318-2596 (Obamacare line)

• 382-5968 (sexytime line)

By Jove, those numbers look ... well, not really that similar!

Nevertheless, this thing will have legs for years to come in right-wing meme circles, probably. Not quite TelePrompTer or Winston-Churchill-bust legs, but legs nevertheless. Legs enough that in, say, three years, white granny circles will still be sending chain letters about how Barack Obama demands they call 1-800-FUCK-YOU if they want any sort of healthcare.

Many/most of the Daily Caller commenters on this story say something along the lines of, "this telephone number is definitely not a coincidence. Obama is trying to flip us off." The shutdown/Obamacare rollout is giving birth to all sorts of wonderful new right-wing memes already, held together by that same spine: Obama is personally coming up with phone numbers and other micromanaging directives to insult the Americans he hates so much. He picked this telephone number that kinda-sorta looks kinda-sorta like an insult, just to mess with us. He is ordering his National Park Service goons to arrest World War II veterans; it is his top priority. He is, uhh, making the Obamacare exchange computer systems have glitches, to waste America's time. Just sitting in the Oval Office, giving orders to do things that might annoy people for the sole purpose of annoying people.

They're onto him, all right.

Jim Newell

Jim Newell covers politics and media for Salon.

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