Wash. Times (!) Lectures Against "Hateful Bile"

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A few days ago, The Washington Times joined other conservative media in defending Sarah Palin over her use of the term "blood libel." The term, as many have noted, historically refers to the anti-Semitic charge that Jews use the blood of Christian children in some religious rituals -- a myth that has long been the source of anti-Jewish violence. In an editorial hitting back at Palin's critics, liberals who "scramble[d] to score points from murder," the Times decried the "ongoing pogrom against conservative thinkers" and warned against the "hateful bile that inspires many of today's liberals."

The Times further stated:

The last two years have seen a proliferation of similar baseless charges of racism, sexism, bigotry, Islamophobia and inciting violence against those on the right who have presented ideas at odds with the establishment's liberal orthodoxy. Columnist Paul Krugman took advantage of the murders to tar conservative icon Rush Limbaugh and Fox News superstar Glenn Beck as "hate-mongers." It's this sort of reflexive and dastardly mudslinging that drowns out reasoned discussion of public-policy alternatives and poisons the well of political debate in America.

While it is laudable for people to rise above the "reflexive and dastardly mudslinging" that permeates the political debate, the Times frankly has no business lecturing others on "hateful bile." This is the same newspaper that has happily published hate-filled screed after screed against gay men and lesbians, progressives, and Muslims. It has also perpetuated right-wing smears of President Obama.

For example:

Anti-progressive rants:

  • On November 10, 2010, the Times published an op-ed titled "Psycho Pelosi," which asked, "Is outgoing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi mentally stable?" called her an "anti-American leftist," and suggested that "Democrats would be wise to dump Mrs. Pelosi like a cheap date."
  • On October 28, 2010, a Times op-ed contended that George Soros is an "enemy of democracy and America" who "undermines American values." The op-ed advised Republicans to "launch an investigation into Mr. Soros' nefarious political activities and shady financial dealings."
  • On October 26, 2010, a Times op-ed headlined, "Juan Williams must die; For centuries, intolerant liberals have celebrated murder," read: "Juan Williams has learned a painful lesson. From the French Revolution to NPR, the message of the political left has consistently been: Agree with us -- or else."
  • On October 13, 2010, the Times published an op-ed arguing that "America's liberals are happily arming Osama bin Laden." It further stated: "America's enemies are attracted to the arguments and rhetoric of the elite Western left for a simple reason: They share with the left the same hatred -- for Western culture, especially capitalism -- and the same goal -- the diminution of Western (and especially American) power."
  • On October 5, 2010, a Times op-ed stated: "The left is shameless about sin and demands that others celebrate it and pay for its consequences."

Anti-gay screeds:

  • On December 12, the Times published an op-ed attacking efforts to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell, which warned that "[t]roops drawn from America's heartland will be 'trained' to appreciate sodomy."
  • On October 22, 2010, in an editorial titled, "Queer eye for the G.I." the Times argued that the White House is "ram[ming] its radical homosexual agenda through the military." It further stated: "The destructive force unleashed by the Pentagon's collaboration with the leftist agenda is apparent from the circus created when homosexual activists like Dan Choi sashayed over to the Times Square recruiting center to make a political point in the short period in which the Phillips order [to repeal 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'] was effective."
  • On October 7, 2010, a Times op-ed accused the "Liberals of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) left" of attempting to "impose a radical social experiment on the American military."
  • On September 24, 2010, a Times column headlined " 'Gays,' guns and mad social science," stated of repealing Don't Ask, Don't Tell: "While in the interest of promoting sanctimonious notions of 'tolerance' and 'diversity,' we dress up our military like Poochie poodle in a pink sweater, Iranian, North Korean and Chinese pit bulls bark at the gate."

Attacks on Muslims:

  • On November 15, 2010, the Times called on the TSA to use the type of profiling used by the Israeli airline El Al, writing in an editorial: "TSA believes an 80-year-old grandmother deserves the same level of scrutiny at an airport terminal checkpoint as a 19-year-old male exchange student from Yemen. This policy not only is a waste of time and resources, it denies reality."
  • On August 19, 2010, the Times stated of the planned Islamic community center in New York City: "The Ground Zero Mosque is not healing a rift but deepening a wound. If the mosque is constructed, the terrorists win."
  • On August 10 and 16, 2010, the Times smeared Feisal Abdul Rauf, the Sufi imam spearheading a planned Islamic community center and mosque in New York City, as a "mastermind."
  • On August 5, 2010, a Times column titled, "Welcome to the United States of Arabia," stated: "America is surrendering in the war against radical Islam. This is the real meaning behind the decision to build a 13-story mosque and Muslim cultural center 600 feet from the site of ground zero," adding, "The imam spearheading the initiative, Feisal Abdul Rauf, is an unrepentant militant Muslim, an Islamist fellow traveler."

Obama smears:

  • On December 9, a Times op-ed read: "Liberals are finally discovering what most Americans already know: Mr. Obama cannot be trusted. He is a narcissist who believes that everyone and everything -- including his own country -- must be subordinated to serve his needs. His messiah complex threatens to tear America apart." The op-ed further referred to Obama as "not a capable political leader" and "unfit to be president."
  • On November 26, 2010, the Times published a column that stated: "Like many on the progressive left, Mr. Obama is an anti-American political thug."
  • In a November 5, 2010, editorial, the Times compared Obama to a "substance abuser," writing: "Like a substance abuser, the president must first admit he has a problem with his addiction to government solutions to all of the world's problems before he can start on the road to recovery."
  • In an October 1, 2010, editorial, the Times used Osama bin Laden's comments about climate change to tie him to progressives and the Obama administration.

One could reasonably argue that the Times, while not mentioning the "hateful bile" that has filled its pages in the past, may have been heralding the dawn of a new era where screeds of this sort would no longer appear in the paper. Well, you'd be wrong.

Just a day after condemning incendiary rhetoric that "poisons the well of political debate," the Times published a column telling conservatives to "turn up the rhetoric," saying that "[o]nly softheaded, feel-good fantasizers from the cult of denial could believe that toning down the political rhetoric will somehow keep lunatics from doing loony things." It also published an op-ed titled, "Obama's Tucson degradation," in which the author lambasted Obama for "cynically exploiting the tragic shooting in Tucson for political gain," adding that his memorial address "was a surreal spectacle in narcissistic self-congratulation" that "dishonored the victims" of the shootings.

So much for that "reasoned discussion of public-policy alternatives."

Network/Outlet
The Washington Times
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