The David Horowitz organization has historically been touchy about being criticized, so it's no surprise that my blog post detailing the craziness of Ralph Peters' wild attack on immigration reform at Horowitz's FrontPageMag drew a response.
In his April 6 FrontPageMag article, Rich Trzupek kicked things off with ad hominem attacks, calling Media Matters "George Soros' steno pool" and calling Peters "a real American hero who spent ten years in military intelligence defending this nation in ways that journalists like Terry Krepel could not imagine." In contrast to what he calls Media Matters' depiction of Peters as a "racist, extremist, blood-thirsty lunatic," Trzupek further defends Peters as "an unapologetic advocate of taking and keeping America's gloves off while fighting the war on terror."
Actually, Peters has done a bit of what could be called apologizing. Last year, Peters smeared a U.S. soldier in Afghanistan captured by the Taliban, claiming that if he was a deserter, "the Taliban can save us a lot of legal hassles and legal bills" by killing him. After the Pentagon said that Peters' comments could further endanger the captured soldier, Peters tried to walk it back.
Would you consider taking a job with a government agency that does the following:
- Unnecessarily strikes fear into the hearts of tens of millions of your fellow citizens, causing such anguish and despair that some are driven to suicide each year
- Requires citizens to know 10 million words of rules and regulations because the failure to do so may result in draconian fines and even jail, while at the same time no one in the agency has a full understanding of all the rules and regulations it requires others to know
- Routinely ignores the constitutional protections against self-incrimination and the right to the presumption of innocence
- Seizes the assets of citizens without obtaining court judgments
- Penalizes marriage
- Discriminates against many of the nation's most productive citizens
- Destroys incentives to work, save and invest, and undermines job creation
- Routinely protects agency personnel who have engaged in citizen intimidation, misrepresentation or worse
No, I am not referring to the Nazi SS or the Soviet KGB, but the IRS, which is guilty of all of the above and more.
It is, of course, true that no one loves the tax collector and that taxes are the price we pay for a civil society. But, as with anything else, there are proper and improper taxes and tax collection procedures and methods.
According to news accounts, attacks and threats against IRS personnel are rising, and unfortunately, this trend is likely to continue until there is a fundamental change in our tax laws and collection methods.
People who do not have access to the media and cannot afford expensive tax lawyers sometimes reach such a level of frustration with the IRS that they resort to violent or irrational behavior.
IRS officials and workers will say the tax code is not their fault, and they are only doing their jobs.
It is unambiguously true that the tax code and IRS are creatures of Congress, with all of its self-dealing, corruption, ignorance, and incompetence. But it also is true, and was made explicit at the Nuremberg trials, that those who carry out orders that they know to be wrong or should know to be wrong are not absolved of personal responsibility.
On his April 7 show, Glenn Beck deceptively cropped a speech from Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi in order to make it seem like she was saying something about health care reform that she wasn't.
Beck's video made it seem as if Speaker Pelosi simply said that "we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what's in it," and he went on to suggest that what Pelosi meant was that she was deceitfully hiding what was in the health care legislation until after it passed.
In fact, what Beck left off is the rest of Pelosi's statement. After commenting that discussion of health care reform had been focused on "the controversies within the bill, the process about the bill," she said in full, "But we have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it, away from the fog of controversy." (emphasis added)
In the past few months Beck has falsely claimed that health care reform will allow Obama to control your life, that it would create death panels, that it was the "end of the American Constitution", would send uninsured people to jail, and so on.
If that isn't the creation of a "fog of controversy," what is? No wonder Beck conveniently edited those comments out of the full statement. He just added to the fog.
Fox Nation has some questions:
Let's take them in order, shall we?
The "left wing protest" was, according to the linked article, "a mix of 9/11 Truthers, Code Pinkers, socialists, anarchists, and a large contingency of pro-Hamas, anti-Israel zealots." If we grant the premise that there was "No media outrage," that's probably because nobody really takes 9/11 Truthers, Code Pinkers, socialists, anarchists, and anti-Israel zealots seriously, and they certainly are not promoted and pandered to by Democrats the way Tea Partiers are promoted and pandered to by Republicans. Pretty simple, right?
Next: Why is President Obama "banning" the phrase "Islamic Radicalism"? He isn't. You can tell by the complete lack of punishment Fox Nation will face for using the phrase "Islamic Radicalism."
Finally: "Playing Politics With Mine Tragedy"? Well, that isn't exactly a "fair and balanced" question, is it? Let's try a little re-write: "Advocating safety measures that could help prevent workplace deaths?"
At least 80 advertisers have reportedly dropped their ads from Glenn Beck's Fox News program since he called President Obama a "racist" who has a "deep-seated hatred for white people." Here are his April 7 sponsors, in the order they appeared:
From the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation's April 7 "call to action" email:
In an attempt to discuss efforts to repeal an outdated law in California requiring the State Department of Mental Health to conduct research into the "causes" and "cures" of being gay, CNN's took the irresponsible step of allowing the unlicensed, widely discredited, so-called "ex-gay" activist Richard Cohen onto the network's airwaves to promote the idea that gay people can be turned straight. CNN Host Kyra Phillips paired Cohen with California Assemblywoman Bonnie Lowenthal to discuss the matter. Lowenthal is working to repeal the archaic California Law. Phillips began the conversation by asking this highly offensive question: "Homosexuality, Is it a problem in need of a cure?"
While the segment tried to give the appearance of "balance," the airtime afforded the disreputable Cohen to tout "healing" gay people, coupled with a lack of information about the harms caused by such practices is unacceptable. As GLAAD has noted in our publication, Unmasking So-Called Ex-Gay Activists, "The nation's leading medical and mental health authorities have uniformly dismissed the idea that being gay is something to be 'treated.'" www.glaad.org/Page.aspx?pid=419
But even with this information widely available to media professionals, CNN's Phillips failed to bring this to light while questioning Cohen. CNN's graphics even described Cohen as a "Psychotherapist, educator and expert in the field of sexual reorientation." Phillips and CNN also failed to note that Cohen was permanently expelled in 2002 from the American Counseling Association, for multiple violations of the ethical code.
Let's take another look at how the Washington Post's health care coverage, which Washington Post media critic Howard Kurtz thinks is just fantastic, shall well?
First, a little background. A week or two ago, Republicans began claiming that the IRS will have to hire 16,500 new agents to implement health care reform. This is completely false. FactCheck.org determined that the "wildly inaccurate" claim came from "a partisan analysis based on guesswork and false assumptions, and compounded by outright misrepresentation." Not much ambiguity there: the claim is simply false.
Now, take a look at how this "wildly inaccurate" claim has shown up in the Washington Post. First, a March 26 article:
Republicans are also encouraging members to highlight health care over the break. The packet of data and talking points the House GOP prepared for its members for the recess included a list of figures Republicans plan to use to attack the bill, such as 16,500 -- the number of additional auditors and other employees Republicans have said the IRS may need to implement the law, a number the agency has not verified and Democrats sharply dispute -- and $1.55 trillion, this year's projected federal budget deficit.
Well, that's certainly inadequate.
Next, an April 4 "Topic A" piece in which "The Post asked political experts whether the Republican Party would win in November with a negative strategy." Among the responses was one from Newt Gingrich that included this line: "We should say no to 16,000 new IRS agents who would become 'health policemen.'"
Again, the 16,000 number is just made-up -- but Post readers weren't told that. Instead, the paper gave Gingrich an opportunity to simply lie to their readers.
And, to date, Post readers have never been told that the number that appeared twice in the Post is complete bunk.
Prediction: At some point, the Post will get around to noting that this claim is not true. At that point, Howard Kurtz will rush to praise the Post for doing so, failing to note the several times the Post spread the falsehood without debunking it.
In a late February column, I explained that the New York Times had for more than two years failed to correct the web versions of three 1994 articles and an editorial that falsely claimed Tyson Foods had benefited from $9 million in state loans while Bill Clinton was governor of Arkansas:
To this very day -- nearly two and a half years later -- those articles are still available on the Times site. They still contain the false claim about the $9 million in loans. And the necessary correction still is not appended. See for yourself here, here, here, and here. Even after the Times admitted it had failed to append the correction to the articles, it still didn't append the correction!
At some point in the past few weeks, the Times finally got around to appending a correction to the bottom of the three articles, which you can read in its entirety if you click the "here, here, here, and here" links above. Note, however, that the editorial still does not have a correction appended.
Note also that the Times' correction reads in part: "Although the company did benefit from at least $7 million in state tax credits, it did not receive $9 million in loans from the state." This, as Joe Conason and Gene Lyons explained in their invaluable book The Hunting Of The President, is still quite misleading, as it does not make clear that the tax credits Tyson got were simply "investment incentives available to every corporation" rather than a sweetheart deal, as the articles imply.
But after two and a half years of prodding -- and 16 years after the initial erroneous reports -- I'll take what I can get. Now, about that editorial ...
From Hannity associate producer Lauren Fritts' Twitter:
Readers of the Washington Times flipped to the op-ed section this morning to find a column authored by anti-abortion rights fanatic Randall Terry asking why Nancy Pelosi, who is a pro-choice Catholic, is allowed to receive Communion: "The logic is simple. The church teaches that abortion is murder. For a Catholic politician - such as Mrs. Pelosi - to promote murder while claiming to be Catholic is a grave public scandal, which automatically disqualifies her from receiving Communion."
Terry, the head of Operation Rescue, has a tendency to pop up in the media whenever abortion reasserts itself as a hotpoint of national debate. Most of you probably remember his last series of outbursts following the murder of Kansas abortion provider Dr. George Tiller by Scott Roeder, who claimed he killed Tiller to save unborn children. Immediately following the killing, Terry released a video attacking Tiller as a "mass murderer" with "blood all over his hands," and lamented not the fact that Tiller had been killed, but that he hadn't been killed properly: "Now we grieve for him, that he was shot in this deplorable manner and he did not have a chance to get things right with his maker, perhaps. Every man deserves a trial of a jury of his peers and then a proper execution." Terry went on to say that Tiller "reaped what he sowed."
And it wasn't the first time Terry has appeared to sanction the death of abortion providers -- in 1992 he was videotaped asking his followers to pray for the death of Colorado physician.
Randall Terry is a fringe extremist whose radically perverse beliefs lead him to condone violence against his ideological opponents.
And now he's spreading that ideology in the pages of the Washington Times.