In its Sunday magazine, the Times offered up a very cushy, flattering profile of conservative activist and former GOP House majority leader, Dick Armey. Readers learn that Armey, now the point person for FreedomWorks, which helped whip up the health care mini-mobs this summer, is a deep thinker and an all-round good guy.
But I couldn't help notice two instances early on the in the piece when the Times played quite dumb while tiptoeing around embarrassing facts about Armey and his FreedomWorks organization. Here's the first one [emphasis added]:
Now, in his role with FreedomWorks, which helped stage a big march on Washington in mid-September, he is again at the center of the opposition...The stated purpose of the march was to "defend" liberty and reduce the size of the federal government. (According to an unofficial estimate by a city official, the march drew between 60,000 and 75,000 people; organizers claimed a much higher number.)
"A much higher number"? I suppose that's one way of putting it, if you're trying to go out of your way to be nice to Armey and FreedomWorks. Because trust me, the facts are no nearly so benign.
The truth is that yes, the official estimate of the Sept. 12. rally was between 60,000 and 75.000. But in terms of what FreedomWorks organizers claimed, it wasn't "much higher." It was more than 20 times higher. Approximately 70,000 showed up in D.C. to protest Obama, yet that day a FreedomWorks leader went on stage and claimed there were 1.5 million people protesting in the streets. That wildly inflated number was then bumped up to 2 million. Both numbers were completely manufactured; just made-up nonsense.
In other words, Armey's FreedomWorks helped organize an anti-Obama rally. Then on the day of the protest FreedomWorks spread wild lies about the size of the crowd, but the Times didn't think that fact was worth mentioning in its profile of FreedomWorks leader Armey. And of course, the Times didn't think it was worth asking Armey about why his org lied about the rally.
Here's the other rather egregious example from the Times profile:
Armey himself has been traveling the country in support of favored political candidates, not all of them running on the Republican line. In a special election in upstate New York, he backed a third-party candidate for Congress over a Republican whom he did not consider sufficiently conservative on economic matters.
Here's what Times readers were never told about the Upstate New York race: Armey's candidate lost.
The Armey piece ran on Sunday. The Upstate N.Y. election was five days earlier on Tuesday. But in its profile of Armey and FreedomWorks, which went all in on the N.Y., race, the Times never tells reader that Armey's guy lost; that Armey's candidate actually helped flip an historically Republican district to the Democrats.
How would the Times' Armey puff piece have changed if the newspaper had been upfront about the Sept. 12 rally and the botched Congressional race? I suspect if readers knew that Armey's FreedomWorks brazenly lied about the protest crowd, many of them would say to themselves, 'Gee, this guy's a little nuts.'
And if readers knew FreedomWorks had been embarrassed in the Upstate New York race, they'd probably say to themselves, 'Gee, this guy isn't very effective.' Which, I suppose, is probably why both facts were left out of the Times article.
From Neal Boortz's Twitter feed:
From Beck's Twitter account:
From a November 8 Washington Times article:
During the debate, about 1,500 demonstrators gathered outside the Capitol to protest the bill. Some waved American flags, and others displayed golden "Don't tread on me" rattlesnake flags. A copy of the nearly 2,000-page bill taped end to end stretched from the Capitol, down the steps and across the Southeast Lawn.
Richard Baumgartner, 73, who breathed with the aid of a portable oxygen tank and walked with a cane, was among three busloads of people from Western Maryland at the demonstration.
"If Obama-care goes through, I'd be one of them they'd have the death squad for because of my age and my physical condition," said Mr. Baumgartner, who receives Veterans Affairs health benefits. "This [bill] has something to do with taking away all our freedoms. It's not just health care."
Mr. Baumgartner's remarks echoed a speech Friday by Sarah Palin, who told a pro-life rally near Milwaukee that the liberal mind-set for abortion rights could lead to euthanasia under a government-run health care system.
"What may they feel about an elderly person who doesn't have a whole lot of productive years left?" said Mrs. Palin, the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee. "In order to save government money, government health care has to be rationed. Do you think our elderly will be first in line for limited health care?"
Pat Boone may have dialed back the eliminationist rhetoric for his latest column (published at WorldNetDaily; it remains to be seen whether Newsmax will publish it after removing the eliminationist one), but he's still lying and misleading about Barack Obama.
Boone claims that "Candidate Obama swore that he'd veto any of these porky earmarks that found their way into any bill that crossed his desk" yet signed a bill containing "contained $7.7 billion in nearly 9,000 earmarks." In fact, Obama never promised to eliminate earmarks; rather, he promised to reform the earmark process and eliminate wasteul spending.
Boone also writes that "Our president informed the Muslim world that 'America is no longer a Christian nation.' " As we noted the last time he did this, Boone is taking Obama's words out of context; Obama actually said that America is not just a Christian nation but "also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, and a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers."
As he has before, Boone embraces the birther movement, bashing Obama for his "steadfast refusal to provide to the public who deserves and wants it an actual copy of his birth certificate! Not the 'certification of live birth' that has been produced and accepted by a strangely gullible and meek Congress." Boone adds:
The growing number of determined citizens who are demanding transparency are being derided and smeared as "birthers," in the hope that they'll be written off as irrational or politically biased.
But my question is -- and has been for over a year now -- "MR. OBAMA, IF YOU HAVE NOTHING TO HIDE, WHY ARE YOU SPENDING A FORTUNE TO HIDE IT?"
It's an acknowledged fact that Barack Obama Jr. was born to an 18-year-old American girl and a Kenyan father, a British citizen. Some have seen an actual videotape, now strangely unavailable, in which the boy's fraternal grandmother describes being in the delivery room in Mombasa, Kenya, when young Barack was born.
In fact, there is no "actual videotape" of this. There is, however, a selectively edited audio clip of a phone call made to the grandmother by Anabaptist minister Ron McRae that leaves out the part in which it appears that the grandmother's misunderstood what McRae was asking and that, when asked more directly whether Obama was born in Kenya, the grandmother's answer is no. McRae has spread other dubious claims about Obama and is apparently opposed to race-mixing.
We probably shouldn't be expecting scrupulous accuracy from retired pop idols, but couldn't Boone at least try to get his facts straight?
From a November 7 post by Paul Cooper at David Horowitz's NewsReal blog:
Will President Barack Obama be able to avoid negative attention for his initial reaction to the Fort Hood Massacre? His first speech after the killing of at least 13 soldiers on a US military base showed a complete lack of any presidential leadership. It may (and should) go down in history as far worse than the "Pet Goat" incident.
On September 11, 2001 President George W. Bush heard a plane had hit the World Trade Center when he was about to hear elementary kids read a book to him at a school in Florida. Bush had a whisper in his ear from Andrew Card about the plane while he was in front of a group of small children. At that point the complete picture of a full scale terrorist attack was not known. Bush knew something was happening, but he did not know how bad, and he did not want to frighten the kids in front of him.
The book the children read to him was called "The Pet Goat" and that incident has been used to attack Bush by the Left ever since. Some have tried to use it to say Bush was a poor leader. Many (those we now know as 9-11 Truthers) have even used the incident as "proof" that Bush knew 9-11 would happen.
After meeting with the children and getting more information, President Bush gave a short but powerful press conference to the country. It showed great leadership and clarity on what was going on. You can debate if he should have immediately ran out on the kids and then made his speech, but there is no debating the strength of his first public words on the incident.
While the world was watching and waiting for a strong President -- what they got were comments about how good some little conference was and shout outs to a buddy of the President. The media was reporting on a terrorist (though many are afraid to use that term) killing US soldiers on our own soil and they went to the President live, setting him up for one of those great Obama speech moments. But this is what we got as his first words:"Let me first of all just thank Ken and the entire Department of the the Interior Staff for organizing just an extraordinary conference. Uh, I want to thank my cabinet members and senior administration officials who participated today. Uh, I hear that Dr. Joe "Medicine" Crow was around. So I want to give a shout out...My understanding is, is that you uh had an extremely productive conference."
You have got to be kidding me! Those type of comments go on for two minutes. He ignores Ft. Hood while below his video feed, every cable news channel talks about a massacre and soldiers dead. When he finally gets to talking of Ft. Hood there is no sign of a President ready to respond to terrorism. As details scrolled on news feeders below him, his first words on the incident were:"We don't yet know all the details at this moment. We will share them as we get them... We will make sure we get answers to every single question about this horrible incident... I hope all of you recognize the scope of this tragedy."
President Obama then goes on to make closing comments about the conference he was at. He shows no grasp of "the scope of this tragedy."
Remember the 2am phone call commercial that Hillary Clinton's campaign put out that questioned Obama's readiness to lead in crisis? That ad was meant to scare Democrat voters about Obama's ability to lead. Well, the President's reaction to the Ft. Hood Massacre should scare us all.
And let's face it, nobody plays dumb like Peggy Noonan.
In her WSJ column this week, she sets aside nearly 1,300 words an analyze last week's election, which she robotically concludes were a nightmare for Democrats, and especially Obama because voters rose up against him in N.J. and VA., where new GOP governors were elected. And yes, while making that the central point of her column, Noonan completely ignored the N.J. and VA. exit polling which indicated most voters did not consider Obama when they cast their votes on Tuesday.
But that's par for the Noonan course.
More importantly though, was that out to those 1,300 words about Tuesday's elections, guess how many Noonan dedicated to the Congressional race in Upstate N.Y., which Democrats won in a shocker? Answer: 24 words.
But oh, were those 24 words were priceless [emphasis added]:
The congressional race in upstate New York was too messy, too local, and too full of jumbly facts to yield a theme that coheres.
The race--y'know the one where the red district went blue for the first time in nearly 150 years--was too confusing for Noonan to figure out. The federal race was of no interest to Noonan, who instead spent her column inferring all kinds of things about the president's political standing based local statewide races; races where the voters told pollsters that Obama was not a factor in their vote. Got it?
And oh yeah, N.Y.-23 was too local to be of any interest to Noonan.
Honestly, how does she even type that with a straight face, and how do her editors print it without a profound sense of embarrassment?
Note to Noonan: The whole reason N.Y.-23 took on national significance in the days running up to Tuesday, was because the race has been completely nationalized by conservatives, who poured in buckets of national money and tried to turn the race into a national referendum.
But when they lost, GOP cheerleaders like Noonan announced the race was too confusing to understand; to messy for her to figure out. Too local.
Like I said, nobody plays dumb like Peggy Noonan.
UPDATED: Perhaps this recent Politico headline will jog Noonan's memory about why the Upstate N.Y. election wasn't so "local":
NY-23 race first test of tea party power
Conservatives failed that test, of course. But Noonan prefers to play dumb.
UPDATED: Or maybe this will refresh Noonan's memory. It was from Steve Krakauer at Mediaite.com, pre-Election Day:
Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity really want Doug Hoffman to win that special congressional election in Upstate New York's 23rd district. It's not just because he's a 3rd party "Conservative" candidate in a race that saw the shunned, moderate Republican candidate Dede Scozzafava drop out and endorse the Democrat, Bill Owens.
It's because this race is a referendum on town halls, on tea partying, on the 9/12 Project.
That doesn't sound very "local," does it Peggy?
From Rachel Slajda's November 6 post at TMPDC:
At yesterday's tea party rally on Capitol Hill, at least one protester brandished a large graphic photograph of the victims of the Dachau Nazi concentration camp, comparing health care reform to Nazi policies. Today, Rep. Eric Cantor's (R-VA) spokesman called the photograph "inappropriate."
Cantor, in an interview today with Bloomberg, also offered some criticism of radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh's comparison of President Obama to Adolf Hitler.
"Do I condone the mention of Hitler in any discussion about politics?" said Cantor, who is the only Jewish Republican in Congress. "No, I don't, because obviously that is something that conjures up images that frankly are not, I think, very helpful."
In a climate where Republicans who criticize Limbaugh come crawling back on their knees (see TPM's "Forgive Me Rush" photo feature), Cantor's office is bragging about the congressman taking a stand.
Cantor's spokesman, Brad Dayspring, emailed TPMDC a link to Glenn Thrush's post on Cantor's remarks.
It's worth noting that Limbaugh's made the comment in question -- "Adolf Hitler, like Barack Obama, also ruled by dictate" -- on Aug. 6. Cantor at the time did not respond publicly to calls from Jewish groups to condemn the remarks.
Eighty 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 of white people." Here are his November 6 sponsors, in the order they appeared: