Andrew Breitbart's Big Journalism delivered a monumentally lame, not to mention embarrassingly tardy, defense of the continuing ACORN controversy. And specifically it came up short in its limp attempt to rebuff New York prosecutors, whose sources told both the New York Daily News and the New York Post last week that the undercover ACORN videos they looked at, as part of their investigation, had been heavily edited.
Big Journalism's response to the charge the videos were edited? No they weren't. Trust us.
Yep, the same people who concocted the ACORN pimp myth, and who refuse to release all unedited ACORN videos, now insists that that we take their word over New York prosecutors who saw the unedited clips and announced they had been heavily edited.
But for the pure comic effect, you have to read the Breitbart crew's monumentally feeble attempt at defense:
Ironically, with no tangible evidence that O'Keefe's videos were, in fact, "heavily edited," the left has been literally heavily editing their attack plan against him – correcting, updating, and revising their angles of assault in order to catch up with the facts.
So yeah, just ignore those quotes from prosecutors in the Daily News and Post. According to Breitbart's team, they don't exists. Instead, in Breibart World, there's "no tangible evidence." And no, BTW, they won't dare release the unedited videos and give other independent observes a chance to confirm tangible evidence.
And check this part out:
Their next angle has been echoing the Brooklyn District Attorney's office contention that the videos were a "heavily edited splice job." No they weren't. And we still await a shred of evidence to the contrary. However, the left doesn't depend on evidence to support their accusations – they depend on the loudness and repetition of the accusation itself.
Priceless. Breitbart's site, having provided no evidence to support its claim about the ACORN vids, accuses the Left of never depending on evidence to support their charges.
It truly is amateur hour.
From a March 8 entry at the Jawa Report:
The Politico's Ben Smith reported on March 7 that he obtained a copy of a statement signed by several lawyers condemning recent attacks on Justice Department lawyers who have previously represented terror suspects or supported their legal arguments. As Smith noted, included among the signatories is David Rivkin, "an official in the first Bush administration who has emerged as a leading defender of the interrogation policies advocated by the Cheneys."
Smith reported that other signatories include "Bush Administration Acting Attorney General Peter Keisler, Condoleeza Rice legal adviser John Bellinger, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Detainee Affairs Matthew Waxman, and the right-leaning legal scholars Philip Bobbitt and Robert Chesney."
The full statement, as reported by Smith:
The past several days have seen a shameful series of attacks on attorneys in the Department of Justice who, in previous legal practice, either represented Guantanamo detainees or advocated for changes to detention policy. As attorneys, former officials, and policy specialists who have worked on detention issues, we consider these attacks both unjust to the individuals in question and destructive of any attempt to build lasting mechanisms for counterterrorism adjudications.
The American tradition of zealous representation of unpopular clients is at least as old as John Adams' representation of the British soldiers charged in the Boston massacre. People come to serve in the Justice Department with a diverse array of prior private clients; that is one of the department's strengths. The War on Terror raised any number of novel legal questions, which collectively created a significant role in judicial, executive and legislative forums alike for honorable advocacy on behalf of detainees. In several key cases, detainee advocates prevailed before the Supreme Court. To suggest that the Justice Department should not employ talented lawyers who have advocated on behalf of detainees maligns the patriotism of people who have taken honorable positions on contested questions and demands a uniformity of background and view in government service from which no administration would benefit.
Such attacks also undermine the Justice system more broadly. In terrorism detentions and trials alike, defense lawyers are playing, and will continue to play, a key role. Whether one believes in trial by military commission or in federal court, detainees will have access to counsel. Guantanamo detainees likewise have access to lawyers for purposes of habeas review, and the reach of that habeas corpus could eventually extend beyond this population. Good defense counsel is thus key to ensuring that military commissions, federal juries, and federal judges have access to the best arguments and most rigorous factual presentations before making crucial decisions that affect both national security and paramount liberty interests. To delegitimize the role detainee counsel play is to demand adjudications and policymaking stripped of a full record. Whatever systems America develops to handle difficult detention questions will rely, at least some of the time, on an aggressive defense bar; those who take up that function do a service to the system.
From Erickson's March 7 Redstate.com blog post:
At least since the 19th century, it has been the left employing murder and death as a political weapon. From Hitler to Mao to Lenin to Stalin to Chavez to Castro to Guevera to Arafat to Pol Pot to Mugabe to [insert your favorite American union] to Margaret Sanger the left and its heroes have used death, violence, and murder to advance their agenda.
For every Pinochet or Netanyahu the left grasps for, the list is three times as long on the left.
It is inconvenient. The left will try to laugh it off or attack the person pointing out, but the truth remains.
It is not conservatives burning down homes in Washington State with the ELF. It is not conservatives throwing blood on women wearing fur. It is not conservatives burning down the Texas Governor's Mansion during riots. It is not conservatives rioting during G-8 summits.
It is and has always been the left. Deal with it.
From a March 6 Big Journalism post:
Mark Steyn is always right, whether he's writing about Andrew Lloyd Webber or, in this case, the suicide-bomber-in-chief, Barack Obama, who doesn't much care how many Democrats get sent to the electoral Elysian Fields -- or even whether he gets a second term -- as long as he can blow up the capitalist system from within. Excuse me -- effect "fundamental change." And what better way to get Hussein's camel's nose under your hospital gown than by taking over the American health-care system, all under the guise of "reform?"
From The Fox Nation, accessed on March 6:
Fox Nation links goes to conservative radio host Mark Levin's effort to pressure members of congress to vote against Democratic health care reform efforts.
From the March 6 edition of Fox News' Forbes on Fox:
Because really, what else does Andrew Breitbart's crew have left?
This week, New York prosecutors announced they would not be filing any criminal charges against ACORN, because after viewing the Breitbart-sponsored undercover ACORN tapes, prosecutors couldn't find any wrongdoing. Although they reportedly did find evidence of Breitbart's crew manipulating the tapes for partisan reasons.
By my count that's the third independent review of the ACORN scandal, and not one of the reviews has found any criminal wrongdoing. So of course Breitbart's Big Government wants more independent reviews. (What ever happened to three strikes and you're out?)
So at ACORN-hating central, Big Government demanded to know why California officials, and specifically AG Jerry Brown, weren't properly investigating ACORN. (Apparently, that's the one that's really going to blow the lid of this scandal.) Big Government then takes us on a stroll down memory lane to last fall when the site launched on of its patented (i.e. utterly pointless), and painfully dumb, ACORN 'investigations,' in which some over-eager blogger basically went dumpster diving outside of the group's San Diego office and claimed to have hit the jackpot.
So anyway, here's the clarion call for a California investigation, as Big Government details all the damning anti-ACORN evidence that was rounded up in San Diego [emphasis added]:
Shortly after ACORN had been alerted to the immanent investigation as a result of AG Brown's public announcement, ACORN employees at the San Diego, CA office were caught engaging in a massive document dump on October 9, 2009. Those records were retrieved from an unsecured shared public dumpster where they had been thrown revealing sensitive personal, financial and banking information for both clients and employees in addition to revelations about the political inner workings of ACORN's relationship with major U.S. banks and labor unions.
In other words, ACORN took out the trash (i.e. "massive document dump") and then some ACORN hater went dumpster diving in search of treasure. But please note the description of the dumpster. According to Big Government, the ACORN docs were "retrieved from an unsecured shared public dumpster."
Okay, now please look at the photo of the dumpster that Big Government itself originally posted to accompany the supposed blockbuster story.
Does that dumpster look "unsecured"? Does that dumpster look "public"? It gets better, trust me. Last October, Breitbart conceded the dumpster was located "behind ACORN in San Diego." And get this: the Big Government blogger himself admitted that he drove by a no trespassing sign to get to the ACORN dumpster.
So to recap, today Big Government claims the ACORN dumpster was "unsecured" and "public." But in truth, last fall it was caged, on private property, located behind a no trespassing sign, and was raided under the cover of night.
Just another example of how Big Government's fruitless, sputtering ACORN crusade borders on the absurd.
UPDATED: Is this where I formally ask Big Government to correct its inaccurate reporting about the "unsecured" and "public" dumpster? Oh, my bad. Breitbart only demands retractions. He doesn't post them.
Behold "conservative journalism"!
Glenn Beck said many odd, fear-mongering things in tonight's special show on school indoctrination, but California was a particular target. Among other things, he claimed that "lawmakers there voted in 2008 for children to be taught by communists."
As you might expect, Beck isn't telling the whole story.
Children being "taught by communists" is not some sort of mandate, as he suggests. In 2008, the state legislature passed a bill repealing a Cold War-era state law that made "knowing membership in a communist party" by a teacher a firing offense. California was the only state in the union that allowed public employees to be dismissed for membership in a political party.
Does Beck oppose freedom of association? It appears so -- after all, it is a progressive idea.
In January, we detailed how The Wall Street Journal published an op-ed by Gilbert Ross, medical director of the American Council on Science and Health, on the issue of reimported drugs. The Journal didn't mention, however, that Ross had been convicted of Medicaid fraud, for which he served nearly four years in prison and lost his license to practice medicine.
Well, Ross has struck again -- this time at The Washington Times, which published a March 4 op-ed defending the drug Avandia. (Are you getting the feeling that Ross' group is funded by the pharmaceutical industry? You would be correct.)
The Times has now issued a disavowal, also appended to the top of Ross' column:
On March, 4 2010, The Washington Times ran an oped by Dr. Gilbert Ross, medical director of the American Council on Science and Health, entitled "When senators play doctor." Dr. Ross has written for USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times and The Washington Times previously. Dr. Ross did not disclose to the Times that he had been convicted of Medicaid fraud and, for a period of years, lost his license to practice medicine. Had the Times known these facts, we would not have run the article.
That's a good start. The problem for the Times is that it didn't make a one-time error. The March 4 op-ed is the sixth it has published in the past two years -- the others were on March 5, 2008, April 24, 2008, September 14, 2008, January 18, 2009, and March 13, 2009. A search of Nexis uncovered a total of 13 op-eds by Ross (including a book review) published by the Times since 1998.
Seems like the Times should be apologizing for publishing any op-ed by Ross, not just the most recent one.
The Times seems to be offering something of a defense by noting that "Dr. Ross has written for USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times and The Washington Times previously." Indeed, USA Today has published Ross' writings; a search in Nexis for Ross' work at the Los Angeles Times yielded only letters to the editor and an article in which he was quoted. Seems like an apology is in order from USA Today as well (we're inclined to let the Los Angeles Times off with a warning -- a letter to the editor is not the same thing as an op-ed).
The Journal, meanwhile, could take a cue from The Washington Times' (albeit incomplete) disavowal -- even though two months has passed since Ross' op-ed appeared there, we found no evidence that the Journal has alerted its readers to his background.
P.S. It's worth noting that on the board of trustees for Ross' group is none other than Betsy McCaughey, who Media Matters recently named Health Care Misinformer of the Year. Why are we not surprised?