In her December 8 Washington Examiner column, Barbara Hollingsworth writes of the tea party movement:
The growing grass-roots movement will indeed destroy the political careers of many politicians who fail to heed the warning it delivered Sept. 12, when 1.7 million angry voters (according to a crowd estimate by Zac Moilanen of Indiana University) descended on Washington to say they were totally fed up with bailouts and stimulus packages, and want the country to return to its constitutional, limited-government roots.
But as Media Matters has detailed, Moilanen's estimate is somewhat less than authoritative. Moilanen, an undergrad studying East Asian Languages and Cultures at Indiana, cited such not-quite-unimpeachable sources as a Free Republic post and a message board to arrive at his crowd estimate.
On the Right, it seems, a good falsehood never dies -- even after it's been repeatedly proven wrong, and especially when a deep-pocketed billionaire's money is financing it.
From Bret Stephens' December 8 Wall Street Journal column:
[T]he really interesting question is less about the facts than it is about the psychology. Last week, I suggested that funding flows had much to do with climate alarmism. But deeper things are at work as well.
One of those things, I suspect, is what I would call the totalitarian impulse. This is not to say that global warming true believers are closet Stalinists. But their intellectual methods are instructively similar. Consider:
[...]• Monocausalism: For the anti-Semite, the problems of the world can invariably be ascribed to the Jews; for the Communist, to the capitalists. And as the list above suggests, global warming has become the fill-in-the-blank explanation for whatever happens to be the problem.
Yikes, talk about veering off-message from the right-wing ACORN crusade.
Monday's agreed response to the internal investigation released by ACORN, which found no pattern of intentional lawbreaking in the wake of the pimp-and-prostitute ring, was to openly mock it as being absurd. ACORN obsessed Andrew Breirtbart (aka, Capt. Ahab) once again declared that, "ACORN is a corrupt and criminal organization, and anyone with open eyes can see this."
But check out this from Big Government's Michael Volpe [emphasis added]:
ACORN did in fact engage in no criminal wrongdoing by offering advice to a "pimp" and "prostitute" about how to hide assets and their business practices. Simply offering such advice is not illegal.
I'm glad Breitbart's Big Government finally agrees that ACORN broke no laws in the pimp-and-prostitute videos. Now that that's been settled, maybe Breirtbart can remind us what all the right-wing hysteria is about.
UPDATED: Very interesting note from TPM's Josh Marshall:
You may have heard that an independent report found that there was "no pattern of intentional, illegal conduct by ACORN." But what they also found was that not only were the videos substantially edited but that the editing also involved substitute voiceovers of the faux pimp and hooker who made the videos. So it's not really possible to see what the ACORN staffers were responding to.
Question: Why won't Breitbart, in the name of transparency and full disclosure, force his undercover video makers to post all their ACORN film online, unedited? What is Breitbart hiding? And why won't he detail how much of the ACORN tapes were edited and doctored?
The latest from Malcolm's never-ending low-ball attacks? This week, Laura Bush's former flak used the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor to ridicule Obama, because naturally who doesn't see the connection? (Well, Obama did grow up in Hawaii.) Specifically, Malcolm complained that Obama's speech last week about the future U.S. policy in Afghanistan wasn't like FDR speech to the nation the day after Pearl Harbor.
I kid you not, Malcolm thinks that rhetorically, Obama's speech regarding a tactical decision to send more troops to fight a battle that's been unfolding for eight years half-a-world away should have been just like when FDR addressed Americans hours after the country was attacked by the air. I think perhaps only Andrew Malcolm is dumb enough to actually believe his own premise.
From Laura Bush's former flak [emphasis added]:
Last week we had President Obama's less-than-rousing Afghanistan war speech, trying to have it both ways by dispatching more troops while promising a scheduled departure. And not once using the word "victory."
So here as a political refresher are two historic videos -- one about the actual attack itself by 350 planes from Imperial Japanese aircraft carriers more than 200 miles away.
The other video includes President Franklin D. Roosevelt's famous war speech the very next day, the one saying that Dec. 7, 1941, would live in infamy. And here we are 24,837 days later remembering.
And now a real presidential war speech from the days of radio when voice and words mattered more than looks.
Meanwhile, can we please take one step back and ponder the rancid hypocrisy of Malcolm supposedly longing for a "real presidential war speech"; for the time when a president properly rallied a nation into battle? Because here's the sad truth about today's right-wing Obama haters: If America were tested again like it was by Pearl Harbor, and if a Democrat sat in the Oval Office, you can be sure that Malcolm and his kind, instead of rallying around the president in the nation's hour of need, would help unleash mobs to tear the president down in order to score political points.
On Monday, Malcolm praised FDR for being "real" when he addressed the country in the wake of the shocking attack by the Japanese. But today? OMG, can you imagine how Limbaugh and Beck and Hannity, and the online chorus of professional Obama haters like Malcolm would savagely go after the Democratic president--instantly and without reservation--if America came under attack by a foreign power?
Pretty ironic, isn't it? Malcolm hearkens back to a "real" president war speech like the one given by FDR and wished we had a leader today who could rally the nation like FDR did. Of course, FDR didn't have deal with a political movement, fueled by well-funded corporate media (like the LA Times), whose entire political purpose is to tear the president down.
So Malcolm please, spare us the lectures about "real" presidential speeches, not when it's so clear that Obama Derangement Syndrome has you hoping America fails.
From Fox Nation:
Do you want to know how serious the "Climategate" hacked e-mail scandal is? It's so serious that, according to Rasmussen, 120 percent of Americans have an opinion on it. At least, that's what I learned from watching the December 4 edition of Fox & Friends, which featured this graphic:
What happened? Well, here's the Rasmussen poll Fox & Friends cited. They asked respondents: "In order to support their own theories and beliefs about global warming, how likely is it that some scientists have falsified research data?" According to the poll, 35 percent thought it very likely, 24 percent somewhat likely, 21 percent not very likely, and 5 percent not likely at all (15 percent weren't sure).
Fox News' graphics department added together the "very likely" and "somewhat likely" numbers to reach 59 percent, and called that new group "somewhat likely." Then, for some reason, they threw in the 35 percent "very likely" as their own group, even though they already added that number to the "somewhat likely" percentage. Then they mashed together the "not very likely" and "not likely at all" groups, and threw the 15 percent who were unsure into the waste bin. Voila -- 120 percent.
As such, Fox News' presentation of the data made it seem as though 94 percent of Americans think it's at least "somewhat likely" that climate scientists falsify their research data.
As for the data itself, based on the phrasing of Rasmussen's question there's no way to know who the respondents were thinking of when they answered. It's possible that they could have been thinking of the climate scientists who compile the IPCC reports, it's also possible that they could have been thinking of the scientists on Exxon Mobil's payroll.
It's impossible to tell what motivated Fox to distort Rasmussen's data this way. The network as a whole has quite obviously sided with the "skeptics" and regularly plays host to a whole roster of petroleum industry-funded climate change deniers. Then again, it very well may be that the graphics department simply got confused once they started adding percentages together and didn't catch the mistake before it went on the air. Either way, it would appear that Fox News' new "zero tolerance" policy regarding mistakes isn't having its desired effect.
UPDATE: Here's a video of the Fox & Friends crew amplifiying their absurdly false graphic:
According to the CBS and the AP, several hundred protestors showed up outside Manhattan's federal courthouse complex on Saturday to protest the government's decision to try several terrorism suspects in New York City. The police reportedly put the number at just over 1,500.
And indeed, one caption during a Hannity segment read: "Terror Trials Spark Massive Rally In New York City"
But here's how Hannity began the segment:
"In spite of the freezing rain, more than 1,500 people attended the massive rally outside the courtroom where the trials are expected to take place."
With a straight face, Hannity called 1,500 people "massive."
There's over 1.6 million people living in Manhattan -- 1,500 is anything but "massive."
If it was sold out, more people attended the 8 pm showing of Wicked at the Gershwin Theater that night.
And guess who was on hand to interview the protesters? None other than Griff Jenkins, who expressed his support for Tea Party Express rallies and who stood by as his producer served as 9/12 protest cheerleader.
Of course, maybe Fox News meant "massive" compared to the 17 who attended Glenn Beck's "Christmas Sweater" premier in NYC.
On Monday, Glenn Beck unveiled his latest smear campaign - which he credited to serial smear merchant Andrew Breitbart - on Robert Creamer, the author of Stand Up Straight! How Progressives Can Win who pled guilty to federal bank fraud and tax charges in 2005 due to his handling of Illinois Public Action. Creamer had been "writing checks on accounts without sufficient funds to cover them while moving money between accounts and playing the so-called float to prevent the checks from bouncing," but doing so in order to keep the nonprofit from failing, not in order to steal from it.
It turns out Creamer attended the November 24 state dinner at the White House with his wife, Democratic Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Illinois.
"I understand that's exceptionally rare for a felon to attend something at the White House," Beck said in the middle of his falsehood-ridden attack on Creamer.
It's probably even rarer for one to attend the White House and receive a presidential medal.
Yet, that's exactly what George W. Bush did in December 2008. Bush awarded the Presidential Citizen Medal to Chuck Colson, who "pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice for devising a scheme to get and disseminate derogatory information about Pentagon Papers Defendant Daniel Ellsberg" and was sentenced to one to three years in prison.
Here's the AP's report:
Bush recognized Charles Colson, the first member of the Nixon administration to serve prison time for Watergate-related offenses. After being released from Maxwell prison in Alabama, Colson founded Prison Fellowship in 1976, which conducts outreach to prisoners, former convicts, crime victims and their families.
"For more than three decades, Chuck Colson has dedicated his life to sharing the message of God's boundless love and mercy with prisoners, former prisoners and their families," the White House said in the citation. "Through his strong faith and leadership, he has helped courageous men and women from around the world make successful transitions back into society."
Somehow, in Beck's world, attending a state dinner at the White House is something more than attending a state dinner at the White House. So much so in his mind that his latest conspiracy theory is that the Salahi's were used as a distraction for - or by -- the media so that nobody would pay attention to Creamer's attendance. (You know because Creamer's comments to fellow diners over "Green Curry Prawns" were tantamount to setting policy in the Obama administration.)
Moreover, Beck's own network is home to at least one convicted felon. Mark Fuhrman -- who pled guilty to perjury charges -- is a Fox News "forensic and crime scene expert." And Beck's show accepts advertising money from gold-hawking G. Gordon Liddy, who has also made appearances on the network.
To remind you, here's Liddy's litany of offenses, which Beck would have a field day with if he didn't have a double standard:
Liddy served four and a half years in prison in connection with his conviction for his role in the Watergate break-in and the break-in at the office of the psychiatrist of Daniel Ellsberg, the military analyst who leaked the Pentagon Papers. Liddy has acknowledgedpreparing to kill someone during the Ellsberg break-in "if necessary"; plotting to kill journalist Jack Anderson; plotting with a "gangland figure" to kill Howard Hunt to stop him from cooperating with investigators; plotting to firebomb the Brookings Institution; and plotting to kidnap "leftist guerillas" at the 1972 Republican National Convention -- a plan he outlined to the Nixon administration using terminology borrowed from the Nazis. (The murder, firebombing, and kidnapping plots were never carried out; the break-ins were.) During the 1990s, Liddy reportedly instructed his radio audience on multiple occasions on how to shoot Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms agents and also reportedly said he had named his shooting targets after Bill and Hillary Clinton.
Referring to the state dinner, Beck said: "I'm pretty sure convicted felons are usually barred from such events."
They're obviously not barred from appearing on Fox News.
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 December 7 sponsors, in the order they appeared: