It's been several days since Andrew Breitbart's web site conceded it has no idea what community organizers were saying when they gathered for a prayer session last December. Breitbart and the right-wing loons stomped and hollered on Tuesday because Breitbart originally announced the mostly Africa-American activists were praying to "Obama."
But oops, they were saying "Oh God," which means the whole smear fell apart. It cratered all over Breitbart's website where lots of progressives swung by to gawk and laugh at the wreckage. You'd think the other bloggers who posted their original hateful items about the supposedly demented activists would come clean about the fiasco, right?
Ha! We're talking about the morally, not to mention factually, challenged right-wing blogosphere, where facts never, ever, get in the way of a good smear. So it's Friday and far-right carnival barkers like Gateway Pundit haven't touched their original posts where they claimed the activists praying to God are part of a cult.
At Gateway Pundit, the fact that Breitbart's nasty smear has been found to be completely without basis doesn't mean that Gateway Pundit's blog post has to updated, let alone taken down. The fact that the entire smear has cratered because apparently Breitbart can't tell the difference between "Oh God" and "Obama," is no reason for Gateway Pundit to concede the glaring error.
How can that be, you ask? What kind of person would wake up in the morning, trumpet a nasty hit piece about community activists praying, call them members of a cult, and then just quietly ignores the fact that the allegation turned out to be totally unfounded? People like Gateway Pundit, that's who.
Like we said, playing dumb has become a calling.
But shhh, don't distract him. Gateway Pundit's still trying to nail down the story about how 2 million people showed up at the Sept. 12 anti-Obama rally. (He's only off by 1.9 million.) And how 12,000 showed up that same day in Quincy, IL. to protest. (He's only off by 10,000.)
From the October 2 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
Fox News is off by just 134.1 million.
More than 60 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 October 1 sponsors, in the order they appeared:
From the October 1 edition of Glenn Beck's email newsletter:
It would be a shame to interrupt the media's incessant and overblown coverage of ACORN and the president's push for the Olympics to come to Chicago, but there is a story of incredible importance developing in Texas about life, death, abuse of power, and the role of science in American governance.
It all revolves around Cameron Todd Willingham, an Oklahoma man who was convicted of setting a fire that killed his three daughters, a crime for which he was put to death by the state of Texas in 2004. The New Yorker profiled Mr. Willingham last month, documenting the details of the arson investigation, as well as the investigation of Dr. Gerald Hurst, a renowned arson expert who exposed dramatic flaws in the case against Willingham, in particular the methods employed by the state's arson investigators. In late 2003, Hurst compiled a report on the Willingham case in which he denounced the state's arson investigation as being based upon "junk science," and concluded that there was no evidence of arson and that the fatal fire had been an accident. The report was sent to the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles and to Governor Rick Perry's office shortly before Willingham was to be executed, but there is no evidence that either the board or the governor's office even looked at it. Willingham's parole was denied, his request for a stay of execution was rejected, and he was put to death on February 17, 2004.
Since then, the Innocence Project has continued to push on behalf of Willingham, seeking to document that he was convicted based on flawed forensic analysis. Another nationally renowned fire expert, Craig Beyler, has investigated the case and was set to testify before the Texas Forensic Science Commission about his own report, which, according to the New Yorker, "concluded that investigators in the Willingham case had no scientific basis for claiming that the fire was arson, ignored evidence that contradicted their theory, had no comprehension of flashover and fire dynamics, relied on discredited folklore, and failed to eliminate potential accidental or alternative causes of the fire." Beyler was scheduled to appear before the board tomorrow.
But Gov. Perry intervened. As reported by the Dallas Morning News, Perry abruptly dismissed three members of the Forensic Science Commission on Wednesday, including the chairman, whom Perry replaced with "Williamson County District Attorney John Bradley ... one of the most conservative, hard-line prosecutors in Texas." According to the report, Bradley said he never sought the position, and the first he heard of it was when Perry offered it to him Wednesday morning. As a consequence of the firings, the hearing into the Willingham case was canceled and has not been rescheduled. The Dallas Morning News noted: "The governor has questioned Beyler's findings and argued that there is other evidence of Willingham's guilt. And Perry told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the terms of the dismissed board members were expiring that and replacing them 'was pretty standard business as usual.'"
"Standard business as usual"? It's "standard" to fire three members of a panel just days before that panel was scheduled to hear evidence that the state executed a wrongly convicted man? It's standard for a governor to torpedo a hearing that could have demonstrated he allowed an innocent man to die, even though the exculpatory evidence was available at the time of execution? And not just any evidence either - a report compiled by one of the top fire scientists in the nation which was later corroborated by the findings of another, equally renowned fire scientist. That would be quite an embarrassment for Perry, who is up for reelection next year and is facing a tough primary fight from Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.
This is all, at the very least, quite fishy. It's also potentially earth-shaking -- never before has it been conclusively determined that someone in this country was wrongfully put to death. If Cameron Todd Willingham's innocence can be proven, it would upend the entire rationale behind our system of capital punishment. And yet there hasn't been a whole lot of media coverage - a Nexis search of all news sources for the past two days for (cameron w/2 willingham and perry) turned up seven results.
What are we being treated to instead? In-depth and sensationalist reports about what President Obama's "safe schools czar" said to one of his students 21 years ago. That's the problem with letting Glenn Beck set the news agenda - the stories that actually matter sometimes slip through.
Greg Sargent raises the possibility that Sean Hannity's jealousy may be getting the better of him. Overshadowed in recent months by FOX colleague Glenn Beck, Hannity is waging a vicious smear campaign against Department of Education official Kevin Jennings.
Just last night, Hannity claimed (citing a Washington Times report) that Jennings covered up a "statutory rape." But evidence indicates the episode in question was not statutory rape -- the individual involved was at the legal age of consent.
Falsely accusing someone of covering up the rape of a minor is a pretty sleazy move, even for Sean Hannity. Sean Hannity doesn't have much credibility outside the right-wing fever swamps -- but he probably has more than Beck. For now. Sargent thinks Hannity's jealousy may be getting him in trouble:
So what's driving Hannity's jihad? One wonders whether it's driven by the fact that Beck is experiencing a ratings surge that has to have Hannity spooked big time. The just-released Fox News third quarter ratings show that Beck's surge dwarfs Hannity's by a wide margin.
Beck's overall viewership has climbed an astonishing 89%, and in the key 25-54 demo it has exploded by 136%. By contrast, Hannity's overall viewership has climbed a measly nine percent, and in the key demo it's jumped only 17%.
Pretty paltry performance, given all the passions unleashed by the Age of Obama. What's more, Beck inhabits the lowly 5 PM slot while Hannity enjoys the plum 9 PM perch.
Would Hannity be pursuing Jennings scalp if Beck hadn't seen his popularity surge in the wake of Jones' firing? Maybe. At the very least, though, maybe this explains the zeal driving Hannity. He wants his own scalp! Call it a quest for Beckian glory...
The recent hand-wringing over the at Times has centered around outside partisan claims that the newspaper's been too slow to pick up on the hot issues bubbling up from the right-wing; that the Times just isnt' in tune with Conservative media and opinion these days. So steps are being taken at the Times. The situation will be remedied.
Still, I'm with the Daily Howler on this one: The daily newspaper does have a problem covering conservatives, and especially the conservative media in America. But rather of not paying enough attention to all the supposedly important stories the right-wing breaks, the real problem is that the Times has remained dutifully silent for years about the avalanche of misinformation the GOP Noise Machine spreads around.
Wrote the Howler [emphasis added]:
For years, the Times has "had trouble" telling readers about the giant mountains of bullsh*t emitting from these swamps. For decades, they have run and hid from the ugliest, stupidest stories which have "arisen from this world." They ran and hid when this fetid world accused the Clintons of serial murders. When the Times reviewed Ann Coulter's first major book, it ran and hid from all the nonsense found inside its covers. During that same era, the Times actively invented the Whitewater pseudo-controversy, and the fake phony "lies" of Al Gore, of course. Sometimes, the Times has promoted this world's phony claims. But when it doesn't promote such claims, it turns a blind eye to the nonsense.
The New York Times has run and hid from the world of pseudo-conservative talk—when it wasn't actively involved in actively pimping that world's frameworks, of course. This big newspaper has simply refused to address the world of pseudo-conservative disinformation and hysteria. Seeing no evil and hearing no evil has long been this paper's MO.
She was on Fox News last night, hating on the Chicago Olympic bid, going on and on about how Obama lobbying for the 2016 Games is really just "political payback" for Mayor Daley. If this were sane analysis, Malkin would be suggesting that Obama had benefited greatly in the past from Daley's political largess, and that lobbying on behalf of the Chicago Olympic bid was a way to repay Daley for the many political gifts he'd given Obama over the years.
But of course it's Michelle Malkin we're talking about, and she seems to have no idea what the political relationship between Daley and Obama has been over the years. Instead, by "political payback," and the all the talk of Chicago "cronies" and "corruption," what she's really saying is Obama is from Chicago and he knows political players there. Period.
If Malkin or anybody else at Fox News was the least bit interested in the facts (don't laugh!) about the Daley/Obama relationship, then they can turn to this 2008 Chicago Tribune blog post by David Medall [emphasis added]:
What's also true, however, is that through most of Obama's political career in Chicago he operated on the fringes of the political machine and never fully immersed himself in the belly of its operations. Obama's message of inclusion, his attention to the plight of the less fortunate, and his personal sense of morality--these aspects of Obama's character made him a favorite among reformers such as the former federal judge Abner Mikva and Cook County commissioner Forrest Claypool.
Even though he was a state legislator from the city, Obama made sure to maintain a safe distance from Mayor Richard M. Daley and his cronies. When Obama's wife, Michelle, told her husband that she was considering working in city hall, Obama waved yellow caution flags because he worried that Michelle was too straightforward and straight-talking for the backroom dealing of the Daley administration.
In my first extended interview with Obama in December 2003, I asked him to define his relationship with the mayor. Obama winced and paused before finally responding, "Cordial, not close." Since then, Obama has grown far chummier with Daley, but nothing more accurately sums up the ties between Obama and the vaunted Chicago Machine than his own words way back then: "Cordial, not close."
Here's Malkin on Fox News creating her own parallel universe narrative about Chicago politics.
In a Sept. 30 post at Publius' Forum (copied at TheRealityCheck.org), longtime NewsBusters misleader Warner Todd Huston concedes that John L. Perry's Newsmax column advocating a military coup against President Obama "really does not add to the national debate" (yet defends the guy by asserting that it was "all speculation and phrased as a question, not asserted as fact or presented as imminent"). But then he writes:
But there is one tiny, little, bitty fact about this story and its author that every single one of these lefty sites that are railing about this story have left out.
The fact of the matter is that John L. Perry is not a conservative. In fact his bio page says that he's worked for Jimmy Carter, a Democrat governor of Florida and other Democrat Party institutions.
With all that background as a liberal democrat, Perry does not fit the normal image of a "right wing conservative." Yet not on eof the lefty sites going nuts on this story have mentioned this.
Warner curiously fails to mention that all of these "liberal democrat" connections occurred well over 30 years ago.
Further, Warner's claim is evidence that he has never read anything written by Perry, who has written for the right-wing Newsmax since 1999. In addition to his orgy of hatred against Obama, Perry has repeatedly demonstrated his right-wing credentials, and is particularly enamored with Sarah Palin. Sept. 1, 2008:
When you buck the local political establishment and stand up for honesty in government, people know what you're doing. In Alaska, they remember and adore Wasilla Mayor Sarah Palin for that. They know her job was a lot harder than being mayor of a big city where you are a stranger to most constituents.
Those qualities do qualify this strong woman to be a heartbeat away from the presidency - a condescending Barack Obama to the contrary notwithstanding.
Voters need not be predictable, stereotyped herds as Barack Obama cynically sees them. They can become their own independent mavericks, standing apart from the herd. Sarah Palin gets this. So does John McCain, who chose her.
People can identify with parents like Sarah and Todd Palin, who are not, thank God, embarrassed to be seen loving God's children. That difference is what is driving political elites crazy with fear -- fear that she will win and they will lose.
The Republican road back to the White House in 2012 looks a whole heck of a lot clearer and brighter now that it leads right through downtown Wasilla, Alaska (known also as Hometown, USA).
Only the losing vice-presidential aspirant, Sarah Palin, and her accidental, de facto running mate, Joe the plumber, spoke the middle-class language with believability. It came too late in the game.
Unless Huston can prove there's a huge "liberal Democrat" base Palin has tapped into, we can safely say without fear of contradiction that Perry is, in fact, a conservative.