Remember last month when Glenn Reynolds wrote an op-ed in the WSJ and fabricated the claim that "millions" of Tea Party activists had taken to the streets in the last year to protest Obama? And remember how Reynolds never fessed up to the fabrication?
Maybe Reynolds was just being a good misinformation soldier, because the phony idea that "millions" have protested has since been endorsed by Glenn Beck himself, which means this fake fact is now certified for all right-wing use. (`Wingers have been lying about crowd sizes for months now, in en effort to boost the cause.)
Anyway, I was recalling the comical "millions" claim while reading about the embarrassingly small turnout for the "kill-the-bill" health care rally in Washington, D.C. this week. Best estimate? A "few hundred" people showed up.
But just wait a few weeks. In the hands of Reynolds and Beck we'll soon be told that tens of thousands stormed the D.C. streets in mid-March to protest health care reform, right?
UPDATED: More "millions" action from the heartland. Actually, this report came from Lebanon, PA., where Tea Party folks were supposed to rally outside their local Congressman's office and protest Obama's health care push.
Ready for the turnout total? Two. As in, one and then two people showed up. They were promptly dwarfed by a pro-health care crowd.
But pay not attention. It's millions, I tell you, millions.
UPDATED: Today on his radio show Beck is hyping a "huge" anti-health care rally for Saturday in the nation's capitol. I wonder if it will top the "two million" who marched last September?
Michelle Malkin and Rush Limbaugh are not going to be happy about this WSJ news article. Why? Because both have been at the forefront of an hysterical, fanatical right-wing campaign to paint the negotiations over the pending health care vote as being borderline criminal as a supposed corrupt and out of control Obama adopts "Chicago-style politics" and bribes his way to passage.
The whole thing is "obscene and vulgar," Malkin whined on Fox News this morning.
But oops, according to today's WSJ (owned by Murdoch!), none of that is true. In fact, Obama's vote-getting style is rather laid back.
Headline [emphasis added]:
Obama Lobbying Style: All Ears; In Effort to Win Lawmaker Health Votes, President Listens Rather than Arm-Twists
From the article:
It was a moment typical of Mr. Obama's lobbying style—hard-core listening more than Lyndon Johnson-style arm-twisting.
Lawmakers say the president knows their positions in detail and they leave with their egos stroked. But, for better or worse, he doesn't strike fear into their hearts about the consequences of opposing him.
Curse that liberal WSJ.
On the March 18 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, the following on-screen graphic aired while teasing a segment on health care reform:
From a March 17 Politifact.com post:
On his March 9, 2010, talk show, Rush Limbaugh claimed that, "fishing is on the verge becoming a privilege controlled by Barack Obama." He went on to say that he's only had a few experiences with the sport, but that, "I know a lot of people, former professional athletes, who go into shock after hearing they can't go fishing anymore because of Obama."
To support his claim, Limbaugh points to an article that appeared on ESPNOutdoors.com on March 9, 2010. The article, written by Robert Montgomery, reported that, "The Obama administration will accept no more public input for a federal strategy that could prohibit U.S. citizens from fishing the nation's oceans, coastal areas, Great Lakes, and even inland waters." This quote was pulled from the Web site of left-wing media watchdog Media Matters. Montgomery later changed his column, so the original language is no longer on the ESPNOutdoors site. But more about that later.
Like many things we check at PolitiFact, this claim is like sausage: it went in the meat processor that is the Internet as one thing and came out quite different. An opinion piece that argued Obama's effort could ban some fishing was chopped up, reprocessed and put back together as a claim that Obama wants to ban all fishing. In fact, the draft framework says nothing about banning fishing. Limbaugh has taken an early discussion about the use of waterways and twisted it to make it sound like Obama is outlawing a popular pastime. While the panel's recommendation could change fishing practices in some areas, the framework is still in draft form; the administration has not made any final decisions on what the framework will look like. But Limbaugh is grossly distorting the truth. Pants on Fire!
From Ralph Peters' March 18 New York Post column:
The president's glee in humiliating the Brits stems from his ties to Kenya at an impressionable age, back when liberation rhetoric was in vogue. He behaves as if the Brits still rule in Nairobi, whipping servants and potting lions from the veranda. (This freeze-dried activist world-view also nudges Obama into emotional sympathy with the likes of Venezuela's Hugo Chavez and imbues him with a rosy picture of Russia.)
Regarding Israel, a lifetime of extremist associations has infected Obama with an emotional loathing for the Jewish state and a romantic vision of Palestinian terrorists as freedom fighters. (Anti-Israeli and naked anti-Jewish rhetoric is endemic within left-wing hate-church congregations, such as that led by the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.)
Betraying Israel may give you emotional satisfaction, sir, but it will bring us no lasting benefits. Israel is, literally, flesh of our flesh. Don't stick a knife in it.
The Post posted a photo of Jeremiah Wright with Peters' column, with a caption stating: "Obama: Did he imbibe distaste for Israel from pal Rev. Wright?":
After airing portions of his interview with President Obama, Special Report host Bret Baier had on regular Fox News guest A.B. Stoddard Brit Hume as well as Fox News personalities Juan Williams, Brit Hume, Charles Krauthammer, and Stephen Hayes to analyze the interview. Each of the analysts on this supposed "fair and balanced" show panned Obama's performance in their initial comments. Krauthammer called Obama's performance "marginal at best"; Stoddard and Williams called Obama "defensive"; Hayes said that Obama was "at his worst" and "dishonest"; and Hume claimed that Obama refused to answer one of Baier's questions "in any satisfactory way."
From the March 17 edition of Fox News' Special Report with Bret Baier:
In a blog post titled, "Obama Says 'Louisiana Purchase' in Obamacare Will Cover Earthquake in Hawaii... Um... What Earthquake in Hawaii? (Video)," Gateway Pundit blogger Jim Hoft attempted to rebut President Obama's statement that a provision in the health care reform bill that conservatives have dubbed the "Louisiana purchase" may also help Hawaii. In his post, Hoft suggested that there has not been an earthquake in Hawaii since 1975. In fact, in 2006 -- one year after Hurricane Katrina -- then-President Bush declared that "a major disaster exists in the state of Hawaii" due to "an earthquake that occurred on October 15, 2006, and related aftershocks."
During the Fox News interview, Obama defended a provision in the Senate version of the health care bill that, in Obama's words, says that "if a state has been affected by a natural catastrophe, that has created a special health care emergency in that state, they should get help." Obama also stated the provision "also affects Hawaii, which went through an earthquake."
Responding to Obama, Hoft wrote:
Either Obama's completely making up stuff now or we all missed some horrible devastating earthquake in Hawaii...
President Obama said tonight that he agreed with "The Louisiana Purchase" in Obamacare because it also covered the earthquake in Hawaii:
The President today declared a major disaster exists in the State of Hawaii and ordered Federal aid to supplement State and local recovery efforts in the area struck by an earthquake that occurred on October 15, 2006, and related aftershocks.
Federal funding is available to State and eligible local governments and certain private nonprofit organizations on a cost-sharing basis in the counties of Hawaii, Honolulu, Kauai, and Maui and the City of Honolulu for debris removal and emergency protective measures, including direct Federal assistance.
Federal funding is also available on a cost-sharing basis for hazard mitigation measures statewide.
R. David Paulison, Director, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security, named Michael L. Karl as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected area.
The Agency said that more areas and additional forms of assistance may be designated after damage assessments are fully completed in the affected areas.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: FEMA (202) 646-4600.
UPDATE: Other conservative bloggers have picked up on the same theme. Andrew Breitbart's Breitbart.tv website linked to Hoft's piece and embedded video of Obama's comments under the headline: "Puzzling Statement: Obama Says 'Louisiana Purchase' Will Help With the Earthquake in Hawaii." Matt Drudge has linked to the Breitbart.tv post. Additionally, Hot Air blogger Cassy Fiano wrote of Obama's reference to the Hawaii earthquake: "This moment, from Bret Baier's interview on Fox News with Obama, might just be one of the biggest 'WTF?!' moments from Obama's presidency yet. Obama is either completely making things up, living in an alternate reality, or really, really confused."
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 March 17 sponsors, in the order they appeared:
From a March 17 TV Newser post reporting on a meeting Fox News chairman Roger Ailes held that day with Fox News' Washington Bureau:
Ailes then turned to the issue of Monday's Washington Post story, in which Howard Kurtz wrote about "tension" over Glenn Beck. "There is a deep split within Fox between those who are supportive, and many journalists who are worried about the prospect that Beck is becoming the face of the network," wrote Kurtz.
Signaling that Kurtz's sources came from within the DC bureau, Ailes said, "For the first time in our 14 years we've had people apparently shooting in the tent, from within the tent."
"Glenn Beck, does his show and that's his opinion. It's not the opinion of FOX News and he has a right to say it," added Ailes. "We prefer people in the tent not dumping on other people in the tent."
And in a challenge to those employees, Ailes said, "I was brought up to defend the family. If I couldn't defend the family I'd leave. I'd go to another family."
Just how predictable is it that Republicans would peddle the idea that attacking Nancy Pelosi is their silver bullet -- and that Politico would dutifully write it up? Take a look at some previous headlines:
GOP pushes Pelosi as boogeywoman (11/1/08)
GOP ready to link Obama to Reid, Pelosi (7/29/08)
GOP slams Pelosi in new ad campaign (5/23/07)
At least once, though, Politico has realized that the GOP hasn't exactly been successful with this strategy in the past. That November 1, 2008 article reported:
For more than two years, Nancy Pelosi has played a starring role in Republican attacks on Democratic congressional candidates.
Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) warned of the liberal horrors of a Pelosi regime in the runup to the 2006 elections, and so far this year Republicans have tried to use the current House speaker against Democratic challengers in House races in Mississippi, Louisiana and North Carolina.
It didn't work in 2006, and it's not working this year, yet many Republicans continue to use Pelosi power as the ultimate threat to American governance.
And yet here's Politico, once again reporting that Republicans plan to run against Pelosi -- and failing to note that the GOP has tried this repeatedly, without success.