The spate of death threats against members of Congress in the wake of the health care vote has prompted Andrew Breitbart and his cadre of "journalists" to construct their own alternate reality in which threats of violence are exclusive to the left, and all allegations of conservatives making threats are either fabricated or the dirty undertaking of liberal "agents provocateurs" seeking to discredit the Tea Party movement. Now Breitbart has taken this same shtick to the pages of the Politico, and made a fool of himself in the process.
Politico's Kenneth Vogel and Jake Sherman interviewed Breitbart for their piece this morning on the politics of death threats:
As in this recent headline [emphasis added]:
Tea Party Opposition Brews Over an Emboldened President Obama: Sarah Palin Gathers Steam as the White House Moves Forward on its Checklist
Elsewhere online, this is how the same story was advertised:
Palin: Love Her or Hate Her, She's Here to Stay: Sarah Palin gathers steam as the White House moves forward on its checklist.
So yeah, Palin's on a roll, according to ABC News, which is a bit odd, because ABC has to acknowledge this fact:
While Palin may be popular with the Tea Party set, she has yet to cast herself as a leader among Americans. In an ABC News/Washington Post poll, 55 percent of Americans said they view her unfavorably, while only 37 percent have a favorable opinion of her.
Yes, that's Palin's worst showing in that poll in nearly 18 months. And yes, I'm guessing Palin is the only politician in America who can land dreadful polling numbers like that and, in the same breath, be described in the press as gathering steam.
From a March 31 Associated Press article:
The first of several British investigations into the e-mails leaked from one of the world's leading climate research centers has largely vindicated the scientists involved.
The House of Commons' Science and Technology Committee said Wednesday that they'd seen no evidence to support charges that the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit or its director, Phil Jones, had tampered with data or perverted the peer review process to exaggerate the threat of global warming -- two of the most serious criticisms levied against the climatologist and his colleagues.
In their report, the committee said that, as far as it was able to ascertain, "the scientific reputation of Professor Jones and CRU remains intact," adding that nothing in the more than 1,000 stolen e-mails, or the controversy kicked up by their publication, challenged scientific consensus that "global warming is happening and that it is induced by human activity."
Climate Progress reports that tropical forest researcher Simon Lewis has filed an "official complaint to the UK's Press Complaints Commission." Lewis alleged that the Sunday Times misleadingly cited him in a January 31 article titled, "UN climate panel shamed by bogus rainforest claim."
From Lewis' complaint (emphasis from Climate Progress):
Specifically, I consider this article to be materially misleading. I am the scientific expert cited in the article who was asked about the alleged "bogus rainforest claim". In short, there is no "bogus rainforest claim", the claim made by the UN panel was (and is) well-known, mainstream and defensible science, as myself and two other professional world-class rainforest experts (Professor Oliver Phillips and Professor Dan Nepstad) each told Jonathan Leake.
The Sunday Times knew that the UN panel report contained an incorrect reference relating to a sentence about the potential impacts of climate change on the Amazon rainforest, and not an error of science. Yet, the Sunday Times published inaccurate, misleading and distorted information which would lead any reasonable person to assume that the UN report had included information that was not backed by the best scientific information available at the time. Furthermore, they used highly selective reporting to imply, by omission, that a leading expert - myself - concurred with them that the IPCC had published an incorrect scientific claim. This is not the truth, and not what I told the Sunday Times, and therefore I consider the article materially misleading.
I suspect that the Sunday Times may claim that it did not state in the main body of the article that the statement in the UN report was scientifically correct or not, and that the article was about the IPCC making a mistake. Yet, according to the Editor's code this is immaterial: "Stories that are technically accurate can still be misleading or distorted leaving the reader with a false impression. Sometimes the problem is more because of what they don't say than what they do, and that -whether intentional or not -can breach the Code."
The Sunday Times contention that the IPCC had made a mistake in the reporting of scientifically credible statements was then widely re-reported, in part because the Sunday Times used my expertise to lend credibility to the assertion, due in part to the concealment of my views that the statement in question was fully in line with scientific knowledge at the time the IPCC report was written.
Following publication, I posted a very short comment on the Sunday Times website, below the article, on the afternoon of Sunday 31 January, stating that I was the expert cited in Jonathan Leake's article, that the article was misleading, as there was no 'bogus rainforest claim', and posted a link to the BBC whom I also gave an interview with, to which I gave broadly similar information as to the Sunday Times, but was accurately reported (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8488395.stm, reproduced as Appendix 4). My posted comment was deleted from the Sunday Times website.
I also wrote a letter to the Sunday Times, emailed on Tuesday 2 February, to explain the distortion and errors in the article, for publication the following Sunday, copying in the lead author of the article, Jonathan Leake, which was neither acknowledged, nor published (see
Appendix 2 for a copy of the letter).
The deletion of my comment on the website, and failure to publish my letter would appear to be in breach of point 1) Accuracy, ii) A significant inaccuracy, misleading statement or distortion once recognised must be corrected, promptly and with due prominence, and - where appropriate - an apology published.
As I have tried to correct the record in the Sunday Times, and the Sunday Times has not cooperated, and would like the public record to be correct in this matter, (reluctantly) I ask that the PCC fully investigate the case, and the Commission then make a ruling. I hope that in the course of the investigation the Sunday Times will adhere to the highest standards of accuracy, openness and clarity in their submissions to the PCC, as the article, and accompanying editorial related to the article ('Bad science needs good scrutiny') are themselves about the importance of taking the utmost care in reporting science.
I detail the misleading claims in the article in a series of sections below.
From a March 31 New York Post editorial:
Alas, the Hutaree case is likely to boost the bogus narrative that such antigovernment militias represent fundamentally the same threat as Islamist terrorists.
Thus, in essence, the argument for giving civilian trials to 9/11 conspirators at Gitmo: If the normal criminal-justice system is good enough to take down the Hutaree folks, why not Khalid Sheik Muhammad, too?
This is nonsense. To be sure, civilian justice works just fine against some Islamist terror -- specifically, those plots (see above, Fort Dix and the synagogues) hatched by US citizens on US soil.
But one need only contrast the wild fantasies indulged by the Hutaree kooks with the lethal calculation of killers like the 9/11 plotters or the Fort Hood gunman (not to mention their respective body counts) to understand the radical difference between the two threats.
One consists of the dedicated agents of a ruthless, religion-driven ideology.
The other: a few guys in the woods with guns.
The Obama administration -- Attorney General Eric Holder and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, in particular -- needs to keep its eyes on the ball.
From Crowley's March 31 Washington Times column, titled, "Enemies of the state: Administration smears some opponents, arrests others":
Not surprisingly, then, once they had passed their widely unpopular health care bill, the Democrats moved quickly to delegitimize opposition to it. Their defiant move in the face of overwhelming popular resistance gave them another excuse to equate big-government progressives with good patriots and small government advocates with potentially violent nutcases who must be watched.
As if on cue, this week, Homeland Security, the FBI and the Department of Justice's Joint Terrorism Task Force carried out raids against a purported "Christian militia group" in the Midwest. According to reports, nine people have been charged with plotting to kill police officers with "weapons of mass destruction." The indictment describes the group as an "anti-government extremist organization" and the FBI special agent in charge, Andrew Arena, cast it as "radical and fringe." That may be, but the description has a conveniently familiar ring to it.
Interestingly, the head of the Michigan branch of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), Dawud Walid, rushed to announce the raids at a CAIR banquet at about the same time the story became public. "We salute the FBI for breaking up a militia that was seeking to harm American Muslims," he said. It's curious that he would know that at a time when the FBI still had the investigation under seal. (We're still waiting to hear why Homeland Security and the FBI chose to use the descriptive word "Christian" when they seem unable to use the word "Muslim" in connection with Islamic extremism.)
It's mind-blowingly coincidental that these raids on a supposedly "Christian" militia group would come at the exact moment that Democrats were trying to change public opinion on Obamacare by claiming persecution by their opponents. They have cast Tea Partiers, conservatives, independents, Christians and militia members as all cut from the same unstable, volatile cloth. How can anyone take their opposition to the Democrats' agenda seriously when they're toting guns and being raided by Homeland Security and the FBI? They're all nuts, don't you know?
The Democrats handle dissent by isolating it, smearing it and delegitimizing it in order to crush it. The warning should be clear: If you have small-government, traditional values, you may be considered by your own leadership to be an enemy of the state.
From LL Cool J's Twitter account, accessed on March 30:
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 30 sponsors, in the order they appeared:
Here are just a few of the things we've learned from Fox Nation in the last year:
It's reportedly never turned a profit with the Rev. Sun Myung Moon (who claims to be the returned son of god) instead bankrolling the right-wing daily newspaper's bottom line for years at a cost estimated at well over $1 billion, but president and publisher Jonathan Slevin wants you to know that The Washington Times is not for sale.
TPM's Justin Elliott reports:
In response to a claim on the Drudge Report that the Washington Times is "up for sale," the company said in a statement that it is "not currently negotiating" a sale of the company.
"The Washington Times has been approached throughout its history with expressions of interest by parties interested in purchase all or part of the company," said president and publisher Jonathan Slevin. "Contrary to online reports, however, the Washington Times is not currently negotiating with any party for sale of all or part of the company."
Drudge is currently running an unlinked line of text that reads "SOURCES: WASHINGTON TIMES UP FOR SALE... DEVELOPING... "
We followed up with Times spokesman Don Meyer to ask if he could comment directly on Drudge's claim that the paper is "up for sale." Meyer responded: "The statement on Drudge is untrue."
Be sure to check out more reporting on the Washington Times woes at Talking Points Memo.