At CPAC today, speaker and radio host Kevin McCullough told the crowd that he's "not that terribly disturbed that Mr. Hayworth is getting involved in Arizona." As both Talking Points Memo and National Review Online's Kathryn Lopez noted, the crowd appears to support former congressman J.D. Hayworth's primary bid against John McCain.
After losing his 2006 re-election bid, Hayworth became a relatively obscure radio host for Arizona's KFYI, where he "crudely pander[ed] to the prejudices and general insanity of his audience. Sometimes he makes fun of Hispanics by over-approximating a Spanish accent when pronouncing Hispanic names."
But Hayworth also become a hero to some conservative activists for his flirtations with and promotions of Birtherism:
Hayworth on Hardball: Obama "should come forward" with birth certificate. During the January 26 edition of MSNBC's Hardball, Hayworth responded to questions about Obama's birth certificate by stating that Obama "should come forward with the information" and asked, "Shouldn't we know exactly that anyone who wants to run for public office is a natural born citizen of the United States and is who they say they are?"
Birther advocate and WorldNetDaily editor and CEO Joseph Farah praised Hayworth's MSNBC appearance and endorsed him, writing: "McCain never bothered to ask Obama for proof. And that's why he lost the election. J.D. Hayworth won't make that mistake ... I want to see a real Republican take it. That real Republican is J.D. Hayworth."
Promotion of birther advocate Orly Taitz. As The Washington Independent's David Weigel has noted, Hayworth was an early booster of Orly Taitz, who the Orange County Weekly described as the "queen bee of people obsessed with Barack Obama's birth certificate." From Weigel's post:
Today he interviewed Orly Taitz, the luckless attorney for Maj. Stefan Cook, and gave her plenty of airtime to misinform about her latest court defeat. Audio of the interview is here.
Cook volunteered for duty in Afghanistan, then asked for a stay until the president proved that he was an American citizen, then acted surprised when his deployment was canceled. While Lt. Com. William Speaks, a spokesman for CentCom, has debunked Taitz's conspiracy theories about the court defeat-she has repeatedly and falsely claimed that the military cancelled the deployment because it couldn't authenticate the president's citizenship-Hayworth showed no signs of skepticism whatsoever.
Hayworth sounded stunned that Cook's deployment had been cancelled, "rather than the Department of Defense taking up and saying, well, here is the eligibility of the commander." Like Sean Hannity, he opted for Taitz's version of the story over CentCom's, telling listeners that the result "certainly could be characterized as a victory for Maj. Cook and Dr. Orly Taitz." And he closed the interview by sympathetically asking Taitz if she feared "an atmosphere of intimidation" coming at her from the White House.
Hayworth further told Taitz that she has "raised so many questions" about Obama's eligibility.
Hayworth reportedly raises birth certificate issue numerous times on radio program. Phoenix New Times staff writer Stephen Lemons wrote on his blog in July 2009 that Hayworth made birther concerns an issue on his radio program "at least eight times" since October 2008.
Hayworth "refuses to flat-out disavow the birther conspiracy movement." As The Huffington Post's Sam Stein noted, during a February 15 appearance on CNN, Hayworth "refuse[d] to flat-out disavow the birther conspiracy movement and even suggests that, in the age of identify theft, questions about President Obama's citizenship are legitimate."
After criticism, Hayworth now reportedly says Obama meets legal requirements. On February 18, RedState.com's Erick Erickson cited Hayworth's CNN interview and wrote that "if Hayworth is going to pursue it, he needs to be beaten. No respectable politician can run on this issue." Erickson later wrote a post headlined, "J.D. Hayworth and the Birther Issue: A Non-Story." Erickson wrote that he spoke with Hayworth, who "said definitely that Barack Obama is the President of the United States and meets all the legal and constitutional requirements to be President. Period. End of Story."
Erickson wrote further that Hayworth "said the issue has come up on his radio show when callers called in and engaged him on the issue. He said he engaged the callers on the issue, but he thinks it is as relevant as whether Chester Arthur met the qualifications to be President." Yet the suggestion that it's callers, not Hayworth, who raised the issue doesn't explain why Hayworth invited Orly Taitz as a guest -- with "no signs of skepticism whatsoever" for roughly 18 minutes -- to "raise so many questions" about Obama's eligibility. Clearly Hayworth didn't find the birther issue a "non-story" as a radio host, much less settle the issue during recent national media appearances.
Fox Nation is again promoting the Tea Party Express:
This post is blank except for a link to the website for the Tea Party Express III:
Earlier today, the Associated Press published an article on the resignation of Yvo de Boer, the United Nations' top climate change official. It's an interesting story, and the AP, as is their wont, presented it in a just-the-facts fashion:
De Boer is known to be deeply disappointed with outcome of the last summit in Copenhagen, which drew 120 world leaders but failed to reach more than a vague promise by several countries to limit carbon emissions - and even that deal fell short of consensus.
But he denied to the AP that his decision to quit was a result of frustration with Copenhagen.
"Copenhagen wasn't what I had hoped it would be," he acknowledged, but the summit nonetheless prompted governments to submit plans and targets for reining in the emissions primarily blamed for global warming. "I think that's a pretty solid foundation for the global response that many are looking for," he said.
De Boer told the AP he believes talks "are on track," although it was uncertain that a full treaty could be finalized at the next high-level conference in November.
The partial agreement reached in Copenhagen, brokered by President Barack Obama, "was very significant," he said. But he acknowledged frustration that the deal was merely "noted" rather than formally adopted by all countries.
For Fox News, however, news isn't news unless it is a) conservative, and b) wrong, so they added a little language to the AP report without acknowledging that they had done so (the byline reads simply "AP"). Compare the original AP article above to this screenshot of the Fox News version (emphasis added):
Fox News' additions, of course, are little more than stale retreads of the many falsehoods that comprise the "Climate-gate scandal." And the "bombshell" they refer to is actually a distortion of climate scientist Phil Jones' interview with the BBC, in which he said that it would be unlikely to observe a statistically significant trend over a 15 year interval, which, when it comes to climate science, is a very short period of time.
If you are watching the 2010 CPAC conference live on CSPAN, share your thoughts and join in the discussion in the comments section of this open thread. Don't forget, you can read our ongoing live coverage or follow Media Matters on Twitter @mmfa.
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Commenting on CPAC, National Review Online editor Kathryn Jean Lopez wrote:
Commenting on a CPAC speech by Marco Rubio, who is running for the Republican nomination for Florida's U.S. Senate seat, National Review Online editor Kathryn Jean Lopez wrote:
With Stephen Baldwin, star of NBC's I'm a Celebrity, Get me out of Here and other theatrical gems, now on stage at the annual CPAC gathering here in Washington, I thought it might be as good a time as any to provide everyone with an idea of what to expect from this year's gathering of conservatives, birthers and Birchers. Here's just a sampling of CPAC content from years past:
The Daily Beast has unveiled its list of "The Left's Top 25 Journalists" -- with Washington Post editorial page editor Fred Hiatt coming in at number 5, despite the fact that "many on the left would question Hiatt's presence on this list" because "his near-neocon position on foreign policy enrages the left-wing blogosphere."
Seriously? The fifth-most influential liberal journalist in America is a neocon? Who came up with this list, Dick Cheney?
No, actually, it was Tunku Varadarajan, formerly op-ed editor for the Wall Street Journal (whose opinion pages are notoriously conservative) and currently a fellow at the right-wing Hoover Institution, where the fellows program is generously funded by Richard Mellon Scaife.
I know what you're thinking: If The Daily Beast turned to a Scaife-funded right-winger to pen its list of "The Left's Top 25 Journalists," it probably used a Soros-backed liberal to assess journalism's leading conservatives, right? Nope, that was Varadarajan, too.
Varadarajan also wrote Forbes magazine's recent list of "The 25 Most Influential Liberals In The U.S. Media." Fred Hiatt came in at number 3 on that list, with Clinton-hating, liberal-bashing Chris Matthews at number 12.
I listened intently to the first five minutes of the 2010 Conservative Political Action Conference, as Cleta Mitchell of the American Conservative Union introduced her boss, CPAC chair David Keane.
Here's a list* of the words I heard in those five minutes:
*List not modified for comedic effect.
As I've been noting for weeks now, much of the Beltway press corps refuses to put today's Republican obstructionism in any kind of historical context. Pundits and reporters watch the GOP universally reject virtually every White House initiative and the press pretends it's normal. That's how the game has always been played, goes the narrative.
Not true. The Beltway game has never been played the way it's unfolded under Obama.
Proof? Behold, The National Journal from July 14, 2001. (No link found.) This is how president Bush, who needed a partisan Supreme Court to seat him in office, was greeted by Democrats who ran Congress at the time:
President Bush was worried. The House committee handling his
education bill was scheduled to vote on it in a few days, and
conservative support for the measure was slipping. But Bush knew
just whom to call.
Yes, the California liberal and ranking Democrat on the
House Education and the Workforce Committee.
"I can deliver," Miller told him.
Bush has been able to count on Miller ever since their
first meeting in December, when Bush, as President-elect, invited
a group of Democrats and Republicans down to Austin to talk
education. "There was a chemistry here that worked," Miller says.
Bush and Miller became fast friends after discussing the
importance of measuring student results and demanding that
schools show academic improvement in exchange for federal
Throughout the meeting, Bush and Miller traded
verbal towel snaps. Miller could easily be mistaken for an
offensive lineman, and Bush quickly dubbed him "Big George." In
the ensuing months, they talked frequently. "I think we had a
comfort level with one another where I could level with him, and
he could level with me," Miller says.
Miller delivered the Democratic votes that Bush needed.
That's how the game has been played for generations inside the Beltway. What we're witinessing today has no precedent in modern American politics. It's just that the press doesn't like to say that out loud.