It's odd that since Christmas the right-wing media have been screaming about inadequate airline security. (Too soft!) But then when somebody they know and admire is momentarily detained at an airport for refusing to answer questions, the same right-wing screamers scream that airport officials are harassing the wrong people.
And so, as conservatives continue their never-ending quest for martyrs, real and imagined, we have the tale of conservative darling, and milblogger, Michael Yon was was recently stopped by TSA officials at the Seattle-Tacoma airport upon his return to the U.S.
Blogger Michelle Malkin did not approve [emphasis added]:
I've met Michael and have blogged about his enterprising war coverage as an embed in Iraq and Afghanistan for years. The idea of him being treated as a national security threat and handcuffed is as ridiculous as anything we've seen from Janet Clown-itano and her cadre.
Actually, according to Yon's own telling of the event, he was detained by TSA officials after he repeatedly refused to answer their questions while they randomly searched his luggage. (Apparently Yon decided which TSA questions were appropriate, and which ones were not.) But was he ever detained as a "national security threat," as Malkin stressed? Not even Yon makes that claim.
Also, note that in Yon's original telling he claimed he was "arrested" at the airport, which is not accurate. As he later explained, the TSA never placed him under arrest and neither did local port authority police. Yon made the "arrested" claim because he was placed in handcuffs by airport officials, and that meant he'd been "arrested." But that's just not true.
So to summarize, Yon claimed he was "arrested," which was not true. And then Malkin claimed it was because Yon was targeted as a "national security threat," which was also not true. But hey, other than that it makes for a great story.
UPDATED: Blogger Ed Morrissey might want to change his "Michael Yon arrested at Seattle airport" headline since, y'know, Yon was not arrested.
Just a thought.
From Erickson's January 6 Red State.com blog post:
Okay, so this post really isn't about the Crimson Tide, but there is a crimson tide out there this morning - the Democrat dead pool.
Bill Ritter, the Governor of Colorado, is gone.
Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) is gone.
Chris Dodd (D-CT) is gone.
These three all announced on the same day and on the heels of all the other Democrats retiring and Parker Griffith switching to the GOP.
Meanwhile Evan Bayh is looking more and more vulnerable in Indiana.
Something is happening. Whatever it is is most definitely bad for Democrats and good for freedom.
The crimson tide of Democrat destruction rolls on. Is it a coincidence that Alabama has an elephant as its mascot?
Mounting a fact-challenged defense against his being named Media Matters' Misinformer of the Year, Glenn Beck claimed during the January 4 edition of his Fox News show that former White House adviser Van Jones was the "only person, by the way, we have ever accused of being a communist." One day later, Beck explained how the progressive movement used secret language to hide its plans to collapse the system, instead using words like "transformation" and "social justice." Beck went on to describe the secret language of progressives:
BECK: What I would call socialist or communist, they'll call just social justice or progressive. That is critical to understand, because it really is what helps these people sleep at night, and what's allowing them to get away with it.
Among the secret initiatives Beck identified from progressives' 100-year campaign were the United Nations, the teaching of case law, income taxes, and the Federal Reserve system. Not that Beck called any of those things communist.
Regular viewers of Beck's show might recall his glorious debut on Fox News just about one year ago. His first broadcast was preceded by commercials in which Beck breathlessly lamented a national discourse that devolved into ad hominem attacks such as "those donkeys trying to turn us into communist Russia." I think Beck's record speaks for itself.
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 January 5 sponsors, in the order they appeared:
It would be difficult to sum up all the things that are wrong, silly, and ridiculous with former half-term governor Sarah Palin's terrorism policy paper/Facebook status update, so we'll just break it down, piece by piece.
We are at war with radical Islamic extremists and treating this threat as a law enforcement issue is dangerous for our nation's security. That's what happened in the 1990s and we saw the result on September 11, 2001.
Funny, I heard the exact same thing on The O'Reilly Factor last night from Dick Morris. Equally funny is how Sarah Palin found the one way to make herself even less credible on national security matters -- copping material from Dick Morris. Moving on:
It simply makes no sense to treat an al Qaeda-trained operative willing to die in the course of massacring hundreds of people as a common criminal.
What an odd thing to write, particularly when you consider that earlier today we learned that Zacarias Moussaoui -- the Al Qaeda-trained operative willing to die in the course of massacring thousands of people on 9-11 who was tried by the Bush administration as a common criminal -- had his conviction upheld in court after a federal appeals court denied his appeal. Slogging forward:
Reports indicate that Abdulmutallab stated there were many more like him in Yemen but that he stopped talking once he was read his Miranda rights.
I certainly haven't seen any "reports" to that effect. In fact, CNN reported today that they spoke to law enforcement officials and they "would not say whether [Abdulmutallab is] cooperating or if he was read his Miranda rights." Continuing:
Giving foreign-born, foreign-trained terrorists the right to remain silent does nothing to keep Americans safe from terrorist threats. It only gives our enemies access to courtrooms where they can publicly grandstand, and to defense attorneys who can manipulate the legal process to gain access to classified information.
You know, I've heard this one before too -- and it's already been debunked. Federal courts don't do televised trials, thus making a "public grandstand" pretty close to impossible. And lastly:
President Obama was right to change his policy and decide to send no more detainees to Yemen where they can be free to rejoin their war on America. Now he must back off his reckless plan to close Guantanamo, begin treating terrorists as wartime enemies not suspects alleged to have committed crimes, and recognize that the real nature of the terrorist threat requires a commander-in-chief, not a constitutional law professor.
Gotta love the false choice between tough ("commander-in-chief") and smart ("constitutional law professor").
I always suspected Palin had an ulterior motive for quitting as governor, and now I know what it is -- she wanted to spend more time absorbing warmed-over right-wing talking points and copying-and-pasting them onto Facebook as her very own. Mission accomplished.
No wonder Breitbart's Big Government site never really bothers with posting corrections. They're so messy, what with all those facts and things!
That's what the "conservative journalist" is discovering after belatedly posting an "update" yesterday in which Breitbart kinda/sorta conceded Big Government's claim that ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis had visited the Obama White House was not accurate. This, after a WH spokesman went on the record to deny the claim, insisting the "Bertha Lewis" who showed up on WH visitor logs was not the same as the ACORN CEO.
Here's how Breitbart danced around the issue yesterday:
Since we have no information on how to hunt down the "other" Bertha Lewis — Ms. Psaki wouldn't reveal who she is, citing "privacy concerns" — Big Government will err on the side of prudence and grant the White House its side of the story.
But then during a subsequent round of his signature, late-night, incoherent tweets, Breitbart seemed to backtrack and claim what while he couldn't prove it was ACORN's Lewis at the WH, Media Matters couldn't claim it wasn't her. Or something.
Well, now Esquire quotes Lewis directly and she confirms she was not at the White House this year [emphasis added]:
Still, Lewis seemed almost shell-shocked: "We can't understand this obsession, and the vehemence. They just make up something and keep repeating it over and over — yesterday, I'm cleaning my house and I get a call, someone from my office saying 'This guy from Breitbart is going crazy saying you were in the White House!' Apparently some woman named Bertha Lewis visited the White House in September, so automatically they assumed — but it wasn't me."
So, the WH has flatly denied the story and Lewis herself has flatly denied the story. Does anybody at Big Government have even the slightest evidence to back up its concocted story about the ACORN chief visiting the WH? Anybody?
I didn't think so because remember, Big Government is a rising star of "conservative journalism," where facts are optional.
UPDATED: And where does all this leave Fox News, which predictably, and foolishly, followed Breitbart's lead on this bogus story. Remember, Fox News execs recently claimed they had instituted a "zero tolerance" policy for on-air mistakes. So now that this latest Breitbart misadventure has been thoroughly debunked (doesn't 2010 feel an awful lot like 2009?), when will Fox News admit that it peddled a phony story?
Here are the nut graphs [emphasis added]:
The White House on Sunday urged senators to quickly hold a vote on its nominee to head the Transportation Security Administration, but the battle showed little signs of easing as a Republican reiterated his concerns about the pick.
The White House's appointment of Erroll Southers, a former Federal Bureau of Investigation agent, has been held up by Sen. Jim DeMint, who has raised questions about Mr. Southers's position on worker unionization. The South Carolina Republican wants Mr. Southers to promise that he would oppose granting collective-bargaining rights to the TSA's tens of thousands of employees.
This is a rather extraordinary situation, and, I dare say, if the players were reversed and it were a lone Democrat who stood in the way of filling a key national security post in a GOP administration (and stood in the way for partisan reasons that had nothing to do with security), the press coverage would not be quite so ho-hum in the way the Journal article is.
I'd also suggest that if a Democrat were holding up a key national security post, the Journal would definitely let critics tee-off in print. But in today's increasingly GOP-friendly WSJ newsroom, readers only hear from DeMint. Not a single critic (let alone Democrat) is allowed to directly voice objections to the senator's hold.
Just had lunch at Starbucks, chipotle chicken and coffee, $72. News flash, it's FREEZING in NYC, I wonder if Al Gore is shivering somewhere
From a subsequent message by Doocy:
I was writing... I wonder if Al Gore is shivering somewhere... this global warming thing is really starting to kick in...
Apparently, Fox News has even less journalistic integrity than Andrew Breitbart.
Yesterday, Fox & Friends co-host Gretchen Carlson falsely claimed that ACORN CEO Bertha Lewis had visited the White House in September. Carlson's claim was presumably based on Breitbart's report that a "Bertha E. Lewis" - who he claimed was the ACORN CEO - turned up in the White House visitor logs released in December. As I've pointed out, Politico's Ben Smith reported days ago that he had checked out Breitbart's claim, calling up the White House, who told him that the Bertha Lewis in the logs wasn't ACORN's, and ACORN, who told him their CEO's middle initial wasn't E.
After Carlson regurgitated this right-wing falsehood that had been debunked days earlier, Ari Rabin-Havt, Media Matters' Vice President for Communications and Research, wrote a letter to Fox News Senior Vice President Michael Clemente asking how this error would be handled in light of the "zero tolerance" policy the network supposedly instituted in November.
We haven't heard back.
A funny thing happened in the last 24 hours, though. Breitbart issued a belated correction to his post, acknowledging that the White House says that the Bertha Lewis who visited wasn't the ACORN CEO, and that he has no evidence to the contrary. Meanwhile, Fox & Friends went quiet, issuing no correction to their false reporting.
It's pretty sad day for a national news network when you make Andrew Breitbart look responsible.