Addressing the Bush legacy, Politico published a strident defense by GOP talk show host Hugh Hewitt, which really must be read to be fully appreciated. (Trust us, you'll be amazed.)
But aside from the rampant misinformation Hewitt pumped out as part of his loving remembrance to Bush (short Hewitt: Bush was just misunderstood), we couldn't help wondering, what makes Hewitt an "expert"?
As part of the introduction, Politico wrote:
How will Bush's legacy fare? Politico asked the experts to consider his place in history.
As part of its round-up, Politico published a Bush essay by Matthew Dallek, who teaches at the University of California Washington Center. Expert? Sure. Another by John Feehery, who worked for the House Republican leadership from 1989 to 2005. Expert? We guess. Not exactly independent, but we'll say yes, an expert.
But Hewitt an expert? Please. He's a paid GOP apologist, propagandist, and a not very well-informed one at that. We're pretty sure if Politico actually wanted to find three Bush "experts," they could have found them, minus AM talker Hewitt.
This is quite amazing, as ABC, like lots of media outlets, continues to jack up the racial angle to the Blago-Burris story.
From ABC's David Wright:
"Not since Mr. Smith came to Washington, in that old Frank Capra film, has an idealistic senator appointed by a corrupt party boss been so unwelcome at the Capitol. But at least Mr. Smith got his seat," David Wright reported on ABC's "Good Morning America" Tuesday. "But it's also distinctly possible the scene will look more like 'Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?' The senators may seem out of touch, if this overwhelmingly white group refuses to admit the one and only black man seeking to join their exclusive club."
Wright went on to stress that Burris' "only sin" was that he was appointed by a "tainted politician," which may represent new heights in the art of the understatement.
The Hill reports this morning that in 1992 "Pennsylvania Gov. Bob Casey (D) was barred from speaking at the DNC because of his anti-abortion rights stance."
This is a common claim, but it's completely false.
There were no fewer than eight speakers at the 1992 convention who opposed abortion rights. Therefore, it cannot be the case that Casey was barred because of his stance on abortion.
That really shouldn't be difficult to understand, but those interested in additional details can find them here.
Here's the short version:
1) Casey wasn't "denied" a speaking spot; that suggests he was entitled to one. He wasn't; nobody is (save, I suppose, the nominees for president and vice president and the convention officers.)
2) There is scant evidence from contemporaneous reporting that anyone other than Bob Casey thought it would be a good idea for Bob Casey to speak at the convention.
3) Casey had not only refused to endorse Bill Clinton, he had actively suggested that the party should choose a different nominee at the convention.
4) It logically cannot be the case that Casey was denied a speaking slot because of his views on abortion, given that severals speakers shared his views.
5) Casey planned to use his convention speech -- the possiblity of which apparently existed only in his own fantasies -- for a single purpose: attacking the Democratic Party.
That's why Casey didn't speak at the 1992 convention: because nobody wanted him to, because he refused to endorse the party's nominee, and because he planned to devote his entire speech to attacking the Democratic party; the speech didn't include the words "Clinton" or "Gore" a single time.
Finally, those who insist on pointing to Casey's lack of a speaking role at the 1992 Democratic convention as evidence of the party's lack of inclusiveness are invited to produce an example of a Republican convention speaker who refused to endorse the nominee and spent his entire speach attacking the GOP's position on abortion without saying a single word in praise or support of the party's nominee.
They can't do it, because there is no such example.
ABC's The Note, busy spinning GOP talking points, collides with ABC News regarding Al Franken's victory in Minnesota, which Norm Coleman is now going to try to overturn in the courts.
The Note today [emphasis added]:
Al Franken prepared to show up to claim a seat he hadn't really won yet.
From ABC News yesterday
Two months after Minnesota voters went to the polls, Democrat Al Franken has been declared the winner of the U.S. Senate race, but his opponent, Republican incumbent Norm Coleman, is ready to challenge the results in court.
... and responds to our item noting numerous falsehoods in her latest book Guilty: Liberal "Victims" and Their Assault on America.
What are the odds?
UPDATE: The comedy that is Matt Drudge journalism continues. Now's he's posted this:
UNDER PRESSURE, NBC EXECS RE-THINK COULTER BOOKINGS... DEVELOPING...
Are you following this? Drudge apparently concocted out of whole cloth his exclusive that NBC had "banned Ann Coulter for life!" NBC immediately denied the claim and suggested Coulter wold soon appear on NBC. So now Drudge claims NBC is re-thinking its non-existent ban on Coulter.
Somebody get Mark Halperin to write this up.
Coulter is still scheduled to appear on CBS' Early Show tomorrow, according to her web page. This follows the recent revelation that CBS considered including Coulter on the "independent" panel it created to investigate a 60 Minutes report on President Bush's National Guard record.
Post pro-war columnist Ralph Peters, an Iraq war cheerleader who all but declared that war won in March, 2003, claimed that Israeli "government leaders and generals" are suddenly concerned that incoming Democratic president Barack Obama will "stab" Israel in the back by withdrawing practical and political support once he takes office.
Peters' proof for his claim? He had none. He didn't quote a single Israeli politician or military leader on the record. He didn't quote anybody off the record. He didn't point to a single utterance picked up by the Israeli or foreign press. Peters had zero facts to back up his far-fetched claim that the United States would, pretty much for the first time since the creation of Israeli state, withdraw its support from the nation when the new Democrat takes office.
Peters had nothing to back up his claim, but that didn't stop him from using violent rhetoric to scare readers about Obama. Along with claiming that (unknown) Israeli leaders fear being stabbed in the back, Peters also stressed, "Israeli soldiers should not have to go into battle worrying about an American bullet in the back." [Emphasis added.]
BTW, readers should note that the Post now refers to president-elect Barack Obama as "BAM" in its Op-ed page headlines. Nothing disrespectful there, right?
I'm a few days late to the party, so Steve Benen and John Cole and Adam Serwer have already given a solid thrashing to the complaints by RedState's Erick Erickson about the Washington Post hiring TPM's Greg Sargent.
One thing worth adding: in addition to his excellent work at TPM, and on his Horse's Mouth blog for the American Prospect before that, Sargent has written for the New York Observer, New York magazine, Newsday, the Washington Monthly, Mother Jones, and probably a few other news outlets I'm missing. He has demonstrated both an understanding of many of the ways political reporting has failed its consumers, and a willingness to write about it -- a rare combination among professional journalists, as Bob Somerby frequently points out.
Point being: Erickson's whining aside, Sargent is more likely to raise standards at the Washington Post than lower them. And that would be true even if the Post weren't the home of Dana Milbank and Howard Kurtz.
Former Laura Bush flack and LA Times blogger Andrew Malcolm posted a weekend round-up regarding Blago-related developments. Or the "molten stew that is the scandal," as Malcolm panted.
Malcolm stressed this point:
According to a report in the Chicago Sun-Times, Reid attempted to influence the governor's nominee choice by expressing serious reservations over the 2010 electability of three potential Blagojevich picks -- Reps. Jesse Jackson Jr. and Danny Davis and state Senate President Emil Jones. All three men happen to be black, as is Burris.
Nasty stuff, right? The U.S. Senate Majority Leader dictating who and who could not be selected to fill Obama's senate seat? And worse, Reid announced no blacks were allowed. Yikes, no wonder the Blago story has morphed into a "molten stew."
You know what's great about blogging, though? The ability to update stories when new information surfaces. But for some reason Malcolm had no interest in doing that at the LA Time blog after Reid, while appearing on Sunday's MTP, categorically denied ever making those claims to Blago about Jackson, David or Jones. According to Reid, the claim that he opposed black candidates is completely false.
Nonetheless, 24 hours later Malcolm still hadn't updated his blog post. Maybe that's because with that additional information the Blago story would become less molten stew-ish.
BTW, we loved how an LA Times blogger reader demolished another part of Malcolm's Blago account, where he wrote:
By naming the 71-year-old Burris, who's never lost an election to a Republican, Blagojevich places Reid in the uncomfortable political position of blocking an experienced black political vote-getter from replacing a black and becoming the Senate's only black member.
The point here isn't about Burris' qualifications, it's about how Malcolm spins vs. reports. Here's what "Phil" wrote:
It is very misleading to describe Burris as having "never lost an election to a Republican." It is equally misleading to describe him as "an experienced...political vote-getter." In 1984, Burris ran for the U.S. Senate and lost in the primaries to Paul Simon. Then, in 1994, he ran for Governor of Illinois and lost in the primaries. In 1995, the following year, he ran for Mayor of Chicago and lost to another Democratc, Richard Daley. In 1998, he ran for Governor of Illinois and lost in the primaries. He ran for Governor again in 2002 and lost in the primaries to Blagojevich. Sure, he's never lost to a Republican. Most of the time he is unable to make it that far!
Malcolm.....stop with the talking points!!!
What Phil said.