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  • Spakovsky hopes hearsay and conjecture will breathe new life into completely discredited DOJ smear job

    Blog ››› ››› JEREMY HOLDEN

    In an effort to salvage the discredited allegations of racism in the Justice Department, Hans Von Spakovsky now claims that the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights investigation is "no longer primarily about" the phony New Black Panther Party scandal. Instead, he claims, it's about "sworn testimony" that DOJ official Julie Fernandes "instructed Voting Section lawyers that no cases would be brought against any black or other minority defendants no matter how egregious their violations of the law."

    Von Spakovsky did not say what "sworn testimony" established this, but in his testimony, DOJ activist and so-called "whistleblower" J. Christian Adams testified that he "was told by Voting Section management that cases are not going to be brought against black defendants for the benefit of white victims." Adams' accusation, however, is based entirely on conjecture and hearsay:

    DAVID BLACKWOOD (U.S. Commission on Civil Rights general counsel): That is extremely important -- these instructions. Were you there when they were given?

    ADAMS: I was -- I was present at one instance when the statement was made, and Mr. Coates gave me a recollection of a second time that instructions were given in a management situation.

    BLACKWOOD: Okay. The first time, when you were present, who made the statement?

    ADAMS: Okay. Two things. The statement was that we were in the business of doing traditional civil rights work, and, of course, everybody knows what that means, and helping minorities -- helping -- litigating on their behalf.

    That statement was made by Julie Fernandes, who is the DAAG.

    This is nowhere near establishing that Fernandes ever said that "cases are not going to be brought against black defendants for the benefit of white victims." And in fact, the Obama Justice Department has twice pursued injunctions against black defendants for voting law violations.

  • Breitbart flounders as his Sherrod story collapses

    ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    As his story about former Obama administration official Shirley Sherrod has disintegrated, Andrew Breitbart has desperately tried to maintain his credibility. Media Matters chronicles Breitbart's shifting stories, lies, and attempts to spin the story and pass the blame to others.

  • UPDATED: Manufactured scandal: Right wing's phony allegations against the Justice Department

    ››› ››› JEREMY HOLDEN

    J. Christian Adams' accusations that President Obama's Justice Department engaged in racially charged "corruption" in the New Black Panther Party case do not stand up to the evidence. Adams is a right-wing activist tied to the Bush-era politicization of the Justice Department who has admitted he lacks first-hand knowledge of the events he is discussing, and his claims fall apart given the fact that the Obama DOJ obtained judgment against one defendant, while the Bush DOJ declined to pursue similar allegations in 2006.

  • J. Christian Adams' intellectually dishonest thought exercise

    Blog ››› ››› JEREMY HOLDEN

    Earlier today, J. Christian Adams called on readers to "ponder" how the Justice Department's handling of voter intimidation charges against members of the New Black Panther Party could "restrain future enforcement activity against intimidation." Imagine, Adams asks, if the allegations involved white men harassing minority voters:

    Think about this -- even taking the facts in the most favorable light for the defenders of the dismissal, ponder how it restrains future enforcement activity against intimidation. There may come a day when two skinheads are in front of a poll, say, in suburban Atlanta. The precinct is 90 percent white, but about 10 percent African-American. One has a baseball bat, but the other does not. They are dressed identically in skinhead uniforms with swastika insignia. They work together and shout racial slurs we all know and hate. Worse, the week before, the national skinhead party had announced a nationwide deployment of skinheads, and these clowns show up on cue. NAACP poll monitors there to aid voters see voters turn away upon seeing the skinheads. The skinheads try to block the NAACP staff from entering the polls, and brandish the bat. The NAACP staff swear this all happened under oath. Then days later the national skinhead leader admits they were indeed deployed as part of the party activities and the use of the weapon was an "emergency response."

    Worse, after claiming to banish these two skinheads, video emerges with the national leader standing on stage with the two at a rally, praising them and welcoming them back into the skinhead nation.

    Every American knows what should happen on these facts. Sadly, these facts are precisely identical to what happened in Philadelphia, except the races are reversed.

    Someone with some intellectual honesty please explain to all of us something. In the future, how can the DOJ stop the behavior I described above? The dismissal of the case against the New Black Panthers harms future efforts to stop voter intimidation, especially on any fact pattern less egregious than what happened in Philadelphia.

    The only thing devoid of intellectual honesty here is Adams' argument. Adams joined the Bush-era Justice Department voting section in 2005. According to Thomas Perez, the assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division, the Justice Department in 2006 declined to bring charges against members of the Minutemen, one of whom reportedly carried a gun while they allegedly attempted to intimidate Hispanic voters outside a polling station in Arizona. By contrast, the Justice Department under the Obama administration successfully obtained default judgment against Samir Shabazz, the member of the New Black Panther Party who carried a weapon outside a polling station on Election Day 2008. The Obama DOJ has also requested additional judgment against black leaders in Mississippi who were found to have discriminated against white voters.

    Of course, in 2006 Fox News never told the media to cover the alleged voter intimidation.

  • Media reported New Black Panthers "controversy," not conservative's statement that it's a right-wing effort to "topple" administration

    ››› ››› TODD GREGORY

    After reporting on the right-wing accusation that racial bias motivated the Justice Department to drop charges against members of the New Black Panther Party, major print outlets have not reported that the Republican vice chair of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has stated that conservatives on the panel are using the issue to try to "topple the [Obama] administration."

  • Bipartisan agreement: Fox-hyped New Black Panthers case is a phony scandal

    ››› ››› ERIC SCHROECK

    Numerous media and political figures, including Fox News contributors and Republicans, have dismissed the Fox-hyped phony scandal surrounding the New Black Panthers Party, with the Republican vice chairwoman of the U.S. Civil Rights Commission even criticizing conservatives on the commission for trying to use the case "to topple the [Obama] administration." Despite this, Fox News has hyped the manufactured scandal more than 100 times since June 30.

  • Fox baselessly links Obama and Holder to New Black Panthers case, but their key witness says otherwise

    ››› ››› TODD GREGORY

    Fox News figures have used J. Christian Adams' unsubstantiated allegations to suggest that President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder were involved in the Justice Department's decision in the New Black Panthers case. However, Adams himself testified that he had no "indication" that the decision involved anyone "higher up" than an acting assistant attorney general.

  • Adams' case falls apart even further

    Blog ››› ››› JEREMY HOLDEN

    Race-baiting has been a central element to the phony New Black Panthers scandal from the start, despite the fact that right-wing activist J. Christian Adams' accusations do not stand up to the evidence. But court filings earlier this week, in which the Obama Justice Department is asking a federal court to extend its injunction against black leaders in Mississippi for discriminating against white voters, should end once and for all the scurrilous accusation that the Obama administration is hostile to prosecuting black defendants on behalf of white victims.

    In 2007, a federal court found that Ike Brown, the black chairman of the Noxubee (Mississippi) County Democratic Executive Committee, had engaged in systematic discrimination against white voters and appointed Judge Reuben Anderson to oversee Democratic primaries and runoffs though 2011. The Associated Press called the case "the first of its kind in the country, accusing black political leaders of discriminating against white voters." Earlier this week, the Obama Justice Department filed a motion to prevent Brown from establishing a closed Democratic Primary that the DOJ argued would discriminate against white voters. The Justice Department asked the court to extend its 2007 injunction for two years and to ensure that Brown could not seek to implement voting changes during that time. The DOJ's actions in the Noxubee case further destroys the accusation leveled by right-wing activists that the Obama Justice Department is engaging in race-based justice.

    Incredibly, J. Christian Adams and The Washington Times present the DOJ's handling of the case as further evidence of its hostility toward white victims. In a July 13 Pajamas Media post, Adams wrote that "the Department of Justice blew an opportunity to put to rest the issue of whether they are willing to enforce the Voting Rights Act in a race-neutral fashion by objecting to a request by a proven discriminator to further discriminate." Adams said that the Justice Department's handling of the case showed that "they do not want whites and Asians, when they are the discriminated-against minority, to be protected under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act." According to The Washington Times, the Obama Justice Department "did not object" to Brown's request and "issued a 'no determination' letter that ... effectively leaves the issue open for another day."

  • REPORT: Fox News has hyped phony New Black Panthers scandal at least 95 times

    Fox devoted more than 8 hours of airtime to discussion of New Black Panthers

    ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    Six Fox News shows have discussed the phony New Black Panthers scandal during a total of 95 segments since Megyn Kelly's June 30 interview hyping the unsubstantiated allegations of right-wing activist J. Christian Adams. In all, these Fox shows have devoted more than eight hours of airtime to discussing the New Black Panthers.