Cabinet & Agencies

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  • Beck pushes false claims about Sunstein, OIRA

    ››› ››› TOM ALLISON

    Glenn Beck falsely accused Cass Sunstein, head of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, of "saying that every website needs to include links to an opposing view" and falsely asserted that Sunstein wants to "tax speech, stop speech" and "[d]iscredit speech, even speech that ends up being true." Beck also falsely suggested that Sunstein's position in OIRA represents a "new role" created by President Obama.

  • Nothing Hoft says about GLSEN is ever true

    Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    I honestly thought we were done with this garbage. And yet, Jim Hoft returns today to the same lies he was so fond of trumpeting a few months back about about Education Department official Kevin Jennings and the organization he formerly ran, the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), along with a brand-new falsehood.

    Under the headline, "Figures. Highland Park School Official Won't Send Students to Arizona But She'll Send Them to Secret GLSEN Gay Sex Classes," Hoft writes:

    Suzan Hebson, assistant superintendent of Highland Park, Ill., School District 113, won't allow teen girls to travel to Arizona but she'll send them to secret GLSEN gay sex classes and make them sign a statement promising not to tell others. The teen sex classes promoted by Hebson are part of Obama's Safe Schools Czar's teen sex indoctrination.

    I'm sure you will be shocked to learn that the Highland Park school in question, Deerfield High School does not send its students to "secret GLSEN gay sex classes." As the articles Hoft links to point out, the school features a number of panels for freshman students intended to help them adjust to high school; the classes are mandatory, but parents can keep their kids out of any specific panel they wish.

    In one of those panel sessions, according to a March 8, 2007, Chicago Tribune report, "students who belong to a club called the Straight and Gay Alliance talk about personal experiences, such as what it feels like to be bullied or to be a straight friend of a gay classmate." The Tribune goes on to report:

    "The whole point of the presentation is to help students understand how they--maybe even flippantly, intending to communicate with others--can be perceived or misperceived by others," Hebson said.

    Erin Kaplan, 17, a senior, who describes himself as the only transgender student at Deerfield, said he believes that the climate at school has improved since the panel discussions began five years ago. He said the student alliance began the practice "after a really big wave of homophobic comments, targets for being gay."

    Kaplan, a panelist for the last three years, tells students that he was born a boy--his parents gave him the name "Evan"--but that he has always felt like he should have been a girl. He wears feminine clothing at times but has a man's narrow hips and husky voice.

    The panel this year consists of seven students. Four students identify themselves as gay, bisexual or transgender, and three are heterosexual, he said.

    "What is important is that we learn to respect each other as peers," Kaplan said. "That's really the heart of what we talk about."

    Question: What type of human being does one have to be to turn something like this into a rant against "teen sex indoctrination"?

  • Another anonymously "sourced" Washington Prowler story implodes

    Blog ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    Yesterday, my colleague Kate Conway pointed out that the American Spectator blog Washington Prowler had published another of their trademark anonymously "sourced" hit pieces on progressives, this time speculating why Colin Crowell -- a senior adviser to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski -- is leaving his position. Kate warned that readers should consider the Prowler's report skeptically due to the Prowler's past record, and it looks like she was right: their story is quickly unraveling.

    According to the Prowler piece -- based on unnamed "sources," "FCC staff," and "speculation" from the "telecommunications industry" -- Crowell is leaving because Genachowski has decided not to regulate broadband networks, which would have "left Crowell's many friends on the extreme left very angry" and put Crowell "in an untenable position and unable to defend it, and thus forced to resign."

    Prowler's claim that Genachowski is planning to leave broadband unregulated was based on an anonymously-sourced May 3 Washington Post article that reported that Genachowski was "leaning toward" such a decision. And -- wouldn't you know it -- Prowler has "sources" saying that "Crowell or his allies may have been the sources for the Post piece."

    And then today's Wall Street Journal hit the newsstand, and the Prowler piece dissolved.

  • Fox News burned by dubious Prowler report they failed to "independently confirm"

    ››› ››› MATT GERTZ

    Fox News' Megyn Kelly and Bret Baier seized on a dubious, anonymously sourced post on The American Spectator's Washington Prowler blog that claimed that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) withheld a report on health care reform until after the health care vote. Kelly acknowledged during the report that Fox had not "independently confirmed this"; in a later segment, Baier stated that the report's author called the Prowler's claims "completely false."

  • Rove, Fox News morph uncontroversial proposal into government spying on "everybody's checking accounts"

    ››› ››› JOCELYN FONG

    Karl Rove and Fox News have pushed the conspiracy theory that an Office of Financial Research created by the Senate financial reform bill would "peer into" everybody's checking accounts, credit cards, and financial transactions. However, the OFR would simply collect and analyze data about potential risks to the financial system, and the proposal has been endorsed by Republican Sen. Bob Corker, as well as numerous economics and finance experts, including six Nobel laureates in economics.