Why is Face the Nation hosting John Fund despite his history of falsehoods?

››› ››› ADAM SHAH

On July 25, Face the Nation will host Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund, who has pushed phony allegations that the Justice Department engaged in racially charged corruption in the New Black Panther Party case. Fund has a long history of pushing trumped up and made up charges against Democrats and progressives.

Face the Nation hosting John Fund following conservative criticism of Schieffer over New Black Panther Party case

Fund to appear on panel including GOP critic of conservatives pushing NBPP phony scandal. On July 25, Face the Nation is hosting Fund along with Abigail Thernstrom -- the Republican vice chairwoman of the Civil Rights Commission who has strongly criticized the decision of the commission to investigate the New Black Panther Party case; Georgetown University professor Michael Eric Dyson; Princeton University professor Cornel West; and Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson.

Conservatives attacked Schieffer for not questioning Holder about trumped-up charges about New Black Panther Party case. Conservatives, including posters on discredited activist Andrew Breitbart's BigJournalism.com, the Fox Nation, and Bernie Goldberg, repeatedly attacked Schieffer for interviewing Attorney General Eric Holder on the July 11 edition of his show, but not asking Holder about the phony allegations about the New Black Panther Party case.

Fund pushed phony allegations against DOJ in New Black Panther Party case

Fund promotes phony DOJ scandal in Wall Street Journal and on Fox News. Fund has promoted former Justice Department lawyer J. Christian Adams' allegations about the Obama administration's handling of the voter intimidation case against members of the New Black Panther Party in his Wall Street Journal column and during appearances on Fox News. As Media Matters has documented, Adams is a right-wing activist, and his claims that the Obama Justice Department has engaged in unprecedented racially-charged "corruption" in the case fall apart given the fact that the Obama DOJ obtained judgment against one New Black Panther Party member, and the Bush DOJ declined to pursue similar allegations in 2006. And numerous media and political figures, including Fox News contributors and Republicans, have dismissed the story pushed by Adams.

Fund repeatedly misled about another voting rights case to back up allegations about New Black Panther Party case. In a Wall Street Journal piece and on Fox News, Fund claimed that Adams' allegations against the Justice Department are supported by the department's decision to drop a lawsuit filed by the Bush administration that accused Missouri of not effectively purging ineligible voters from registration lists. However, Todd Graves, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri at the time the lawsuit was filed, reportedly refused to file the case, and the complaint was eventually signed by the DOJ civil rights division official Bradley Schlozman. Soon thereafter, Schlozman replaced Graves as U.S. attorney as part of the U.S. attorney firing scandal. An Inspector General's report later found Schlozman to have inappropriately considered political affiliation and ideology when hiring career attorneys in the DOJ. Furthermore, the Obama Justice Department actually asked for the court to dismiss the case because of outdated evidence and the court's refusal to reopen an investigation into the state's voter registration maintenance procedures.

Fund promoted allegations of Bartle Bull without noting he was a McCain supporter who called Obama a "hustler." In two Wall Street Journal columns (here and here), Fund promoted allegations by Bartle Bull that the members of the New Black Panther Party had engaged in "the most blatant form of voter intimidation I've ever seen." In both pieces, Fund identified Bull only as "a former civil rights lawyer and publisher of the left-wing Village Voice." However, Bull supported Sen. John McCain in the 2008 election and was in Philadelphia as a McCain poll watcher. Bull reportedly declared during the campaign: "Obama's notion of economic fairness is pure Karl Marx plus a pocketful of Chicago-style 'community organization.'" Furthermore, on Fox News' America Live, Bull said of Obama: "I didn't like Obama from the beginning, I thought he was a hustler and I think he still is."

Bull currently chairs a campaign to draft Rudy Giuliani to run for New York Governor.

Fund attacked Shirley Sherrod's speech based on heavily-edited video

After watching heavily-edited Sherrod speech, Fund attacks Georgia NAACP because "no one complained" about speech. On his Fox News show, Sean Hannity played a heavily edited speech by former United States Department of Agriculture official Shirley Sherrod that was pushed by Breitbart. Fund, along with co-panelist Kate Obenshain, attacked the NAACP for not yet condemning Sherrod's speech. Once it became clear that the Sherrod speech was deceptively edited, numerous media figures -- including conservatives -- criticized Breitbart and Fox News for running with the edited tape.

From the July 19 edition of Hannity (via Nexis):

HANNITY: All right. We've got this woman Shirley Sherrod speaking before the NAACP at a banquet. Let's roll the tape.


SHIRLEY SHERROD, USDA: The first time I was faced with having to help a white farmer save his farm, he took a long time talking, but he was trying to show me he was superior to me. I know what he was doing. But he had come to me for help. What he didn't know while he was taking all that time trying to show me he was superior to me, was I was trying to decide just how much help I was going to give him. I was struggling with the fact that so many black people had lost their farm land, and here I was faced with having to help a white person save their land. So I didn't give him the full force of what I could do.


HANNITY: Reaction?

KATE OBENSHAIN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: It's just a shame that it takes an expose, it takes Breitbart having to put it on his Web site, for her resignation to be forced. You know, I certainly hope the NAACP comes out tomorrow very strongly condemning these remarks and puts...

HANNITY: It's interesting. They just lectured the Tea Party movement last week.

OBENSHAIN: Yes, exactly.

JOHN FUND, WALL STREET JOURNAL: Well, you know, people who live in glass houses should be careful about throwing stones.

The Tea Party this week had an incident where somebody sent out a letter in very poor taste. He was immediately dropped by the Tea Party; should have happened.

This happened back in March at a state convention of the NAACP. And then they would...

HANNITY: That's the thing. Andrew Breitbart broke this. He's going to be on the program tomorrow.

FUND: Obviously no one complained at the Georgia NAACP. No one complained. It would have passed unless they had this video which came out now.

The point is the NAACP should look to its own house before it decides to go condemn other people. Then -- and remember, the NAACP has had associations with Louis Farrakhan and Al Sharpton and everyone else. So take care of their own business first.

Fund has repeatedly pushed other fabricated and baseless claims

Fund's fabricated "universal voter registration" bill sponsored by Schumer and Frank. In November 2009, Fund spoke at a David Horowitz Freedom Center forum and declared that Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) were planning to introduce universal voter registration legislation. Fund's claim took off in right-wing media. On January 13, Frank wrote a letter to Fund accusing him of making "your assertion with no factual basis and without any effort to verify it. To me, that qualifies as a lie." According to Frank, "I have had no involvement with this whatsoever, with Senator Schumer or anybody else." In a January 18 WorldNetDaily article, columnist Chelsea Schilling reprinted sections of Frank's letter and reported that "Fund corrected himself when he spoke with WND." Fund reportedly said: "I made an error. I should have referred to John Conyers, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. It's not Congressman Frank. It's Congressman Conyers," although Fund continued to cite no evidence for this claim.

Fund fabricated evidence of voter fraud in New Jersey. Appearing on the November 2, 2009, edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck, Fund claimed that Hispanic voters in Camden, New Jersey, are being told that there is "a new way for you to vote, la nueva forma de votar" -- an anecdote Fund suggested was evidence of voter fraud in the state's 2009 gubernatorial election. In fact -- as Fund himself wrote in a Wall Street Journal column published hours earlier -- that incident actually occurred in Philadelphia in 1993.

Fund on the BP escrow account: "You better believe it's a shakedown." On the June 19 edition of Fox News' Journal Editorial Report, Fund said of the BP escrow fund, "You better believe it's a shakedown" and stated that it "goes around the legal process." He further warned that "the United States can resemble a banana republic overnight with the wrong president in charge," and that the fund "effectively says to foreign investors, 'forget the rule of law.' " In fact, BP and the federal government reportedly mutually agreed to the deal.

Fund falsely claimed Wall Street reform legislation "sets up a $50 billion fund for future bailouts." Appearing on Fox News in April, Fund said that of the financial reform legislation: "It's not just that it sets up a $50 billion fund for future bailouts, which can be renewed, but it also grants the federal government unprecedented power to come in and seize any financial institution it thinks is failing." In fact, the bill as written at the time created a $50 billion fund paid for by the financial services industry to provide for the orderly liquidation of failing firms and would have in no way bail them out.

Fund's book Stealing Elections filled with falsehoods. Media Matters documented that Fund's 2004 book, Stealing Elections: How Voter Fraud Threatens Democracy, included numerous falsehoods, distortions, and misrepresentations regarding the Florida results of the 2000 presidential election and with regard to allegations of voter fraud.

In Stealing Elections update, Fund falsely claimed that ACORN created a "Camp Obama" to train campaign volunteers. In the 2008 revised version of his book Stealing Elections, Fund falsely claimed that the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now "runs something called 'Camp Obama,' which trains campaign volunteers in the same tactics that Obama honed as a community organizer." In the "Notes" section of the book, Fund attributes this assertion to a Chicago Sun-Times article, but the article does not link "Camp Obama" to ACORN -- indeed, it does not mention ACORN at all. Moreover, "Camp Obama" reportedly was established and run by the Obama campaign.

Bob Schieffer, John Fund
Face the Nation
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