2011: The Right-Wing Media Witch Hunt Against Obama Administration Officials Continues

››› ››› MARCUS FELDMAN

Since President Obama took office, the right-wing media have engaged in a smear campaign against Obama administration officials as well as people Obama has nominated for spots in the judiciary. This witch hunt has continued unabated in 2011.

White House Counterterrorism Adviser John Brennan

Commerce Secretary John Bryson

Federal Judge Susan Carney

Federal Judge James Graves

White House Staffer Jonathan Greenblatt

Federal Judicial Nominee Caitlin Halligan

Attorney General Eric Holder

Former Education Department Official Kevin Jennings

Council Of Economic Advisers Chairman Alan Krueger

Judicial Nominee Goodwin Liu

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta

White House Foreign Policy Adviser Samantha Power

National Labor Relations Board General Counsel Lafe Solomon

White House Counterterrorism Adviser John Brennan

john brennan

Beck Outrageously Claimed Brennan Had Uttered "Anti-Semitic" Comments. On the March 31 edition of Fox News' Glenn Beck, Beck attacked John Brennan, the assistant to the president for homeland security and counterterrorism, for using the term "Al Quds," calling the comment "anti-Semitic." From Glenn Beck:

BECK: The one statement, beyond president Obama telling the U.N. that he doesn't accept the legitimacy of the settlements -- it's the statement that comes one after another from members of his own administration. They openly deliver blatantly insensitive and highly out of line anti-Semitic comments. Like this one. Here you are going to see somebody using the Arabic term for Jerusalem which kind of means to the Arab world that Jerusalem doesn't exist. Here he is.

BRENNAN: In all my travels the city I have come to love most is Al Quds -- Jerusalem.

BECK: Al Quds, that's a slam to anybody who is Jewish and lives in Israel. [Fox News, Glenn Beck, 3/31/11, via Media Matters]

But "Al Quds" Is The Arabic Word for Jerusalem. A page on Bar-Ilan University's website states, "According to the historian Moshe Gil the current Arabic name for Jerusalem -- Al Quds, similar to the Hebrew HaQadosh -- 'the Holy' began being commonly used in the 11th century and even appears in Jewish documents found in the Cairo Geniza." [Bar-Ilan University, accessed 12/7/11]

And Other Political Figures Have Referred To Jerusalem As "Al Quds," Including A Former Reagan Official. Marshall J. Breger, whose Jewish Policy Center biography says he was "special assistant to President Reagan and his liaison to the Jewish Community," wrote in the May/June 2010 issue of Moment magazine:

You will never get to peace without some kind of compromise on Jerusalem: Jerusalem is both a nationalist issue for Israelis and Palestinians and a religious issue for Jews and Muslims. If we refuse to work out a way to allow Muslims a place in Al Quds, we expand the conflict beyond the Palestinians to all Muslims and we ensure religious conflict with Islam for generations. And don't be so sure that the Christian world will remain quiet on this subject. [Moment, May/June 2010]

Brennan Still Serves As An Adviser To Obama. [WhoRunsGov.com, accessed 12/22/11]

For more information detailing right-wing media attacks against John Brennan, click here.

Commerce Secretary John Bryson

johnbryson

Right-Wing Media Attacked John Bryson, Calling Him A "Global Warming Fanatic." From a May 31 entry by Doug Powers on Michelle Malkin's website, headlined "Of Course: Obama's Commerce Department Nominee is a Global Warming Fanatic":

Because designing an economy around the assumption that we're all about to die from man-made global warming is working out so well for commerce in Spain, let's keep the ball rolling in the United States:

(CNSNews.com) - John Bryson, nominated by President Barack Obama today to head the Department of Commerce, once said it was "incredibly important" that the United States pass cap and trade legislation and that America needed to become a global leader in combating man-made global warming.

"I regard it as incredibly important that the United States comes forth in this year with federal climate change legislation as a foundation for moving ahead," Bryson told the U.N. International Energy Conference in late August 2009. "I think we in the U.S. have an obligation to assist in significant ways in providing leadership in this community of nations that you represent and addressing energy and climate change."

[...]

Bryson, a co-founder of the liberal environmentalist group Natural Resources Defense Council, was most recently a member of the United Nations' Advisory Group on Energy and Climate Change, a panel of scientific and industry experts tasked with providing advice on combating global warming. [MichelleMalkin.com, 5/31/11]

And An "Eco-Terrorist." From the June 2 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends:

ERIC BOLLING: Mr. Obama has a green agenda. No question about it. Steven Chu is green -- he's the energy secretary -- Ken Salazar, the interior secretary, also very green, permitoriums and whatnot. The new guy -- this is very important -- the guy that Obama nominated on Tuesday for the Commerce Secretary job, his name is John Bryson. There are those of us who watch this stuff carefully, you can almost call him an eco-terrorist. He is --

KILMEADE: What?

BOLLING: He is so pro-green. This -- the point is, all these secretary -- these cabinet positions are held by very, very green agenda environmentalists. It's scary. And by the way, our gas prices go up. [Fox News, Fox & Friends, 6/2/11, via Media Matters]

In Fact, Bryson Was Chairman And CEO Of Edison International. The New York Times reported:

Trained as a lawyer, Bryson helped co-found the Natural Resources Defense Council in 1970 and headed California state commissions governing utilities and water during Gov. Jerry Brown's (D) first administration. Bryson retired as chairman and CEO of Edison International, the parent company of electric utility Southern California Edison, in 2008 after 18 years. [The New York Times, 6/1/11]

Bryson Also Sat On The Boards Of Major Corporations. The New York Times reported:

Bryson, a graduate of Yale Law School, sits on the board of directors of Boeing, Walt Disney Co., Coda Automotive Inc., the California Endowment and the W.M. Keck Foundation. He is chairman of the board of the Public Policy Institute of California and of the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California's Board of Overseers.

Bryson is also a senior adviser to asset management firm KKR, a trustee of the California Institute of Technology, co-chairman of the Pacific Council on International Policy and an adviser to Deutsche Bank Americas. [The New York Times, 6/1/11]

And Had The Support Of The U.S. Chamber Of Commerce. The New York Times reported:

But another familiar opponent of many Obama administration policies, U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Thomas Donohue, sounded a more conciliatory note.

"With his extensive knowledge of the private sector and years of experience successfully running a major company, we hope Mr. Bryson will be a strong voice for American business," he said. [The New York Times, 6/1/11]

The Senate Confirmed Bryson By An Overwhelming Margin. The Senate confirmed Bryson's nomination by a vote of 74-26. [Senate roll call vote no. 176, 10/20/11]

For more information detailing right-wing media attacks against John Bryson, click here.

Federal Judge Susan Carney

susancarney

The Washington Times Labeled Carney A "Radical." On March 21, The Washington Times attacked Carney and other judicial nominees in an editorial headlined "Obama's injudicious nominees" and sub-headlined "Radical choices for federal judgeships deserve close Senate scrutiny." [The Washington Times, 3/21/11]

Carney Was Overwhelmingly Confirmed By The Senate. The Senate confirmed Carney to a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit by a vote of 71-28. [Senate roll call vote no. 71, 5/17/11]

For more information detailing right-wing media attacks against Susan Carney, click here.

Federal Judge James Graves

jamesgravesRight-Wing Media Attacked James Graves For Having A "Record Of Racial Double Standards" In Handling Judicial Ethics Cases. In a February 3 Pajamas Media post titled "Obama Renominates Judge with Record of Racial Double Standards," right-wing commentator Hans von Spakovsky accused Graves of engaging in racism in favor of African Americans in his judicial decision-making. From Spakovsky's post:

Graves' votes in three different disciplinary cases involving Mississippi judges show that he looks at alleged misconduct differently depending on the race of the perpetrator. While Graves strongly condemns racist and other discriminatory attitudes and language by white judges, he tolerates and finds acceptable the very same type of distasteful and sordid attitudes and language by a black judge. He apparently believes that while the First Amendment protects black judges, it has its limits when it comes to white judges. [Pajamas Media, 2/3/11]

But Graves Pointed Out That The Cases Cited By His Critics Were Governed By Different Supreme Court Precedents And Therefore Resulted In Different Outcomes. From Graves' response to written questions submitted by Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL):

Judge Osborne was a candidate for judicial election and his speech was clearly protected under Republican Party of Minnesota v. White, 536 U.S. 765, 794, 122 S. Ct. 2528, 153 L.Ed.2d 694 (2002). Neither Judge Boland nor Judge Wilkerson was a candidate for judicial election at the time their remarks were made. [Media Matters, 2/4/11]

And Graves Had Strong Backing From Both Of Mississippi's Republican Senators, And "Received Widespread Support" From The Judiciary Committee. In a February 3 press release, Sens. Roger Wicker (R-MI) and Thad Cochran (R-MI) recommended Graves be confirmed to the U.S Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. From the press release:

With concurrence from U.S. Senators Thad Cochran and Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), the Senate Judiciary Committee today recommended the confirmation of Justice James Graves of Mississippi to be a Circuit Court Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

[...]

"Today's approval by the Judiciary Committee is welcome news," Wicker said. "However, any further delays to Justice Graves' nomination are unacceptable. Justice Graves has been thoroughly considered for this important position, and he has received widespread support." [Wicker.Senate.gov, 2/3/11]

Graves Was Confirmed By The Senate Via Voice Vote. In February, the Senate confirmed Graves to a seat on the Fifth Circuit without even conducting a roll call vote. [Congressional Record, page S670, 2/14/11]

For more information detailing right-wing media attacks on Graves, click here and here.

White House Staffer Jonathan Greenblatt

jonathangreenblattRight-Wing Media Attacked Greenblatt For "Moonlighting" As Director Of The Aspen Institute While Discharging Duties As White House Chief Of Social Innovation And Civic Participation Council. In a September 22 WorldNetDaily post titled "New Obama czar moonlighting for whom?" Aaron Klein wrote:

The newly appointed chief of President Obama's Social Innovation and Civic Participation Council doubles as the director of a social justice group funded by George Soros.

The organization, the Aspen Institute, works closely with Soros and even was reportedly used by the billionaire in a failed attempt to engineer the defeat of President Bush in the 2004 elections.

Jonathan Greenblatt was appointed the new head of Obama's Social Innovation Unit earlier this month. [WorldNetDaily, 9/22/11]

In Fact, Greenblatt Resigned From The Aspen Institute In Order To Serve In The White House. From a White House waiver:

Pursuant to Section 3 of Executive Order 13490, I hereby waive the requirements of Paragraph 2 of the Ethics Pledge of Mr. Jonathan Greenblatt solely with respect to his former employer, the Aspen Institute. [WhiteHouse.gov, 9/14/11]

For more information detailing right-wing media attacks against Jonathan Greenblatt, click here.

Federal Judicial Nominee Caitlin Halligan

caitlanhalliganRight-Wing Media Attacked Halligan As A "Radical Choice." In a March 21 editorial, The Washington Times declared Halligan, as well as two other Obama judicial nominees, to be "radical choices for federal judgeships." [The Washington Times, 3/21/11]

And Claimed That Her Record Strongly Suggests That She's "Hard Left On A Broad Array Of Issues." National Review Online blogger Ed Whelan wrote in a January 31 blog post: "On initial review, Halligan's record strongly suggests that she's hard Left on a broad array of issues." [National Review Online, 1/31/11]

But Halligan Has Support From Lawyers Across The Political Spectrum. Halligan's supporters include:

  • Lawyers Who Clerked For Conservative Supreme Court Justices. [Letter from Halligan's Supreme Court co-clerks, 2/28/11, via JudgingTheEnvironment.org]
  • An Attorney Nominated By President George W. Bush To The D.C. Circuit. [Letter from 21 attorneys,3/4/11, via JudgingTheEnvironment.org]
  • Numerous Law Enforcement Personnel. [JudgingTheEnvironment.org, accessed 12/2/11]

And Halligan's Critics Have Relied On Distorting Her Views On Gun Rights, Military Detentions, And Diversity In Education. Halligan's opponents resorted to shenanigans such as suggesting that the positions Halligan took while representing a client were actually Halligan's personal views. [Media Matters, 12/2/11]

Following The Right-Wing Media Smear Campaign, Senate Republicans Filibustered Halligan's Nomination. On a near-party line vote, Senate Republicans filibustered Halligan's nomination. However, her nomination remains pending on the Senate floor. [Senate roll call vote no. 222, 12/6/11]

For more information detailing right-wing media attacks against Caitlin Halligan, click here.

Attorney General Eric Holder

ericholderThe Right-Wing Media Have Used The Controversy Surrounding The ATF Operation Fast And Furious To Launch A Series Of Attacks Against Attorney General Eric Holder. The attacks included the false claim that Holder acknowledged that he was aware of the operation during a 2009 speech he delivered:

  • Big Government: "Eric Holder Feigns Ignorance Of Operation 'Fast And Furious' Now, But He Bragged Of Overseeing Its Implementation In 2009." [BigGovernment.com, 7/8/11]
  • IBD Editorial: "Holder's 'I Know Nothing' Imitation Of TV's Sgt. Schultz Has Evaporated With The Discovery Of An April 2, 2009, Speech." [Investor's Business Daily, 7/8/11]
  • Wash. Examiner's Hollingsworth: Holder's Congressional Testimony That He Only Recently Learned About Fast And Furious "Appears To Be Refuted By His Own Words." [The Washington Examiner, 7/9/11]

But Operation Fast And Furious Was Not Initiated Until Fall 2009 -- Months After The Speech The Right-Wing Media Cited. From a June 14, 2011, "joint staff report" prepared for House Oversight Committee chairman Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA):

In the fall of 2009, the Department of Justice (DOJ) developed a risky new strategy to combat gun trafficking along the Southwest Border. The new strategy directed federal law enforcement to shift its focus away from seizing firearms from criminals as soon as possible -- and to focus instead on identifying members of trafficking networks. [Joint Staff Report on The Department Of Justice's Operation Fast And Furious: Accounts Of ATF Agents, 6/14/11]

Fox News Has Devoted A Disproportionate Amount Of Evening Coverage To Perjury Investigation Calls Directed At Eric Holder. From a Media Matters report:

[Media Matters, 10/7/11]

Right-Wing Website The Daily Caller Has Instigated Calls For Holder's Resignation, Soliciting The Opinions Of Republican Members Of Congress. [Media Matters, 10/28/11]

Holder Is Still The Attorney General. [Justice.gov, accessed 12/22/11]

For more information detailing right-wing media attacks against Eric Holder, click here, here, and here.

Former Education Department Official Kevin Jennings

kevinjenningsRight-Wing Media Revived Debunked Smears Against Kevin Jennings, Calling Him The "Porn-Pushing Safe School Czar." From a May 23 Gateway Pundit post:

In March 2000 the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) organization of Massachusetts held its 10 Year Anniversary GLSEN/Boston conference at Tufts University. This conference was fully supported by the Massachusetts Department of Education, the Safe Schools Program, the Governor's Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth, and some of the presenters even received federal money. During the 2000 conference, workshop leaders led a "youth only, ages 14-21″ session that offered lessons in "fisting" a dangerous sexual practice. During the same workshop an activist asked 14 year-old students, "Spit or swallow?... Is it rude?" The unbelievable audio clip is posted here.

[...]

Barack Obama's "Safe Schools Czar" was the keynote speaker at the GLSEN/Boston Conference at Tufts University in 2000. High school students at the conference learned about fisting and watersports from the GLSEN activists. Jennings is seen here holding the conference program. (Via Mass Resistance)

Unfortunately for GLSEN, undercover journalists with Mass Resistance recorded these outrageous sessions at Tufts University. The audio was later leaked to a local radio station. This created such an uproar that GLSEN leaders were forced to apologize for their disgusting behavior.

[...]

Mass Resistance reported today that Kevin Jennings would step down as Safe School's czar in July.
Good. [Gateway Pundit, 5/23/11]

In Fact, Jennings Criticized The Content Of The Workshop. On May 18, 2000, the Boston Herald reported that GLSEN "agreed yesterday that three workshop leaders crossed a line with raunchy content directed at students as young as 14 years old." In the article, Jennings, who was the executive director of GLSEN at the time, was quoted saying, "We need to make our expectations and guidelines to outside facilitators much more clear because we are surprised and troubled by some of the accounts we've heard." From the Herald:

"Like the Parents Rights Coalition and the Department of Education, GLSEN is also troubled by some of the content that came up during this workshop," said Kevin Jennings, national executive director of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network.

He said people who run workshops in the future will get clearer guidelines, though Jennings said the network's annual conference at Tufts University should not be judged on the 30-student seminar "What They Didn't Tell You About Queer Sex and Sexuality in Health Class."

"We need to make our expectations and guidelines to outside facilitators much more clear," said Jennings. "Because we are surprised and troubled by some of the accounts we've heard." [Boston Herald, 5/18/2000, accessed via Nexis]

And The Seminar's Organizers Were Fired Or Resigned As A Result. According to a May 20, 2000, Boston Herald article, of the three state Department of Education employees or contractors who led the seminar, one was fired, one resigned, and one had his contract canceled, as a result of the discussion. From the Boston Herald:

"One presenter at the workshop was fired and a second resigned. In explaining his actions yesterday, [then-Massachusetts state education czar David P.] Driscoll said the sessions 'went too far' with explicit discussions about sexual techniques. Driscoll said he had canceled the contract of a third presenter at the March workshop, which included frank talk about how to use a condom and how to perform oral sex." [Media Matters, 12/7/09]

The Years-Long Smear Campaign Against Jennings "Completely Failed." When Jennings left his position at the Department of Education on his own terms after two years on the job, he had a message to the people who had tried to destroy him: "I'd like you to know that you completely failed." Jennings detailed the support he had from his bosses and the policy successes he had during his time in the federal government. [Media Matters, 6/17/11]

For more information detailing right-wing media attacks against Kevin Jennings, click here, here, and here.

Council Of Economic Advisers Chairman Alan Krueger

alankruegerFox Attacked Council Of Economic Advisers Chair Alan Krueger For Supposedly Voicing Support For A Value Added Tax. From an August 29 edition of Fox News' Hannity:

STUART VARNEY (Fox Business host): Thank heavens. The new economic adviser is Alan Krueger. He's an academic. He likes --

SEAN HANNITY (host): Another one?

VARNEY: Yet another one. We didn't learn the first time, or the second --

HANNITY: Another genius who's going to lead us into economic turmoil.

VARNEY: He likes the VAT, the value added tax, a consumption tax.

HANNITY: Wait a minute, on top of. Not to replace.

VARNEY: On top of -- on top of income taxes.

[...]

VARNEY: The game-changer, which would really change things --

HANNITY: What would it be?

VARNEY: Tax reform. Lower tax rates, bring in more money. He'll never do it.

HANNITY: Well, wait a minute, this guy wants a value added tax -- wait a minute, value-added tax, which is the FairTax, as we call it, right? My buddy Neal Boortz wrote a book on the FairTax, value-added tax.

VARNEY: But that's in place of, it's not going to be in place of.

HANNITY: But wait a minute, in place of -- no, but they want to add a new tax, a national sales tax on top of --

VARNEY: Five percent to bring in $500 billion a year to spend on their social programs. [Fox News, Hannity, 8/29/11, via Media Matters]

CNS: Krueger "Has Supported" And "Called For" A Value Added Tax. From CNSNews.com:

President Barack Obama's nominee to chair the President's Council of Economic Advisors has supported a European-style consumption tax that taxes every stage of production for a good or service, a policy generally called a Value Added Tax, or VAT.

Alan Krueger, a Princeton University economist, called for the Value Added Tax in a commentary for the New York Times in January 2009. The White House, however, has said that President Obama would not consider such a tax. [CNSNews.com, 8/29/11]

But Krueger Wrote That VAT Proposal Was Only A "Suggestion For Serious Discussion," Not "Sure It Is The Best Way To Go." In a January 12, 2009, post on The New York Times' Economix blog, Krueger wrote:

Here is a suggestion to address both the short-run and long-run problems. I pose it only as a suggestion for serious discussion; I'm not sure it is the best way to go. But here goes: Why not pass a 5 percent consumption tax to take effect two years from now? There are many different ways to implement a consumption tax, but for simplicity think about a national sales tax.

[...]

This analysis only scratches the surface. As I said, I propose the idea only for discussion at this stage, but it is worth considering. What do you think? [Economix, The New York Times, 1/12/09]

And Suggested If Budget Picture Improves, "Income Taxes Or Corporate Taxes Could Be Reduced And The Revenue Replaced By The Consumption Tax." From Krueger's New York Times blog post:

The main downside of this proposal is that taxes reduce economic activity. But the government must make critical trade-offs, and a consumption tax could be the most efficient means to raise revenue to finance essential government functions. Over time, if the budget picture improved, income taxes or corporate taxes could be reduced and the revenue replaced by the consumption tax. [Economix, The New York Times, 1/12/09]

The Senate Confirmed Krueger Without Any Dissenting Votes. On November 3, the Senate confirmed Krueger by unanimous consent. [Congressional Record page S7141, 11/3/11]

For more information detailing right-wing media attacks against Alan Krueger, click here.

Judicial Nominee Goodwin Liu

goodwinliuRight-Wing Media Smeared Goodwin Liu As A "Radical Judicial Activist." In a May 17 post to her website, Michelle Malkin criticized then-University of California-Berkley Law Professor Goodwin Liu, who Obama had nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Malkin wrote: "Liu's chronic amnesia and recklessly injudicious smearing of Supreme Court justice Samuel Alito are bad enough. But his expedient metamorphosis from radical judicial activist to cut-and-run cypheris is baldly disqualifying." Malkin went on to urge readers to call their senators and oppose the nomination: "Burn up those Senate phone lines...every call counts." [MichelleMalkin.com, 5/17/11]

National Review Online's Whelan Bashed Conservative Legal Scholars In A Desperate Attempt To Paint Liu As An Extremist. In a March 2 National Review Online post, Ed Whelan criticized conservative legal scholars, including former Whitewater independent counsel Ken Starr, in order to paint Liu as an extremist. [Media Matters, 3/2/11]

But Liu Had Broad Support From Conservatives. A wide array of conservative legal scholars supported Liu, including the following:

  • Former Federal Judge Ken Starr: Liu Has "The Ability To Follow The Facts And The Law To Their Logical Conclusion Whatever The Political Valence May Be." [Letter to Senate Judiciary Committee, 3/9/10]
  • Author Of The Infamous "Torure Memos" John Yoo: "[H]e's Not Someone A Republican President Would Pick, But For A Democratic Nominee, He's A Very Good Choice." [The Los Angeles Times, 3/9/10]
  • Goldwater Institute Director Clint Bolick "Strongly Support[ed]" Liu. [Letter to Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), 1/10/10]
  • Fox News Host Megyn Kelly: Liu's "Qualifications Are Unassailable." [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 3/11/10, via Media Matters]

And A Former Ethics Attorney For The Bush White House Exposed The "Series Of Myths" From Liu's Conservative Media Critics. Richard Painter, who served as the chief White House ethics lawyer under President George W. Bush, exposed a series of myths propagated by Whelan about Liu's record, stating:

Now, you can believe the top experts in the areas of Liu's scholarship and prominent conservatives such as Ken Starr and Clint Bolick -- or you can believe National Review Online's Ed Whelan. I know where I would put my marbles. As discussed below, Whelan's anti-Liu repository invents a series of myths about Liu with no basis in reality. [The Huffington Post, 3/2/11]

Following The Right-Wing Media's Smear Campaign, Senate Republicans Filibustered Liu's Nomination. In a near-party line vote, Senate Republicans filibustered Liu's nomination in May. Liu subsequently withdrew from consideration and was appointed by California Governor Jerry Brown to the California Supreme Court. [Senate roll call vote, no. 74, 5/19/11; The Los Angeles Times, 9/1/11]

For more information detailing right-wing media attacks against Goodwin Liu, click here and here.

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta

leonpanettaRight-Wing Media Smeared Leon Panetta As A Secret Communist Due To Correspondence With Hugh DeLacy. In a column by Cliff Kincaid of Accuracy in Media, Kincaid asserts that Panetta had "a close and personal relationship with a member of the Communist Party by the name of Hugh DeLacy, whose record included meeting with communist espionage agents." Other right-wing media figures such as columnists Diana West and Frank Gaffney also highlighted these claims. [Accuracy in Media, 6/14/11; The Washington Examiner, 6/18/11; The Washington Times, 6/21/11]

But The Claims Were Based On Smoke And Mirrors. The letters Panetta wrote to DeLacy were all written on official letterhead and were all policy-related responses to DeLacy. None of the correspondence was personal. And indeed, one of the letters shows Panetta disagreeing with DeLacy on how a labor dispute should be treated. [Media Matters, 7/7/11]

Every Single Member Of The Senate Voted To Confirm Panetta. [Senate vote no. 93, 6/21/11]

For more information detailing right-wing media attacks against Leon Panetta, click here.

White House Foreign Policy Adviser Samantha Power

samanthapowerRight-Wing Media Smeared Samantha Power As An "Enemy" Of Israel For Comments She Made In 2002. In a March 29 editorial, The Washington Times claimed: "Samantha Power, senior director of multilateral affairs on the National Security Council and one of the architects of the war in Libya, is a decided enemy of the Jewish state." The Times then quoted Power's comments from a 2002 interview:

In a 2002 interview, she counseled a massive intervention in Israel to protect Palestinians: "What will have to be a mammoth protection force ... a meaningful military presence because, it seems to me at this stage, and this is true of actual genocides as well and not just major human-rights abuses which we're seeing there, but is that you, you have to go in as if you're serious." [The Washington Times, 3/29/11]

But Power's Quotation Was Taken Out Of Context; In Fact, She Said "Meaningful Military Presence" May Be Needed To Stop A Move Toward Genocide By "One Party Or Another." The comments cited by The Washington Times come from an undated 2002 edition of Conversations With History, a program produced by the University of California-Berkeley Institute of International Studies. Power was answering the following question:

HARRY KREISLER (host): Let me give you a thought experiment here, without asking you to address the Palestine-Israel problem: Let's say you were an adviser to the president of the United States. How would, in response to current events, would you advise him to put a structure in place to monitor that situation, at least one party or another be looking like they might be moving toward genocide?

POWER: Well, I don't think that in any of the cases, a shortage of information is the problem, and I actually think in the Palestine-Israeli situation, there's an abundance of information, and what we don't need is some kind of early warning mechanism there. What we need is a willingness to actually put something on the line in sort of helping the situation. And putting something on the line might mean alienating a domestic constituency of tremendous political and financial import. It may more crucially mean sacrificing -- or investing, I think, more than sacrificing -- literally billions of dollars not in servicing Israelis', you know, military, but actually in investing in the new state of Palestine, in investing billions of dollars it would probably take also to support, I think, what will have to be a mammoth protection force. Not of the old, you know, Srebrenica kind or the Rwanda kind, but a meaningful military presence, because it seems to me at this stage -- and this is true of actual genocides as well and not just, you know, major human rights abuses, which we're seeing there. But -- is that you have to go in as if you're serious, you have to put something on the line.

And unfortunately, imposition of a solution on unwilling parties is dreadful. I mean, it's a terrible thing to do; it's fundamentally undemocratic. But sadly, you know -- we don't just have a democracy here either. We have a liberal democracy. There are certain sets of principles that guide, you know, our policy, or that are meant to, anyway. And there, it's essential that some set of principles becomes the benchmark, rather than a deference to people who are fundamentally politically destined to destroy the lives of their own people, and by that I mean what Tom Friedman has called "Sharafat." I mean, I do think in that sense, there's -- that both political leaders have been dreadfully irresponsible, and unfortunately, it does require external intervention which, very much like the Rwanda scenario -- that thought experiment, of "if we had intervened early" -- any intervention is going to come under fierce criticism, but we have to think about lesser evils, especially when the human stakes are just becoming ever more pronounced. [Conversations With History, UC-Berkeley Institute of International Studies via YouTube, accessed 12/8/11]

For more information detailing right-wing media attacks against Samantha Power, click here.

National Labor Relations Board General Counsel Lafe Solomon

lafesolomonRight-Wing Media Claimed The NLRB Boeing Hearing "Is Not A Fair Hearing," Because The Person Suing Them And The Judge "Have The Same Boss," The NLRB. Right-wing media figures demonized Lafe Solomon for bringing a case alleging that Boeing had violated the rights of unionized workers. For instance, Fox News senior judicial analyst Andrew Napolitano suggested that Boeing could not get a fair hearing with Solomon involved. From the June 14 edition of Fox Business' Lou Dobbs Tonight:

CHRIS COTTER (guest host): One more thing on the NLRB before we get to Wisconsin. The process moving forward now. This hearing is essentially useless because it moves up the chain at the NLRB and the top of the NLRB can basically rule it a different way anyways, and if Boeing loses this case, which they most likely will, they'll sue. On what grounds will they sue?

ANDREW NAPOLITANO: They will sue on the grounds that they didn't get a fair hearing. Why didn't they get a fair hearing? Because the person suing them, the NLRB, and the person hearing the lawsuit, the administrative judge, have the same boss -- it's called the NLRB. This is not a fair hearing like one sees in a movie, or on television or even in real-life federal courts where you have a truly neutral judge. This is not a neutral judge.

COTTER: So they stand a good chance of winning in court then, in an appeals court afterwards.

NAPOLITANO: They do. They do and the appellate court can overturn the NLRB if it finds the NLRB abused its discretion, misapplied the law, or violated the Constitution. [Fox Business, Lou Dobbs Tonight, 6/14/11]

Other Right-Wing Media Figures Went On The Attack Against Solomon For His Complaint Against Boeing And Other Matters. These right-wing media figures included Charles Krauthammer, the Wall Street Journal editorial board, Hans von Spakovsky, Andrew Breitbart, and Fox News' Eric Bolling, Keith Ablow, and Juliet Huddy. [Media Matters, 9/2/11, 6/22/11, 6/16/11, 5/28/11, 5/11/11]

Solomon Has Been A Career Civil Servant At The NLRB. Before being named acting NLRB General Counsel by President Obama in 2010, Solomon spent nearly 30 years as a National Labor Relations Board member, working in both the General Counsel's office and as a staff member for various board members. [NLRB.gov, accessed 12/16/11]

Five Of The Ten NLRB Members For Whom Solomon Worked Were Republicans. According to the NLRB's website, half of the NLRB board members Solomon has worked for were Republicans, including Donald Dotson, Robert Hunter, John Higgins, James Stephens, and John Raudabaugh. [NLRB.gov, accessed 12/13/11]

Legal Experts Said That If True, The Allegations Against Boeing Would Be A "Classic" Case Of Illegal Conduct Under Federal Labor Laws. [Media Matters, 5/14/11]

Solomon Remains As NLRB Acting General Counsel. Obama named Solomon as acting general counsel in 2010 and subsequently nominated him to the position in January 2011. The Senate has not yet vote on Solomon's nomination. [NLRB.gov, accessed 12/19/11, WhiteHouse.gov, 1/5/11, Senate.gov, accessed 12/19/11]

For more information detailing right-wing media attacks against Lafe Solomon, click here and here.

We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.