In touting Christine O'Donnell's latest campaign attack ad, Hot Air's Allahpundit marvels that "[a]part from the lightning-quick attribution at the end of the spot, her name is never mentioned; there's not even an 'I'm Christine O'Donnell and I approve this message' voiceover," which he laughably credits Bush for starting, saying these disclosures have "become perfunctory in political ads ever since Bush started doing it in 2004." Earth to Allahpundit: Bush didn't just start using these disclosures in his campaign ads because he felt like. No, he started doing it because a law passed in 2002 required it.
The Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002--also known as the McCain-Feingold campaign reform bill--included a provision requiring that campaign ads include "a statement that identifies the candidate and states that the candidate has approved the communication." So, Bush wasn't starting any sort of trend when he did this during his 2004 campaign--he was following the law. From the bill:
''(1) COMMUNICATIONS BY CANDIDATES OR AUTHORIZED PERSONS.--
''(A) BY RADIO.--Any communication described in paragraph (1) or (2) of subsection (a) which is transmitted through radio shall include, in addition to the requirements of that paragraph, an audio statement by the candidate that identifies the candidate and states that the candidate has approved the communication.
''(B) BY TELEVISION.--Any communication described in paragraph (1) or (2) of subsection (a) which is transmitted through television shall include, in addition to the requirements of that paragraph, a statement that identifies the candidate and states that the candidate has approved the communication. Such statement--
''(i) shall be conveyed by--
''(I) an unobscured, full-screen view of the candidate
making the statement, or
''(II) the candidate in voice-over, accompanied
by a clearly identifiable photographic or similar
image of the candidate; and
''(ii) shall also appear in writing at the end of the communication in a clearly readable manner with a reasonable degree of color contrast between the background and the printed statement, for a period of at least 4 seconds.
Right-wing media have criticized comments by NAACP President Ben Jealous in which he discussed "all the hatred" in the media and said that "this is too much like the period before Kristallnacht." But right-wing media figures have a long history of attacking progressives by comparing them and their policies to Adolf Hitler, Nazis, or Nazi-era Germany.
Following Christine O'Donnell's victory over Republican Rep. Mike Castle in the Delaware Senate Republican primary, right-wing media have taken up O'Donnell's cause, attacking the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) for reportedly deciding not to support O'Donnell.
Noting that the government "called no witnesses" in Log Cabin Republicans v. Gates, Hot Air's Allahpundit argued that the Obama administration shirked its legal responsibility to defend the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy. In fact, while President Obama has called for the repeal of DADT, the Justice Department clearly met whatever legal responsibility it has to defend DADT.
Allahpundit quotes from the district court's opinion in Log Cabin Republicans, which states, "it again must be noted that Defendants called no witnesses, put on no affirmative case, and only entered into evidence the legislative history of the Act." Allahpundit the speculated: "Sounds like the feds maybe kinda sorta wanted to lose this one, possibly to help break the logjam in the Senate. (Maybe something for the lame-duck session?)"
However, the very opinion from which Allahpundit quotes also noted the reason the government did not put on witnesses or present evidence other than the legislative history: because it contended that all such evidence was irrelevant to the case. From the opinion:
Defendants asserted relevance (and often other) objections to nearly every exhibit Plaintiff sought to introduce into evidence during trial, as well as to nearly all the testimonial evidence offered. According to Defendants, because Plaintiff challenges the constitutionality of the statute on its face, rather than challenging its application, the only evidence the Court should -- indeed may -- consider, is the statute itself and the bare legislative history; thus, according to Defendants, all other evidence is irrelevant.
Moreover, the government filed hundreds of pages of legal briefs in the case to defend DADT and has defended the policy in the Supreme Court as well.
Yep, the right-wing DC rag that never turned a profit was sold back to Rev. Sun Myung Moon -- the man who believes he is Christ returned to earth (seriously) -- for $1 after more than a year of turmoil.
So, what did right-wing internet types have to say when the Washington Post Co. sold Newsweek for the same price?
Media Research Center founder Brent Bozell issued the following statement:
There's something entirely believable about the Newsweek sale. A left-winger pretending to be centrist sold it to another left-winger pretending to be centrist. Newsweek is a dying magazine because no one wants to read their left-wing propaganda masquerading as 'news.' The $1 price tag, then, is probably just about right.
I haven't been able to find a statement from Bozell yet on the Times' identical sale price. So, if Newsbusters managing editor Ken Shepherd -- who posted Bozell's statement with the note that Newsweek was sold to "the guy from RoboCop Sidney Harman, for a grand total of one dollar" -- has one, let's have it.
Robert Stacy McCain called Newsweek's sale, "Jon Meacham's $1 Legacy" but apparently hasn't had time to write about the identical sale price of the Times.
Hotair had fun at Newsweek's expense too. Under the headline "Good news: Newsweek sold -- for a dollar," Allahpundit wrote:
Technically it's a dollar plus an agreement to assume their huge financial liabilities, but if you throw me an opportunity for a headline that sweet, I'm going to take it every time.
What are Allahpundit's thoughts on the Times' sale price? Crickets as far as I can tell.
I could keep going but you get the picture.
The right-wing media is predictably hyperventilating over comments Speaker Nancy Pelosi made in which she questioned the funding of organized Park51 opponents. Most have taken her comments to the extreme, suggesting or outright claiming that she was calling for some sort of government investigation into "those who stand in opposition of the Ground Zero mosque." Of course, Pelosi did no such thing, as she made clear she was simply calling for transparency both in the funding of the Park51 project and for transparency in the funding of groups that are opposed to the mosque.
During an interview with San Francisco's KCBS radio, Pelosi was repeatedly asked about her position on Park51. Pelosi, who was speaking outside of an event to transfer the San Francisco Bay area man-made island Treasure Island from the Navy to the city of San Francisco, marveled that what is "a zoning issue in New York City" had become such national issue that "two of the first three questions" she's asked after inking the Treasure Island deal, which took decades to accomplish, are on this topic. She said, "There is no question there is a concerted effort to make this a political issue by some. And I join those who have called for looking into how ... this opposition to the mosque is being funded." As Greg Sargeant noted, "it was a bit unclear what she was referring to," (perhaps because KCBS only provided a short audio clip of her comments), but Pelosi's office quickly clarified "what she meant":
"The freedom of religion is a Constitutional right. Where a place of worship is located is a local decision.
"I support the statement made by the Interfaith Alliance that 'We agree with the ADL that there is a need for transparency about who is funding the effort to build this Islamic center. At the same time, we should also ask who is funding the attacks against the construction of the center.'
"For all of those expressing concern about the 9/11 families, we call upon them to join us in support of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act when Congress returns in September."
Clearly, as Sargent noted, "Pelosi doesn't seem to be calling for some kind of government investigation into the mosque's critics, as thrilling as that would be to some on the right." She's simply calling for transparency in who is funding Park51 and who is funding the attacks against it. Many conservatives have taken issue with that element in particular by suggesting that there is no organized opposition to Park51, just a bunch of concerned citizens, like themselves. This conveniently ignores groups like Liz Cheney's "Keep America Safe," Center for Security Policy, and Pam Geller's "Stop Islamization of America" who have been at the forefront of the opposition to Park51, creating ads, hosting rallies, and initiating bus banner campaigns against the project-- initiatives that have been widely celebrated across the right-wing media.
Of course, Pelosi's clarification and the obvious fact that there is at least some element of organized opposition to Park51 isn't going to get in the way of a full scale right-wing media freak out.
In the latest example of their frenzy to attack progressive officials for, well, basically anything, the right-wing media is in a tizzy over video, which they claim shows Sen. Al Franken sleeping during Elena Kagan's Supreme Court confirmation hearing. First, it isn't even remotely clear from the video that Franken is napping, and secondly, the right's attack seems particularly odd, given that they're attacking Franken for actually being at the hearing. During most of the hearings, only about half of the Senators were even present at any given time.
For example, Fox & Friends this morning showed a short clip of Franken, and accused him of falling asleep during the hearing. Brian Kilmeade took offense to this, sarcastically noting he's "the newest guy on the Judiciary Committee and he's working his way right in there, making an impact. Congratulations. He's made a seamless transition." From the video, all that can be determined was that Franken's eyes were moving. You can watch the video and judge for yourself whether or not Franken was sleeping:
Fox News' attacks on Franken were particularly ironic. Given that they're suggesting he found the hearings to be so dull that he fell asleep, one would think the network went to great lengths to cover something as important as a Supreme Court nomination hearing. Nope.The network devoted scant coverage to it, only managing to air a few questions from Republican Senators, and completely skipping over the two highest ranking Democrats on the Judiciary Committee, Sens. Leahy (D-VT) and Kohl (D-WI). Hot Air's Allahpundit found the hearings dull too. In a post today he noted with surprise that "something interesting did get said at today's interminably boring hearing," while O'Reilly called the hearings "boring as burnt toast."
This is just the latest in a long line of right-wing attacks that use short or cropped videos to smear Democrats, and this is surely one of the dumbest. Doocy compounded the stupidity of the smear by asking "Why is he on the Judiciary Committee? He is not a lawyer!" Doocy didn't ask why Sens. Kohl, Feinstein, Grassley, Coburn, or Kaufman, who are also not lawyers, were on the committee.
I also don't recall any equivalent outrage from Fox when Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY) reportedly fell fast asleep during a Senate Finance Committee meeting on health care reform. After all, that would be "fair and balanced."
Right-wing blogs have seized on Sen. Jon Kyl's (R-AZ) claim that President Obama is refusing to "secure the border" in order to force the GOP to support comprehensive immigration reform -- a claim the White House has since flatly denied. Indeed, the Obama administration has already taken numerous steps to boost border security but argues that "truly securing the border will require a comprehensive solution," which is a view shared by immigration experts as well as several Republicans.
Right-wing blogs have recently seized on a report that criticized the Obama administration for not purchasing oil containment boom that a manufacturer in Maine produced specifically for the Gulf oil spill. However, they ignored that the boom is a new product, which reportedly "differs from other designs being used," and BP has reportedly "ordered a trial run" of the boom before committing to purchase it.
Right-wing media have rushed to attack President Obama for responding to criticism that he spends too much time consulting experts rather than "kick[ing some butt]" by saying, "I want to know whose ass to kick." Many conservative media figures previously hyped criticism that Obama lacked emotion in his response to the oil spill.
Right-wing media have falsely claimed that the White House offered Andrew Romanoff a job in exchange for dropping out of Colorado's U.S. Senate election, and have falsely alleged or suggested that the White House committed a crime in doing so. In fact, both Romanoff and the White House have said no formal job offer was made, and legal experts have repudiated the claim that this practice would constitute a crime.
Right-wing media have claimed that health care reform will "cost $115 billion more than we thought," thus "wip[ing] out" promised deficit reductions. In fact, that money would only be spent if Congress separately appropriates it, just as Congress would have to do for any other spending bill. And even then, that spending would only adversely impact the deficit if Congress decided not to offset it with corresponding spending cuts or revenue increases.
Since the NBA's Phoenix Suns announced that they would wear their "Los Suns" jerseys during a May 5 game as a way to honor the Latino community and take a stand against Arizona's newly passed immigration law, conservative media have suggested they are "protesting the American dream" and are "responsible" for a "climate of hate."
From an April 7 Allahpundit's Hot Air blog post:
Media Matters watches enough Fox that they can rattle off names like Colmes, Beckel, Geraldo, and Juan Williams faster than Murdoch can, but in this case a dumb question makes for a fun answer. Quote: "Greta Van Susteren is certainly close to the Democratic Party." Heh. He's right - Greta's husband was a longtime Democrat, albeit one who flipped to support McCain/Palin in 2008 - but ... really? No more obvious candidates than Greta come to mind? No one who's, say, on FNC for multiple hours a day and whose apparent political leanings have long been commented upon within the 'sphere? Good lord, man - if you're not going to name Shep, at least mention KP.
That's the first of two clips; the other catches him saying that Fox shouldn't be supporting the tea party or any other party, although it sounds like he's not clear on what Media Matters is talking about.
*Both the Hot Air post and the previous headline to this post suggested that Media Matters asked Murdoch the question about Democrats on Fox. We did not.
Allahpundit has updated his Hot Air post as follows:
Update: Media Matters e-mails to say that they only asked Murdoch the question about the tea party; the question about Democrats on Fox was asked by a student. I stand corrected.
Right-wing blogger Allahpundit put some Hot Air behind a working paper out of the Mercatus Institute* in an attempt to attack stimulus spending as unfairly tilted in favor of Democratic congressional districts. But as New York Times columnist Paul Krugman noted, Nate Silver demonstrated that these results are entirely logical, thereby undermining any suggestion that the data illustrate a sinister political motive: The 18 congressional districts receiving the most stimulus money represent state capitals -- where much of the stimulus money is distributed -- which are far more likely to elect Democrats to Congress.