In an April 3 post, far-right blogger Pam Geller responded to speculation that Obama adviser Samantha Power will be the next Secretary of State with the following:
Ah, the mask comes off, and out comes Obama's army of little nazis. I cannot believe the people who have access to the highest office of power in the world. Speculation is hot that Samantha Power will be the next Secretary of State.
A flattering New York Times profile has increased speculation that Samantha Power, the Dublin-born aide to President Obama, could be his next Secretary of State or National Security Adviser.
I worry so for free people.
Obama never seemed fazed by her calling in a 2002 interview with Harry Kreisler of the Institute for International Studies at Berkeley for military action against Israel to secure the creation of a Palestinian state. Power said that establishing a Palestinian state would mean "sacrificing - or investing, I think, more than sacrificing - billions of dollars, not in servicing Israel's military, but actually investing in the new state of Palestine, in investing the billions of dollars it would probably take, also, to support what will have to be a mammoth protection force, not of the old Rwanda kind, but a meaningful military presence." She said that this would "require external intervention."
In reality, Power was asked what would be necessary to stop a move toward genocide by "one party or another" in the Israel-Palestinian conflict; she said it may require investment in a new Palestinian state and a "meaningful military presence."
This is just the latest example of Geller invoking Nazis to attack those with whom she disagrees. Geller previously accused President Obama of "go[ing] full on Nazi," claimed Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan is "an admirer of an architect of German national socialism, Nazism," and called Democrats "National Socialists."
The right-wing media is claiming that Rep. Keith Ellison made up a "phony Islamophobic story" that a Muslim first responder who died in the September 11 attacks had been subject to dark rumors that he may have been involved in the attack. In fact, numerous media outlets reported on such "unfounded speculation" from authorities and others, and that those rumors were ended for good when his body was found.
The right-wing media have seized on the appointment of former Egyptian judge and intellectual Tareq El-Bishri to the Egyptian constitutional council as an opportunity to continue fearmongering about a Muslim Brotherhood takeover of the government. In fact, El-Bishri is a political and religious moderate who is not associated with the Muslim Brotherhood, but with an offshoot, Hizb al-Wasat, an unofficial political party which promotes equality and democracy.
During a news brief on this morning's Fox & Friends, Gretchen Carlson reported that CBS correspondent Lara Logan had been "beaten and sexually assaulted by a mob of men while covering the political uprising in Egypt." While Carlson reported the story as nothing but factual, during her report, the onscreen text read, "Journalist Assaulted in Egypt? Report: Protesters Attacked CBS' Lara Logan."
Is Fox really questioning the validity of the story? If not, why the question mark?
Fox isn't alone in having a completely inappropriate response to Logan's tragic assault. Others have seized on the story to attack Logan, suggesting that the reason this happened was because she was a pretty woman reporting in the middle of a war zone. As Salon's Mary Elizabeth Williams observed:
In a stunningly offensive blog post titled "Lara Logan, CBS Reporter and Warzone 'It Girl,' Raped Repeatedly Amid Egypt Celebration" for LA Weekly, writer Simone Wilson managed to mention Logan's "shocking good looks and ballsy knack for pushing her way to the heart of the action" before getting to the assault itself. She then went on to imagine how it happened: "In a rush of frenzied excitement, some Egyptian protestors apparently consummated their newfound independence by sexually assaulting the blonde reporter." Well, sure, what other motive for an assault could there be, given that Logan is, in Wilson's words, a "gutsy stunner" with "Hollywood good looks"? And how else do Egyptians celebrate anyway but with a gang assault? It's not like she deserved it, but well, she is hot, right?
Wilson wasn't the only person out there to be wildly tone-deaf in response, either. When the news broke, Nir Rosen, a fellow at the New York University Center for Law and Security, promptly whined to Twitter, "It's always wrong, that's obvious, but I'm rolling my eyes at all the attention she'll get," adding, "She's so bad that I ran out of sympathy for her." He soon backpedaled, deleting several of his most offensive posts and tweeting, "I apologize and take it back. joking with friends got out of line when i didnt [sic] want to back down. forgot twitter is not exactly private." Apparently he still hasn't remembered that sexual assault isn't great joking around material.
Rosen since resigned his post at NYU.
But he's not alone.
The right-wing media have seized on a Wikileaks cable to claim the Obama administration "betrayed" the United Kingdom by revealing data to Russia regarding the sale of nuclear material. In fact, the information was passed in compliance with nuclear arms treaties and "with respect to the longstanding pattern of cooperation," as officials in both the U.S. and U.K. governments have confirmed.
Right-wing media have seized on the conflict in Egypt to attack President Obama by comparing him to former President Carter and the Iranian uprising in the late '70s. However, experts have noted that comparing the uprising in Egypt to the 1979 Iranian revolution is "dangerously misleading."
You can't have it both ways, Pam.
The far-right blogger recently encouraged her readers to protest an event taking place at Rutgers University. It was a forum being sponsored by on-campus Muslim and Palestine groups, and Geller did not approve. She posted, approvingly, a letter from a Rutgers student who opposed the event. And hey, there's nothing wrong with vigorous, campus-wide debate.
But this section of the letter caught my eye:
By invoking the Nazi genocide, this event both defames the Jewish state and trivializes the systematic murder of 11 million people in the Holocaust, including six million Jews.
Geller championed a counter-protest at Rutgers because the planned event, by invoking the Nazi genocide, would trivialize the Holocaust.
Interesting, because of course that's what Glenn Beck and many of his colleagues are Fox News are routinely accused of doing -- trivializing the Holocaust with their incessant, and thoughtless, invocation of the Holocaust and the Nazi genocide while debating partisan American politics.
Here's what the Anti-Defamation League said about Beck four years ago, even before Beck really began to indulge his Third Reich rhetorical obsession [emphasis added]:
The six million Jewish victims and millions of other victims of Hitler deserve a measure of respect. Their deaths should not be used for political points or sloganeering. Every time a radio or television personality takes that unique event in history and twists it for their own political agenda, it cheapens the public debate and distorts and trivializes the Holocaust.
Of course, these days Beck and his Fox colleagues can't stop trivializing the Holocaust and 20th century's Nazi past. As Jon Stewart joked last week, Fox uses "Nazi" the way a teenager uses "like." It's a stutter. Fox News is drowning in Nazi and Holocaust talk. And as the ADL rightly noted, that kind of unsightly use just trivializes the murder of six million Jews.
Just don't tell Pam Geller. She loves Fox News and defends Glenn Beck. But she's also deeply concerned about the trivialization of the Holocaust.
Like I said Pam, you can't have it both ways.
Andrew McCarthy's sole focus in life, it seems, is to hurl overblown and misleading accusations about Islam and who, supposedly, is in league with Islamic extremists. We've previously detailed how McCarthy's book The Grand Jihad repeatedly invokes smears, myths, and falsehoods to portray President Obama as an "Islamist," and an entire chapter of that book is dedicated to promoting the discredited claim that Obama, during a 2007 visit to Kenya, campaigned for a presidential candidate there.
McCarthy keeps up his record of anti-Muslim activism in a January 25 National Review Online blog post, in which he embraces the work of WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein:
Aaron Klein is the World Net Daily reporter and WABC radio host to whom Imam Feisal Rauf could not bring himself to admit that Hamas is a terrorist organization, an episode I wrote about in a column last week. Mr. Klein has just uncovered a recent recording in which the imam who has replaced Rauf as the face of the Ground Zero Mosque explains that Islam's sharia law requires the imprisonment of former Muslims who publicly renounce Islam.
"If someone leaves the din, leaves the path privately, they cannot be touched. If someone preaches about apostasy, or preaches their views, they're jailed," stated Shaykh Abdallah Adhami, a 44-year-old American and scholar of sharia. His remarks were made in a lecture two months ago.
Here is the moderate part: As Adhami acknowledged, many sharia jurists say that apostates -- Muslims who renounce Islam -- must be killed. But Adhami maintains that sharia distinguishes between "public" apostates and "private" apostates. Only the former, he says, must be punished and -- to be even more moderate about it -- they don't have to be killed . . . just "jailed so they are contained."
But as we documented, Adhami wasn't expressing his personal views; he was merely reciting history. Klein cherry-picked a handful of statements out of a 10-minute-long answer to create his slant, which McCarthy uncritically repeated despite Klein's long history of shoddy reporting. And both ignored a 2007 article by Adhami, headlined "The right to change one's religion," in which he called for religious tolerance, writing, "We need to acknowledge and affirm that diversity and difference are part of the divine intent for creation."
McCarthy's touting of how Rauf "could not bring himself to admit that Hamas is a terrorist organization" to Klein is similarly misleading; the website for Rauf's Cordoba Initiative states: "Hamas is both a political movement and a terrorist organization. Hamas commits atrocious acts of terror. Imam Feisal has forcefully and consistently condemned all forms of terrorism, including those committed by Hamas, as un-Islamic."
Unsurprisingly, Klein's misleading story also proved to be irresistible to the rabidly anti-Muslim Pam Geller, who promoted Klein's article as proof that Adhami was stumping for Islamic law on apostasy -- which, of course, is not what he was doing.
Fox News has run repeated segments attacking some progressive media figures and politicians for suggesting that political rhetoric from the right inspired the recent tragic shootings in Arizona. In doing so, Fox has whitewashed right-wing media figures who have attempted to describe Loughner as a liberal and pin the shooting on "the left."
Conservative bloggers are denouncing President Obama for his statement condemning a terrorist attack against a church in Egypt on New Year's Day. These bloggers are falsely claiming that, in the words of Jim Hoft, "Obama is making up Muslim victims" of the attack. In fact, there were reportedly Muslims wounded in the attack.
Ace of Spades' Gabriel Malor followed up on Hoft's attack, claiming that Obama "create[d] Muslim victims" of the bombing. And Pam Geller wrote today that the president's statement "was grotesque, misleading, and deceptive."
All three blogs quoted Obama's statement that "[t]he attack on a church in Alexandria, Egypt caused 21 reported deaths and dozens of injured from both the Christian and Muslim communities." Hoft explicitly drew the conclusion that Obama had falsely claimed that there were Muslims among the fatalities saying of Obama's statement: "Not true. All 21 of the victims in the attack were Christian. No Muslims died in the attack."
Of course, only people intentionally trying to gin up phony outrage would read that sentence and argue that Obama was trying to claim that there were Muslim fatalities and hoping that no one would fact-check the claim. Who knows? Maybe Hoft really believes what he wrote. But a rational person would see that Obama was saying that there the injured came from both the Christian and Muslim communities.
And it is true that there were Muslims among the injured. Indeed, Hoft included a quote from a Catholic Online article saying: "All but eight of the injured and all the fatalities were Christians from Saints Church, located on the eastern side of the coastal city.." Furthermore, Agence France-Presse reports that according to Egyptian authorities, "The hospitals have taken in seven deceased and 24 injured persons, eight of them Muslims."
All three bloggers also falsely suggest that Obama refused to call the church bombing an attack on Christians. Geller, for instance, wrote: "These were jihadi attacks against Christians. Islamic supremacists slaughtering non-Muslims. Does Obama the mourn the deaths of homicide bombers as well?"
In fact, Obama made very clear that this was an attack against Christians. Indeed, in the very next sentence after saying that "[t]he attack on a church in Alexandria, Egypt caused 21 reported deaths and dozens of injured from both the Christian and Muslim communities," Obama stated: "The perpetrators of this attack were clearly targeting Christian worshipers, and have no respect for human life and dignity."
President Obama's statement concluded with the following line:
The United States extends its deepest condolences to the families of those killed and to the wounded in both of these attacks, and we stand with the Nigerian and Egyptian people at this difficult time.
If only these right-wing bloggers had responded to the attack concern for the victims, regardless of religion, rather than launching another desperate attack on Obama. Alas, that was not the case.
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.
Right-wing media are attacking President Obama's reported comments that the United States can "absorb a terrorist attack" and that the country "absorbed [9-11] and we are stronger" by suggesting that Obama is "inviting another 9/11" and that he "doesn't care about Americans dying." However, conservatives have made similar comments -- including former President Bush.
The same right-wing media figures who promoted conspiracy theories surrounding Vince Foster's suicide are now promoting GOP Senate candidate Christine O'Donnell, who in 1996 called Foster's death a "murder" and suggested that President Bill Clinton may have been "involved in wrongdoing" in Foster's death.
Cheered on by Fox News and the rest of the right-wing media, conservative activists spent the past year engaged in an anti-Muslim campaign that included efforts to block the planned Islamic center in lower Manhattan and demonize the imam spearheading the project. The bigotry has culminated in a Florida pastor's now-"suspended" plans to burn Qurans on September 11 -- plans that the pastor has explicitly linked to the controversy over the Islamic center.
The right-wing media is attacking Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf for saying that opposition to the Park51 project creates "danger from the radicals in the Muslim world to our national security," by claiming, among other things, that Rauf's comments amounted to "threaten[ing] America." But Rauf's comments echo those of national security experts, such as Gen. David Petraeus, who have warned of the security implications of anti-Muslim protests.