Conservative activist and Breitbart promoted videographer Lila Rose has presented heavily edited video she claims proves Planned Parenthood is engaging in systemic criminal activities. Media Matters reviews her history with discredited right-wing activist James O'Keefe and her fringe political activism.
Andrew Breitbart's website Big Government is promoting heavily edited videos produced by anti-abortion rights activist Lila Rose and falsely claiming that the video proves that Planned Parenthood engages in systemic criminal activities. Below, Media Matters reviews the dishonest tactics used in the past by Andrew Breitbart, James O'Keefe, and other Breitbart associates.
Led by Glenn Beck, right-wing media have used the ongoing protests in Egypt to suggest that a similar revolution could take place in America, claiming, "This isn't about Egypt -- this is about your hometown," and suggesting "Egyptian-style crisis, unrest and revolt" could "hit America." Conservative media routinely stoke fears of riots or revolution in the U.S.
Following the outbreak of protest against the authoritarian regime of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, right-wing media lashed out against the Fed's quantitative easing -- a policy aimed at keeping long-term interests rates low and pumping money into the economy -- as the impetus to the protests.
In a January 30 Big Government blog post, Chriss W. Street claimed that the second round of quantitative easing "quickly drove up commodity food prices," having a "devastating" impact on "over half the world" and sending "the middle East into flames." He added: "With the price of a barrel of oil hitting $100 dollars and food prices accelerating, those flames will spread."
Yesterday Rush Limbaugh touted Street's post, and told listeners they would "be wise to consider the possibility that part of what's going on in Egypt is because the price of food is going up and nobody in Egypt can do anything about it because the source of the problem is here."
GOProud, the conservative group for gay conservatives and their allies, just appointed Andrew Breitbart to their board. However, Breitbart and his contributors at his BigPeace, BigGovernment, BigJournalism and BigHollywood sites have repeatedly engaged in incendiary anti-gay rhetoric. Additionally, his contributors have actively opposed the repeal of Don't ask Don't tell, and opposed GOProud's inclusion in the conservative conference CPAC.
A recent Big Government post falsely claimed that General Motors' recently launched green initiative is a result of "leftists tak[ing] over" the company and is being funded by the taxpayers. In fact, Chevrolet's greening effort was launched voluntarily, and is not funded by taxpayer money.
Right-wing media have rushed to defend Sarah Palin over her use of the term "blood libel," a term that historically refers to the grave anti-Semitic charge that Jews use the blood of Christian children in some religious rituals -- a myth that has long been the source of anti-Jewish violence.
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."
In a January 10 Big Government post, blogger Jeff Perren claimed that the only way to stop the "heated, hated right-wing rhetoric" would be for Democrats to "give up" and "get out of the way" of conservatives. From Big Government:
If the Left wants to eliminate at a stroke the vast majority of heated, hated right-wing rhetoric there's a very simple way to do that: give up.
Get out of the way. Stop advocating the violation of individual rights every day in every way. Stop trying to get legislation passed that steals private property for the purpose of funding your favorite social engineering goals. Stop extolling the alleged virtue of interpreting the U.S. Constitution in ways that further Progressive goals. End your advocacy of coercion through government.
Your cause is not noble, your methods are not virtuous, your philosophy is not just. Your ideas are more than mistaken; they're immoral, impractical, and unconstitutional. Change your philosophy and change your behavior and 'the Right' will have no longer have an incentive to fight back against your support for squishy tyranny.
Until then, you can expect the rhetoric to continue. A vocal segment of the American people will simply no longer sit back passively and watch their freedom get corroded away, one bad edict at a time.
Until then, the intellectual revolution to restore it will continue undiminished.
It seems patently clear now that Andrew Breitbart will probably never accept responsibility for what he did to Shirley Sherrod. Indeed, here we are, six months later, and the conservative activist is still busy spinning his involvement, furiously claiming that the "intended target" of the two-minute video he posted that got her fired was the NAACP, "not Shirley Sherrod." "The target," he repeats in a December 6 post on his Big Government website, was "unambiguously clear" and so was the context, he insists, which was "excruciatingly clear." At the same time, he laments, "[b]efore the article and clips were analyzed in their entirety and put into its proper context, President Obama via the USDA chief Tom Vilsack, fired Shirley Sherrod."
From Breitbart's post:
My 1400-word article featuring two separate video clips of Shirley Sherrod speaking before the NAACP hit the Internet on Big Government. Before the article and clips were analyzed in their entirety and put into its proper context, President Obama via the USDA chief Tom Vilsack, fired Shirley Sherrod.
The story and the videos perfectly hit their intended target -- which was the NAACP, not Shirley Sherrod. Ben Jealous apologized immediately for the NAACP crowd's positive response to the moment when Sherrod describes one time when she treated a white farmer differently from how she would treat a black one.
My BigGovernment.com story made the target unambiguously clear: "Sherrod's racist tale is received by the NAACP audience with nodding approval and murmurs of recognition and agreement. Hardly the behavior of the group now holding itself up as the supreme judge of another groups' racial tolerance."
All of this was put into excruciatingly clear context in a Big Government post, which included the two video clips, both received from an anonymous source who also described in broad strokes that she later sent the farmer to a white lawyer for help.
"Eventually, her basic humanity informs that this white man is poor and needs help," I wrote. "But she decides that he should get help from 'one of his own kind.' She refers him to a white lawyer."
This is quite the astounding way for Breitbart to absolve himself of all blame, considering that, in the same post, he declares: "I strongly believed, and still believe, that I had irrefutable evidence" of racism on the part of the NAACP and it was "unambiguously clear" from the 2-minute video that Sherrod was telling a "racist tale."
Indeed, in the July 19 post titled, "Video Proof: The NAACP Awards Racism," that started it all, Breitbart claimed to show "video evidence of racism coming from a federal appointee and NAACP award recipient." Trumpeting Sherrod's testimony in the deceptively cropped video clip he posted as a "racist tale," he wrote that "Sherrod describes how she racially discriminates against a white farmer." Breitbart also posted a tweet asking, "Will Eric Holder's DOJ hold accountable fed appointee Shirley Sherrod for admitting practicing racial discrimination?"
You know it's a slow news week when the right-wing is trying to gin up controversy about TSA regulations regarding carry-on cranberry sauce.
Yes, it's come to this:
Fox Nation and Big Government, piggybacking on the current outrage over TSA's new security procedures, are now pretending that the TSA has waged a "war on cranberry sauce." Why? Because the TSA has advised holiday travelers that they cannot pack holiday-related food items such as cranberry sauce in their carry-on luggage.
Yet, these guidelines have existed for years. Back in 2007, The Houston Chronicle reported, "This year, the TSA introduced new holiday food rules to its Web site," and noted (emphasis added):
The following foods will be turned away at security checkpoints. TSA suggests packing them in your luggage, leaving them at home or shipping them in advance:
• Cranberry and other sauces; gravy
• Salad dressing, oils and vinegars
• Maple syrup
• Creamy dips
• Wine, liquor, beer and other beverages
• Jams and jellies
Pies and cakes are allowed through security checkpoints. Note: They may be swabbed for explosives.
So there you go. Travelers haven't been able to pack cranberry sauce in carry-on bags for years now. There is no sudden TSA "war on cranberry sauce."
It looks like the right-wing media will just have to find a new controversy to invent.
The right-wing media have been attacking President Obama's New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START), claiming it "may harm national security." But the treaty enjoys widespread support among military leaders, who have called its passage a "no-brainer," and have argued that "the treaty makes us safer."
It's election day, so the right-wing's fevered cries of "VOTER FRAUD" have reached their highest pitch. And, the Washington Times has admirably done their part by penning an entire editorial on voter fraud that does not contain one credible allegation of fraud.
Let's go down the list, shall we? First, the Washington Times claimed, "Nevada and North Carolina are among states where early voters reported trying to cast ballots for Republicans only to see their votes registered for Democrats instead." Nevermind that claims of voting irregularity in Nevada have been investigated and were determined to be unfounded, and in North Carolina, there were complaints from both Democrats and Republicans that their votes were cast for the opposite party but, according to the deputy director of the State Board of Elections, Johnnie Mclean has said that these were "isolated instances" that "were corrected." He added, "There is no hard evidence voters were not able to cast their vote as intended."
They go on to claim that "[t]he very idea that voting is the cornerstone of citizenship is under attack. Last week, former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor provided the deciding vote in a 2-1 court decision telling Arizona it could not require proof of citizenship for voter registration." Yet, as we've noted, this ruling has no bearing on the current election.
From a Big Government post by Dan Freeman:
The nearly two years of corruption, plunder, and economic destruction—combined with the mockery of the American people and vilification of the private sector—has crystallized for many a realization of a home grown threat more destructive and imminently dangerous to America than any of the substantial external threats we faced over the last century. It's a threat that has been building quietly for many years but has come to the fore since President Obama was elected. Have you wondered how the radical left managed to capture the reins of power and govern in direct opposition to the will of two thirds of the population? The answer is the New Axis of Evil. It is the power base of the left (and the Democratic Party).
No doubt, the list can be debated and expanded, but here, at least is a starting point—the dirty dozen if you will, with a few prime examples included.
- Old Media (ACB, CBS, CNN, NBC, NPR, NY Times)
- Engorged Public Unions (SEIU, NEA, AFSCME)
- Global Socialist Elites (Robert McChesney, Andy Stern, George Soros)
- Liberal "Think" Tanks (Media Matters, Center for American Progress, ThinkProgress)
- America Hating Academics (Noam Chomsky, Paul Krugman )
- Professional Victims Groups (La Raza, CAIR, NAACP, NOW)
- Community Disorganizers & Activists (ACORN, Code Pink, ACLU)
- Environmental Redistributionists (Greenpeace, EDF)
- Social Justice Preachers (Jeremiah Wright, Reverend Jim Wallis)
- Progressive Hollywood Elites (Oliver Stone, Sean Penn)
- Bloated Federal Bureaucracy (DOE, DOA, TSA)
- Public/Private Colluders (AAPR, Government Motors, Goldman Sachs)
It almost goes without saying (but here I'll say it anyway)—there are many good people scattered among these institutions.
It is rather the leadership and the aims, desires, and policies of these institutions that warrant their inclusion. Most Americans will instinctively recognize that these are the bad guys.
The new "good" is simply everyone and everything that supports the left's un-definable collective good. The new "evil" is everything that stands in opposition, which places FOX News and the Tea Party at the epicenter of the left's hatred. If our self annointed leaders declare that everyone has the right to free healthcare, it must be so. Even if Obamacare conflicts with our right to private property, undermines the free market system, impedes medical innovation, adds another trillion to our deficit, and is a prime driver of unemployment. History shows that when the collective good is the goal, individual moral standards evaporate. If ever anyone needed the grounding and restraint demanded in the Ten Commandments, it's the new axis of evil.
This is the battle we are in. It is a battle of good versus evil. Of individual freedom—protected by a constitutionally limited government—versus collectivism—fed by the unquenchably appetite of the State. In America, a man still has control over his destiny. He can still pursue his own happiness, his God given right. But not without a fight.
After Fox News' Sarah Palin made the entirely unsupported claim that a taped voicemail proved that "corrupt bastards" in the media were conspiring to fabricate smears of Alaska Senate candidate Joe Miller, Fox News heavily promoted the allegation. By the next day, Glenn Beck joined Palin in calling for the reporters to be "purged."