Following reports that Donald Trump will not be running for president, the right-wing media absurdly blamed "the media" for "attacking" Trump, largely ignoring Trump's embrace of birtherism.
This morning, President Obama released his birth certificate, demonstrating once and for all the absurd falsity of the already-debunked birther conspiracy. The whole affair was, as Adam Serwer described it, "one of the most surreal and ridiculous moments in the history of American politics." The reaction from the right has been especially incoherent -- some are blaming the entire spectacle on Obama, others are crediting Donald Trump as the hero of this saga, and the birther faithful remain wedded to their delusion.
Then there's Andrew Breitbart. He's busy touting his own anti-birther bona fides, angrily insisting that he's been firmly on the side of reason. That's up for debate, but even if you were to put Breitbart himself in the anti-birther camp, you can't say the same for his empire of "Big" websites, which has been birther-curious of late. Last week, Big Journalism asked "What if the birthers are right?" and speculated that this could be "the biggest story in the history of this country":
Another question that I'd like to float: Is Obama intentionally withholding his long-form birth certificate to continue to perpetrate the notion that those who question him are crazy giving the media more ammo against the birthers and the right? It wouldn't surprise me, but with Corsi's evidence that may not be the case.
Finally, has the MSM, out of its allegiance to the Democrat party, missed the biggest story in the history of this country? And one thing you can be assured, the left will dissect and fact check Corsi's book until the pages fall out, but will they be able to defend their position on the record? What they do with the information in Corsi's book will probably need an extra large bucket of popcorn with butter because dare I ask this: What if the Birthers are right?
Looks like that didn't pan out. Who could have guessed?
Since Glenn Beck announced he would be ending his daily show with Fox News, conservative bloggers have reacted with a mixture of sorrow, skepticism, and, of course, conspiracy theories about why his show is ending.
Andrew Breitbart's Big Journalism questioned the accuracy of Media Matters research showing that a Planned Parenthood clinic in Waco, Texas, provides mammograms. In fact, the clinic is partnered with outside organizations to provide mammograms.
On March 30, 2011, Media Matters posted research debunking another video hoax by discredited right-wing activist Lila Rose. According to Rose, the new round of videos contradict statements Planned Parenthood officials made about the organization's work providing women with access to cancer screenings, including mammograms. At the time, we noted that the comments Rose highlighted were in no way at odds with the undisputed fact that Planned Parenthood provides women with access to these services.
Now, Andrew Breitbart's Retracto, the Correction Alpaca, is requesting a correction from Media Matters, accusing us of "fudg[ing] truth on Planned Parenthood services."
No such correction will be issued, as our initial piece was in fact accurate.
It's one thing for a conservative blog to fling about the "anti-Semite!" charge will-nill, but it's a bit embarrassing if that blog has blown the exact same dog-whistle.
Today, Andrew Breitbart's Big Journalism blog has a post attacking Brave New Foundation over a Shepard Fairey T-shirt design that depicts the Koch brothers as a two-headed octopus:
Big Journalism blogger John Sexton points out that the image of a "world-controlling" octopus has "a long, ugly history in political cartoons going back to the 1930s" before posting this Nazi propaganda poster for comparison:
Now, while the Koch brothers aren't Jewish, Sexton's not wrong that the Fairey image may have been ill-advised, or at least, not carefully considered.
However, his fellow Big Journalism bloggers are guilty of some propping up some pretty ill-advised images and purveyors of extremely similar images themselves.
Lila Rose and Live Action's accusations against Planned Parenthood are wholly without merit, but that hasn't stopped the right-wing media machine from giving these intrepid "journalists" the full Woodward and Bernstein treatment.
The latest stop in Rose's press junket: an interview with the Breitbart media empire's token liberal, Lee Stranahan. Things went swimmingly for the first half of the interview, with Stranahan lobbing softballs and Rose bunting them back with ease -- but then Stranahan had to ask about the letter Planned Parenthood wrote to AG Eric Holder alerting him to the existence of a possible sex trafficking ring.
Since Rose's whole case rests on the demonstrably false claim that Planned Parenthood tried to cover up sex trafficking instead of reporting it to the authorities, surely this letter means she has no case?
Here's Rose's utterly nonsensical response:
ROSE: What Planned Parenthood has done is try to spike Live Action's story, and try to cover up their cover up by confusing and muddling the matter and getting the FBI in this absurd letter to look into Live Action, or to kind of implicate Live Action as somehow, you know, needing-- Live Action needing to be investigated. So what they're doing is what they do classically, what they've been doing over the past four years, which is instead of addressing the institutional cover up in their clinic, instead of addressing that, instead of-- instead of resolving that, they turn to us as the investigative team, or they turn against the, you know, the people that are trying to spread this message and get people aware, and they attack us. So this is just-- This is just another example of how Planned Parenthood's sexual abuse cover up and aiding and abetting of human trafficking is top down.
Parse that word stew and you'll discover an argument that doesn't even hold together when expressed in coherent sentences. Rose's position is this: Planned Parenthood did wrong by not reporting suspected sex trafficking, and the fact that they did report suspected sex trafficking just proves it.
Stranahan's response? Letting it slide and jumping to the next topic. Journalism at its finest!
Did I call this one or what?
Last week when sections of the GOP Noise Machine were whining that Sarah Palin was on the receiving end of too much press coverage -- because reporters and pundits were somehow signaling their disdain for Palin by lavishing her with so much attention (they're "obsessed"!) -- I asked this question:
BTW, imagine the right-wing wailing if the press didn't cover Palin?
Well, imagine no more. The crack staff at Andrew Breitbart's Big Journalism is on the case. In a Herculean flip-flop, they are now wailing about how the Washington Post is threatening to not cover Palin!
Oh, and it's not just that the Post is supposedly threatening to boycott Palin (FYI, the paper's not, actually), but it's a vast conspiracy and yes, the fabled Journolist is even dragged out of the mothballs.
Go read the piece if you want a chuckle and want to marvel at how Palin's online apologists will cry foul, simultaneously claiming Palin is covered too much and not enough. In the same week.
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 the wake of the tragic shootings in Arizona, several right-wing media figures have attacked Pima County Sheriff Dupnik for calling for an end to vitriolic rhetoric while discussing the shooting. However, the right-wing media repeatedly praised a different Arizona sheriff, Paul Babeu, who regularly engages in vitriolic attacks against President Obama and Democrats.
As the House GOP began the 112th Congress by having the Constitution read aloud on the floor today, the right-wing media have been quick to attack any criticism of the move as unpatriotic and un-American. Today's freakout targeted the New York Times for observing that the original Constitution contains, well, some unsavory provisions that later generations saw fit to change; specifically, counting "African-Americans ... as three-fifths of a person." Here are the paragraphs from the Times editorial in question:
The empty gestures are officially intended to set a new tone in Washington, to demonstrate -- presumably to the Republicans' Tea Party supporters -- that things are about to be done very differently. But it is far from clear what message is being sent by, for instance, reading aloud the nation's foundational document. Is this group of Republicans really trying to suggest that they care more deeply about the Constitution than anyone else and will follow it more closely?
In any case, it is a presumptuous and self-righteous act, suggesting that they alone understand the true meaning of a text that the founders wisely left open to generations of reinterpretation. Certainly the Republican leadership is not trying to suggest that African-Americans still be counted as three-fifths of a person. [The New York Times, 1/4/11]
The clown routine continues at Andrew Breitbart's Big Journalism, with this recent headline:
After Suffering Massive Losses, Salon.com Looking for Partner
It's supposed to be a (ha-ha!) hit item because Salon leans left and it's having cash-flow problems, which is a pretty dumb angle of attack since the New York Post leans right and so does the Washington Times and those money-losing operations have cost their owners hundreds of millions of dollars in non-stop losses, so what exactly is the point about Salon?
Even dopier is the "massive losses" nonsense. From the Wall Street Journal:
But 15-year-old Salon has been unable to stanch its red ink. Salon Media Group Inc. has racked up net losses of more than $15 million in the past five years, with nearly a third of that coming in the fiscal year ended March 31, 2010.
That's right, Salon in recent years has lost, on average, $3 million annually, with revenues over the last three years averaging $6 million. Those are the massive losses Breitbart's site's referring to.
Tip: If they want to see truly massive media losses, Breitbart bloggers might want to crack open the books at Rupert Murdoch's New York Post. Or better yet, the Rev. Moon's Washington Times, which loses, according to one newspaper insider, $100 million each year.
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."
The right-wing media have recently advanced the conspiracy theory that the $1.8 million grant to NPR from the Open Society Foundations -- which were founded by philanthropist George Soros -- is related to Juan Williams' firing. Andrew Breitbart's websites have dramatically one-upped that conspiracy theory, accusing the White House of having a role in Williams' termination and suggesting that Williams' firing is evidence of a "shariah-mandated stealth jihad" -- perhaps part of a "Muslim Brotherhood influence operation."