That should put to rest any doubts that right-wing media figures own the conservative movement and by extension the Republican Party.
Politico's Michael Calderone reported yesterday that Beck said of his selection, "CPAC is my kind of people." An astute observation to be sure given the wing-nuttery on display at CPAC gatherings in years past:
What is unclear however is where Beck came up with the following notion: "CPAC is, I think they're as angry at the Republicans as I am."
If that is true, someone really needs to tell CPAC. Here is just a sampling of the GOP big-wigs past and present invited to speak at this year's conference (from the conference website):
Former Republican Senator and Bush-era Attorney General John Ashcroft, former Bush-era Ambassador John Bolton, Republican Senator John Barrasso, Republican Senator Tom Coburn, Republican Senator Jim DeMint, Republican former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Republican Governor Bobby Jindal, Republican Governor-elect Bob McDonnell, Republican Congressman Ron Paul, Republican Governor Tim Pawlenty, Republican Governor Rick Perry, former Republican Governor Mitt Romney, Republican Senate candidate Marco Rubio and former Republican Senator Rick Santorum.
Some may have expected newly minted Fox News contributor and half-term former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin to take the role as keynote rather than Beck. Well, apparently CPAC doesn't pay its speakers unlike the National Tea Party Convention.
Brad O'Leary spends an entire Washington Examiner column responding to Media Matters' highlighting of his skewed Zogby polls and, more specifically, his racially charged poll question regarding Mark Lloyd:
The author of this "racially charged" language is none other than Obama's Diversity Czar Mark Lloyd himself. Here is what he said at the 2005 Conference on Media Reform: Racial Justice:
"This - there's nothing more difficult than this. Because we have really, truly good white people in important positions. And the fact of the matter is that there are a limited number of those positions.
"And unless we are conscious of the need to have more people of color, gays, other people in those positions we will not change the problem. We're in a position where you have to say who is going to step down so someone else can have power."
I find it equal parts troubling and incredible that in 21st Century America there could be anyone, much less a high-level federal appointee, who thinks the government should be forcing hirings-and-firings at private companies based solely on race and sexual preference.
Media Matters, evidently, is only outraged that someone would dare report the matter or ask America's opinion about it. Or maybe Media Matters thinks it is unfair to hold a presidential appointee responsible for something he said just four years ago.
O'Leary, however, did not include any of that background -- which the vast majority of respondents would have no knowledge of without it -- in asking his poll question, which was this:
Federal Communications Commission Chief Diversity Czar Mark Lloyd wants the FCC to force good white people in positions of power in the broadcast industry to step down to make room for more African-Americans and gays to fill those positions. Do you agree or disagree that this presents a threat to free speech?
Also problematic for O'Leary is that the question, as asked, is false. As we've noted, at no point does Lloyd advocate using the FCC to "force good white people" in the broadcast industry out.
O'Leary has only himself to blame for his false, out-of-context framing of Lloyd's statement. And he's a veritable laugh riot in coming to Zogby's defense:
I choose to do polling with Zogby because they've been among the most accurate pollsters for the past two decades. I find that Zogby does very well in balancing my questions to remove any conservative or other bias that may exist. When you're searching for the truth, it does no good to rig the outcome.
A truly balanced poll would have included more points of view than those of "some people" and "most Republicans." But then, a guy who has written a book-length screed attacking Barack Obama is not actually interested in "searching for the truth."
Yesterday, we highlighted a Zogby poll question asking whether "good white people in positions of power in the broadcast industry" should "step down to make room for more African-Americans and gays to fill those positions." But given that Zogby does a lot of polling-for-hire, the probability is high that someone paid Zogby to ask that question.
Indeed, that's the case here. As FAIR noted, that poll was paid for by conservative activist Brad O'Leary. He's the guy who presented an award to Rush Limbaugh at CPAC earlier this year. He has also penned two books, one a speculative, factually challenged attack on Barack Obama, that were published by WorldNetDaily.
O'Leary also has a history of hiring Zogby to do slanted polling. Eric Boehlert has previously noted that these polls -- which are conducted with Zogby under names such as ATI News and the O'Leary Report -- include vague and leading phraseology designed to elicit a specific answer, which O'Leary can then promote to further his anti-Obama agenda.
WorldNetDaily, which has regularly promoted O'Leary's slanted polls, did so again with this one, even faithfully reproducing the "good white people" question and adding a email address to contact WND's PR folks if "you are a member of the media and would like to interview Brad O'Leary about this story." Interesting that WND would let that poll wording slide by. Or Zogby, for that matter.
UPDATE: It seems the "good white people" phrase is taken from a statement by FCC official (and right-wing witch hunt target) Mark Lloyd. But the O'Leary/Zogby poll's claim that Lloyd "wants the FCC to force good white people in positions of power in the broadcast industry to step down to make room for more African-Americans and gays to fill those positions" is completely false.