On March 23, Sarah Palin tweeted "'Don't Retreat, Instead -- RELOAD!'" and posted to her Facebook page the following map with a list of House Democrats who voted for health care reform with crosshairs aimed at their locations:
In the wake of criticism over Palin's rhetoric, Fox Nation posted the following image referring to a Democratic strategy map as a "'Violent' Targeting Map":
The image linked to a Gateway Pundit post by Jim Hoft. From the post:
Right-wing media have accused Rep. Henry Waxman and the Obama administration of "tyrannical" actions after Waxman announced a hearing looking into several large corporations' assertions about prescription drug costs related to health care reform. According to Waxman, the companies' claims "appear to conflict with independent analyses."
Gateway Pundit Jim Hoft mockingly claims to be "relie[ved]" by the Seattle Times' correction to last week's report that "A rock was thrown through the window of [Rep. Steve] Driehaus' [D-OH] Cincinnati office." He sarcastically provides the following description:
The Seattle Times reported Thursday on another horrible political attack. TheTimes claimed that liberal democrat Rep. Steve Driehaus had a rock thrown though his office window:
Protesters have been demonstrating at Driehaus' Ohio home, said Tim Mulvey, a spokesman for the anti-abortion Democrat who joined Stupak in voting for the health bill. A rock was thrown through the window of Driehaus' Cincinnati office Sunday, and a death threat was phoned in to his Washington office a day later, Mulvey said.
"It's getting out of hand," Mulvey said.
Hoft, however, has no comment on the part of the correction where the Times says that they didn't make up a rock getting thrown through the window of a Democratic office, they just got the office wrong:
This story, published Wednesday, March 24, 2010, was corrected Friday, March 26, 2010. The prior version said a rock was thrown through the window of Ohio Democratic Rep. Steve Driehaus' Cincinnati office Sunday. Bloomberg News attributed the statement to Driehaus' spokesman Tim Mulvey. Mulvey said Friday that he was misquoted. A rock was thrown through the window of Hamilton County Democratic Party headquarters in Cincinnati, Mulvey said.
This is, of course, exactly what I said had probably happened last week when the right-wing blogosphere claimed the Times story was an example of liberal media bias. And now, bizarrely, once it's pointed out that there was a "horrible political attack" but the Times had the details wrong, they're declaring victory.
Right-wing blogs have responded to reported threats against Democrats who voted for the health care reform bill by trivializing the threats or suggesting that the reports are false, condemning the threats but making excuses for them, suggesting that Democrats themselves are to blame for receiving the threats, or suggesting other acts of violence that people could commit against their congressional representative.
From a March 22 Gateway Pundit post:
Fox & Friends perpetuated the false claim advanced on right-wing blogs that President Obama was incorrect in stating during a Fox News interview that Hawaii suffered an earthquake in 2006 -- a disaster Fox News itself reported on at the time. In a 2007 memo, a Fox News executive reportedly warned staff that "seeing an item on a website does not mean it is right. Nor does it mean it is ready for air on FNC."
Following the lead of an ESPNOutdoors.com opinion writer, who provided no evidence for his claim that a federal strategy "could prohibit U.S. citizens from fishing," right-wing blogs have advanced the outlandish charge that Obama "wants to ban sport fishing." These media outlets cited the Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force's interim report on coastal and marine planning, but the task force has proposed nothing of the sort.
Conservative media figures have recently attacked President Obama and the Department of Justice for employing lawyers who previously represented terror suspects or supported their legal arguments in their private practices. However, Bush administration lawyers also reportedly represented Guantánamo Bay detainees before working for the Justice Department.
Right-wing blogs have attacked White House economic adviser Larry Summers' statement that heavy snowfall in February may distort the unemployment data for the month. In fact, economists reportedly say that snow can cause a temporary decline in employment and distort job statistics.
Right-wing media have attacked President Obama by claiming that he ended the February 25 health care reform summit with -- in Gretchen Carlson's words -- "a threat against Republicans and the American public about reconciliation."
Right-wing media figures have seized on comments Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made linking unemployment to a rise in domestic violence by suggesting that if he loses his re-election bid, then Reid, whose mother was a victim of domestic abuse, will subsequently become abusive toward his wife. Moreover, on Fox & Friends, Laura Ingraham dismissed a 2004 study, which found that "the rate of violence increases as the number of periods of male unemployment increases," to claim that Reid's comments were "lunacy" and "stigmatize the unemployed"; in addition to the 2004 study from which Reid was apparently citing, several other studies and experts indicate that there is a link between abuse and unemployment.
From a February 22 Gateway Pundit post by Jim Hoft:
Rob Port of Say Anything Blog apparently went on a tour of the White House and discovered the following damning "evidence" that the Obama's are secretly Socialists: five books in the White House Library about socialism, which Port suggests were "picked out by the First Lady, Michelle Obama." Take a "lookie, lookie" at what Port "found":
Leave it to Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit to think this was actually a damning story important enough to blog about:
Wednesday, February 17, 2010, 9:33 PMJim Hoft
It figures. Michelle Obama stocked the White House Library with books on socialism.
Rob Port visited the White House today and took this picture in the library. (The American Socialist Movement and The Socialist Party of America)
It's been more than a month since Jim Hoft last took to Andrew Breitbart's Big Government website to smear Obama administration official Kevin Jennings with his patented concoction of falsehoods and distortions, but he makes his triumphant return today. As usual, he hasn't come up with anything original; instead, he's just regurgitating the falsehoods WorldNetDaily forwarded and we picked apart last week. I guess for him that's a step up - his usual source for Jennings lies is the anti-gay "hate group" MassResistance.
It begins with Hoft's trademark anti-gay hysteria:
The democrats in Congress are moving closer to passing the most radical anti-American, anti-Christian, anti-family bill through Congress that we have seen in decades.
What, pray tell, is this horror?
Democrats are working to push HR 4530 through Congress. This bill will force educators to prohibit harassment, violence and discrimination faced by students based on their sexual orientation. That doesn't sound so bad, but that's not all it does.
Actually, that's exactly what it does, but go on:
The bill will also allows educators and education officials like Safe Schools Czar Kevin Jennings to push their radical agenda in the classroom. And, if you don't like the new policies or object to the program, the bill authorizes the federal government to cut off the educational assistance to schools that fail to enforce the new rules.
Actually, the "radical agenda" that the bill allows educators and education officials to push is the prohibition on "harassment, violence and discrimination faced by students based on their sexual orientation," and the authorization to cut off educational assistance is the "force educators" part that Hoft mentioned in the previous paragraph. You may recall Hoft had said that forcing educators to prohibit such harassment and discrimination "doesn't sound so bad."
Critics of the bill understand the law would give the controversial Safe Schools Czar, Kevin Jennings, almost unlimited authority to mandate sexual indoctrination in public schools at taxpayer expense.
The "critic of the bill" Hoft is associating himself with is the single anti-gay activist, Linda Harvey, quoted in the WorldNetDaily article to which Hoft links. Harvey has previously stated that parents "need to caution our kids against friendships with people practicing homosexual behavior." Those "critics" are wrong - the bill doesn't mention Jennings or his office, and any rules promulgated by federal departments under the bill require presidential approval.
Hoft goes on to fearmonger about the "real intent" of the bill, cite Harvey's claim that the "purpose of this bill is not what is being stated, but is quite simply to mandate in public schools one acceptable viewpoint on the issue of homosexuality, using purported violence or harassment as the rationale, and the power of the feds as the hammer," then repeat a bunch of his previous false Jennings smears.
To clarify: for the right-wing, President Obama giving a stay-in-school speech to students basically amounts to child abuse. But congressional legislation to stop bullying constitutes "the most radical anti-American, anti-Christian, anti-family bill through Congress that we have seen in decades." That is a very... interesting set of priorities.
Following a February 13 BBC Q&A with Phil Jones, director of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, several conservative media outlets have distorted Jones' comments to suggest that they undermine the consensus that human activities are contributing to warming global temperatures. These media outlets have seized on Jones' statement that since 1995, the warming trend "is positive, but not significant at the 95% significance level" to falsely suggest that temperatures since the mid 1990s disprove global warming and to falsely claim, in Jim Hoft's words, that Jones "admit[ted] there is no global warming."