We've long documented the right-wing blogosphere's curious inability to get its facts straight, and the striking tendency of their stories to collapse under scrutiny. Today, however, it's time to give them credit: They (almost!) got one right.
It started last night, when Instapundit Glenn Reynolds commented on the Seattle Times' "implausible report" that "A rock was thrown through the window of [Rep. Steve] Driehaus' [D-OH] Cincinnati office Sunday," a paraphrase of a comment from Driehaus' spokesman.
According to Reynolds:
Justin Binik-Thomas emails from Cincinnati that Rep. Driehaus' office "is on the 30th floor of a skyscraper downtown." He also says that he spoke to Driehaus' office today and they said this never happened.
Media have falsely claimed President Obama, members of his administration, and certain congressional staff are "exempt" from the recently enacted health care bill. In fact, the bill subjects the White House, members of Congress, and their staffs to the same reforms and requirements as the rest of the American people.
Conservative media figures have asserted that in a March 22 interview, Rep. John Dingell said health care reform will "control the people." In fact, Dingell has said that conservatives are taking him out of context and has explained that he was referring to "overseeing" the "insurance companies."
From a March 24 RedState.com post:
Let's start here:
Three airports in the district of infamous fence-sitting and ultimately kowtowing Democrat Bart Stupak were awarded $726,409 in grants by the Obama Administration just two days before a vote on Obama and Pelosi's government takeover of healthcare.
Separate, and independent, source here.
The math? Oh...well, Stupak got $726,409 big ones for his never-used airports in exchange for allowing Obama to use Federal dollars to kill babies...and we average 1.2 million of those executions per year. I just divided one by the other... I'm being generous-I expect that 1.2 million number will go up dramatically once everyone ELSE (you and I) will be paying for it.
Now, back in the day, even John Murtha got pretty airport fixups...but at least he sold out the American people for MUCH more. And...to Okinawa Jack's credit...he, at least, didn't sacrifice the unborn on the altar of Federal gluttony to get it done. Stupak got much less cash, but his body count will go beyond the pale. Bart's faux defense of the unborn notwithstanding, a few hundred thousand dollars just got offered up to make his conscience disappear...and pretty up a few of his OWN unused airports while you and I will now be made to PAY for the death Stupak just gave Obama permission to perpetuate.
Despite their purported opposition to "liberal judicial activism" and supposed support for judicial restraint, right-wing media have responded to the passage of health care reform legislation by urging it be overturned by the courts. Media Matters has previously noted that despite the conservative myth that judicial activism is solely a "liberal" practice, at least two studies have found that the most "conservative" Supreme Court justices have been the biggest judicial activists.
Following the announcement that President Obama agreed to issue an executive order reaffirming that the recently passed health reform bill maintains current law on federal funding for abortion, conservative media continued to falsely claim that the bill contains federal funding for abortion. In fact, the bill bans federal funding for abortion except in cases currently allowed under the Hyde amendment: rape, incest, and conditions that endanger the life of the pregnant woman.
From a March 21 RedState.com post:
Already we have a few Republicans positioning themselves in grand theatrics to call for full repeal of Obamacare. But these same Republicans in the past have talked about the good parts of the bill and how repeal should be measured. The only way to ensure today's rhetoric turns into future consistent actions is to surround these Republicans with true conservative warriors.
Friends, if we are going to destroy the Democrats, we must first build up an army of real conservatives in Congress. Half measures, Democrat-lite, and men who compromise in favor of more government must be unacceptable.
There is a God, there is good, and there will be a last day. And on that last day we will win. Victory comes though we know not when. So we must be happy warriors until the end -- warriors willing to fight with a smile and willingness to sacrifice for freedom.
We have not yet begun to fight.
Earlier today, Media Matters' Eric Schroeck noted RedState blogger Dave Poff's defense of his boss, RedState editor-in-chief Erick Erickson, recently hired by CNN as a political commentator. Poff, as Schroeck explained, seems to be unaware of one of Erickson's more notable comments -- his reference to David Souter as a "goat fucking child molester."
Poff's bizarre rant also included this charming description of the news media:
From Non-Conservatives, to Academics and Liberal Elitists, to self-soiling and unprincipled Professional Politicians and firmly-entrenched good ole boys inside the M(ostly) S(cumbags) M(edia), each of these clowns has a tale of doom about the hell we're headed for compliments of CNN's hand basket. Problem is, as with every OTHER decent human being out there trying to do what he thinks is right for himself, his family, and his country, Erickson has pissed off people that disagree with his principles and can't fathom that his success story grows and is in no small part sustained by his having stood unflinchingly by them. [All emphasis in original]
This raises a some questions: Does Erick Erickson agree his new CNN colleagues are "mostly scumbags"? Which CNN reporters, specifically, does RedState's Poff think are "scumbags"?
Amid criticism of CNN for its recent decision to hire RedState editor-in-chief Erick Erickson as a political commentator, RedState blogger Dave Poff offered up a defense of his boss, noting that one of the reasons CNN would want to hire Erickson is the fact that he "isn't an F-bomb flinging chimp for the party line":
Tell me again how it is that Erickson is evil for starting in this business as an unpaid member, doing well enough at it to get hired on to RUN the place, and is now being asked to add his 2 cents worth on a freaking political News program? Oh, yeah, I forgot-it's because he's articulate, intelligent, experienced...isn't an F-bomb flinging chimp for the party line. [emphasis in original]
I guess Poff didn't read Erickson's response last year to Justice David Souter's decision to retire from the Supreme Court:
Of course, this isn't the first time a RedState blogger apparently overlooked some of Erickson's comments. As Media Matters' Ben Dimiero noted, RedState blogger Hogan wrote that media figures who called Sen. Jim Bunning's recent block on legislation a "filibuster" were "freaking idiots." Unfortunately for Hogan, Erickson had at least twice previously called Bunning's action a "filibuster."
In a blog post, Center for Immigration Studies executive director Mark Krikorian advised respondents to the 2010 Census to avoid disclosing their ethnicity by selecting "[s]ome other race" and writing in "American." Other conservative bloggers and radio hosts have followed suit, mounting a campaign to thwart the Census' efforts to gather information on the topic, which the Census says is needed to enforce federal laws.
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.
From Erickson's March 7 Redstate.com blog post:
At least since the 19th century, it has been the left employing murder and death as a political weapon. From Hitler to Mao to Lenin to Stalin to Chavez to Castro to Guevera to Arafat to Pol Pot to Mugabe to [insert your favorite American union] to Margaret Sanger the left and its heroes have used death, violence, and murder to advance their agenda.
For every Pinochet or Netanyahu the left grasps for, the list is three times as long on the left.
It is inconvenient. The left will try to laugh it off or attack the person pointing out, but the truth remains.
It is not conservatives burning down homes in Washington State with the ELF. It is not conservatives throwing blood on women wearing fur. It is not conservatives burning down the Texas Governor's Mansion during riots. It is not conservatives rioting during G-8 summits.
It is and has always been the left. Deal with it.
Right-wing media figures have run with The Weekly Standard's John McCormack's completely baseless accusation that President Obama is buying Rep. Jim Matheson's (D-UT) vote on health care reform by appointing his brother, Scott Matheson, to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. McCormack provided no evidence to support the allegation -- which both Rep. Matheson and the White House have called "absurd" -- and even those pushing the charge acknowledge that Scott Matheson is "plenty qualified for the job."
This morning, in a post titled, "It's Not a Filibuster You Freaking Idiots," RedState writer Hogan slammed the media for referring to Sen. Jim Bunning's (R-KY) move to block legislation that would extend unemployment benefits as a "filibuster." Hogan wrote [emphasis added]:
As I noted in a previous post, and as is increasingly well known to those who actually are capable of comprehension, Senator Jim Bunning - for the simple reason he wishes it to be paid for - is objecting to a repeated unanimous consent request by Senate Democrats to call up and pass a bill that would temporarily extend unemployment benefits, transportation funding, medicare reimbursement, COBRA subsidies and other expenditures to the tune of another $10 billion or so.
Yet, news account after news account of his continued objection to this unanimous consent request report his actions as a filibuster. Politico, Roll Call, Fox News, CNN, and the list goes on and on. And the accusation of filibustering is even worse among Senators and Congressmen, as exemplified by the DCCC Chair, Chris Van Hollen and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. But it simply is not the case that what Mr. Bunning is doing is a filibuster under the rules, as anyone with a rudimentary understanding of the U.S. Senate fully comprehends.
Before attacking media outlets as "freaking idiots" not "capable of comprehension" and lacking "rudimentary understanding of the U.S. Senate," perhaps Hogan should have run a quick search to see if anyone at RedState had called Bunning's actions a "filibuster." Turns out Hogan's boss, Erick Erickson, has done so at least twice. Here's Erickson yesterday [emphasis added]:
The point of supporting Rand Paul was driven home to me last Thursday night as Senator Bunning launched a one man filibuster against the Democrats. He came under relentless attack and even his own Republican Party would barely come to his aid (kudos to Bob Corker (R-TN)).
And on Twitter last week:
God bless Senator Bunning. His filibuster is going to put government bureaucrats out of jobs! Hallelujah.
You might think this would have upset Erickson, but he's now promoting Hogan's post on Twitter:
Yeah! You tell 'em, Erick.
Right-wing media have praised Sen. Jim Bunning (R-KY) for blocking legislation that would extend unemployment benefits for hundreds of thousands of Americans, prevent rural areas from losing local television, and prevent cuts in Medicare reimbursements to doctors. The Department of Transportation also reportedly furloughed nearly 2,000 workers without pay as a result of Bunning's action.