Conservative media are pushing a deceptively cropped video of Rep. Phil Hare (D-IL) to claim he "doesn't believe the national debt is real." In fact, the context of Hare's remarks make clear he was referring to the "myth" that you can't "just can't spend" to put "people back to work" because "this country is in debt," an opinion with which liberal and conservative economists agree.
Despite vowing to report both sides of the story "and let you decide," Fox & Friends' coverage of the GOP "Pledge to America" consisted almost entirely of conservatives who love the pledge and Republicans who want to promote it. However, Fox ignored that several conservatives have panned the "Pledge to America."
Right-wing media figures are attacking Fox News' Karl Rove for "trashing" Christine O'Donnell after her victory in the Delaware GOP Senate primary, stating that his comments were "disgraceful" and that Rove "came across as an effete sore loser."
From a September 9 Redstate.com post:
As You Wake Up This Morning
Posted by Erick Erickson (Profile)
Thursday, September 9th at 5:00AM EDT
Consider these points:
(3) All the people rushing to embrace the Ground Zero Mosque because of the Imam's constitutional right sure are running just as quickly to shut down the moron pastor in Florida intent on burning korans. What's good for the goose . . .
Following polls showing that an increasing number of Americans wrongly believe President Obama is a Muslim, right-wing media figures have used the opportunity to continue to sow doubts about Obama's religious convictions.
Following reports that a panel of cancer experts recommended that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) consider revoking approval of the drug Avastin for advanced breast cancer, right-wing blogs have attempted to portray the debate as cost-driven rationing of health care. However, the FDA does not consider cost in its decisions, and studies have shown that Avastin -- which was given "accelerated approval" in 2008 with the requirement that further studies confirm its benefits -- has serious side effects without significantly prolonging life.
Following her decision to place an injunction on certain parts of Arizona's immigration law, right-wing media have attacked Judge Susan Bolton by suggesting she is a partisan who was "bought by" the Obama administration. However, Judge Bolton, a registered Independent, is widely respected, and has recently been praised by Arizona Republicans Gov. Jan Brewer and Sen. Jon Kyl -- who recommended her nomination to then-Pres. Bill Clinton in 2000.
On Monday, The Daily Caller reported that Sen. Barbara Boxer, at a campaign event over the weekend, "seemingly equated being a politician to serving in the military." The Daily Caller included a 34-second audio clip of Boxer's comments that was posted on YouTube by "Veterans Against Boxer" and quoted a press release from the Veterans for Carly Coalition attacking Boxer over her remarks, which was posted on her GOP opponent Carly Fiorina's website.
Predictably, right-wing blogs ran wild with The Daily Caller article, attacking Boxer for her comments. But just how did Boxer "seemingly equate being a politician to serving in the military" in the audio clip? Here's what The Daily Caller actually reported she said:
"We know that if you have veterans in one place where they can befriend each other and talk to each other. You know when you've gone through similar things you need to share it. I don't care whether you are a policeman or a fireman or a veteran or by chance a member of Congress," the California senator said. "[Democratic Rep.] Maxine [Waters] and I could look at each other and roll our eyes. We know what we are up against. And it is hard for people who are not there to understand the pressure and the great things that go along with it and the tough things that go along with it."
Pretty innocuous, right? Boxer seems to be discussing the importance of camaraderie among those who share similar experiences, which certainly isn't controversial. Boxer didn't single out the military, and she certainly didn't say that serving in Congress is just like serving in the military.
Of course, if you're a right-wing blogger, you take this 34 seconds of audio, toss aside any sense of context, and launch an attack.
Yesterday, the noise machine's nonsense scandal du jour was that the Obama administration supposedly "supported" the release of the Lockerbie bomber. Fox News' Dana Perino, FoxNews.com, Drudge, and several conservative bloggers hyped the story, with the always-unhinged Pam Geller going so far as to call for a "special investigation" and a "charge of treason." Rush Limbaugh claimed that Obama "backed the release," because he "wanted to make nice with the Muslim world." As we pointed out at the time, reports indicated that the administration opposed the release of the Lockerbie bomber on compassionate grounds, but stipulated that if he were to be released, he should go to Scotland, and not to Libya.
Predictably, the story has continued to disintegrate. Yesterday, The State Department released its correspondence with the Scottish Ministry of Justice, which states in no uncertain terms that the administration "is not prepared to support Megrahi's release on compassionate release or bail," and that "it would be most appropriate for Megrahi to remain imprisoned for the entirety of his sentence."
Responding to the release of the letter in a post headlined "Two Cheers For The Administration On Megrahi," PowerLine's John Hinderaker states that this story is a "non-controversy in which the State Department and the Obama administration acted honorably and appropriately."
Despite the letter from the State Department clearly demolishing this non-scandal, some conservative bloggers just won't give up the ghost. Undeterred (as usual) by reality, Jim Hoft responded to the letter by announcing in a headline that the administration "Preferred [Lockerbie Bomber's] Release." This serves as more evidence that Hoft either does not bother to read the things he links to, or that his deranged hatred of the administration is such that it leads him state with a straight face that up is down.
Even more embarrassing than Hoft's post was this inane screed by RedState's Lori Ziganto about how Obama "can't seem to man up." This was posted after the release of the letter, yet completely ignored its existence:
Another day, another right-wing media freak out. Today, the right is in a tizzy over a Daily Caller exclusive scoop that "documents show media plotting to kill stories about Rev. Jeremiah Wright." Except, of course, their "documents" show no such thing.
The Daily Caller purports to have obtained copies of emails from the "Journolist" listserv, which they report is "comprised of several hundred liberal journalists, as well as like-minded professors and activists." Their big, breaking story exposes that some liberal journalists and a professor were outraged by an April 2008 Democratic Presidential primary debate -- a debate that was widely criticized as being "specious and gossipy." As you may recall, during that debate Obama was asked questions such as, "Do you think Reverend Wright loves America as much as you do?"; "How do you convince Democrats" that not wearing an American flag lapel pin "would not be a vulnerability?"; and "Can you explain" your "relationship" with Bill Ayers, a question that was literally suggested to moderator George Stephanopoulos by right-wing radio hosts.
The debate was, in a word, ridiculous. And numerous media figures agreed. The Daily Caller highlights portions of the purported Journolist emails which showed several participants discussing how best to frame and word an open letter to ABC News condemning the debate. Each of the media figures mentioned in the Daily Caller report was an opinion columnist or a blogger. Hardly the stuff of a mainstream media conspiracy, though the Caller desperately tried to paint it as such. They specifically said that journalists from Time and Politico were involved in the discussion, but the article provides absolutely no evidence to back this up.
So, yes, it appears that the big scandal is that liberal journalists and professors talked to each other about how to frame a publically released letter to ABC News. Stop the presses!
Expanding on the stupidity of the Daily Caller report is the fact that many of these same journalists were very clear and very open about their displeasure with the ABC news debate at the time.
Following the NAACP's resolution condemning "the Tea Party's continued tolerance for bigotry and bigoted statements," right-wing media have gone on the defense, going so far as to claim there is "no evidence of racism within the movement." But the NAACP's charge of "racist elements" within the tea party is supported by allegations of racial epithets hurled at African-American congressmen and racially charged signs and slogans from various tea party protests.
In a July 13 blog post, "King Samir Shabazz Should Be 2010's Willie Horton," CNN contributor and RedState.com editor-in-chief Erick Erickson wrote of the manufactured scandal over the Justice Department's handling of the New Black Panther Party case: "Republican candidates nationwide should seize on this issue. The Democrats are giving a pass to radicals who advocate killing white kids in the name of racial justice and who try to block voters from the polls."
Erickson added: "The Democrats will scream racism. Let them. Republicans are not going to pick up significant black support anyway." From Erickson's post:
Had Horton been white, the Republicans still would have used the ad. But Horton was black and the ad was powerfully effective -- so effective that it and Dukakis's stupid answer about opposing the death penalty even if his wife were murdered destroyed the Democrats in 1988 -- the Democrats screamed racism at the top of their lungs and their accomplices in the media have forever agreed. Willie Horton = racism.
Nonsense. The ad worked. It was powerful. It was the truth. That's why the Democrats screamed racism so loud. It was the only way to stop the GOP from going this direction again. They know the GOP lives in perpetual quixotic quest for the day it gets a significant share of the black vote.
Now we have King Samir Shabazz. He showed up at a polling location in Pennsylvania and intimidated voters going into the polls. The Justice Department pursued the case and, having received a verdict it the government's favor, Obama's Attorney General Eric Holder stopped pursuing the New Black Panthers.
Video has subsequently come out of King Samir Shabazz encouraging the murder of white children.
Republican candidates nationwide should seize on this issue. The Democrats are giving a pass to radicals who advocate killing white kids in the name of racial justice and who try to block voters from the polls.
The Democrats will scream racism. Let them. Republicans are not going to pick up significant black support anyway. But here's the thing: everyone but the Democrats will understand this is not racism. This isn't even about race. This is about the judgment of an administration that would rather prosecute Arizona for doing what the feds won't do than prosecuting violent thugs who would deny you and me the right to vote while killing our kids.
Erickson's employer, CNN, notes that the Willie Horton ad "played to racial fears and portrayed Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis as soft on crime."
Right-wing blogs have recently been pushing a chart based on cherry-picked data that conveniently shows a correlation between rising unemployment and the Democratic takeover of Congress after the 2006 elections. The right-wing media's latest fun with charts serves two purposes here -- to trash Democrats as job killers and blame them for the recession that sparked the rise in unemployment. Take a look:
Sure looks bad for Democrats, right? But since this is a chart hyped by right-wing media, you can safely bet it's based on misleading, cherry-picked data aimed squarely at making Democrats look bad. And sure enough, it is.
The right-wing media responded to news that President Obama intends to use a recess appointment to install Donald Berwick as head of the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The attacks rely on distortions of Berwick's past statements about the U.S. and U.K. health care systems and on manufactured outrage about recess appointments, which are a common practice.
Right-wing media continued trumpeting completely unsubstantiated allegations that the Department of Justice -- and Attorney General Eric Holder specifically -- dismissed voter-intimidation charges against members of the New Black Panther Party because the defendants were African-American. In fact, Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez testified that the charges were dropped after attorneys at the Civil Rights Division determined that there was insufficient evidence to prosecute the three defendants.