As noted civil rights activist Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) took the stage at the 50 year anniversary of the March on Washington, Rush Limbaugh claimed that "the real victims of racism" aren't on stage today.
On his radio show, Limbaugh suggested that black conservatives had faced more racism than speakers at the anniversary such as President Obama. Limbaugh concluded that "real victims of racism are not on this stage." Limbaugh's comments came approximately five minutes before Lewis began to address the march:
Rep. Lewis was the youngest keynote speaker at the original March on Washington in 1963. As the chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in 1965 Lewis helped lead the March from Selma, Alabama to Montgomery, Alabama. In an incident known as Bloody Sunday, the activists were met by armed officers as they left the town of Selma and attacked:
Government archives detail the demonstration in which Lewis suffered a fractured skull:
In 1965, at the height of the modern civil rights movement, activists organized a march for voting rights, from Selma, Alabama, to Montgomery, the state capital. On March 7, some 600 people assembled at a downtown church, knelt briefly in prayer, and began walking silently, two-by-two through the city streets.
One minute and five seconds after a two-minute warning was announced, the troops advanced, wielding clubs, bullwhips, and tear gas. John Lewis, who suffered a skull fracture, was one of fifty-eight people treated for injuries at the local hospital. The day is remembered in history as "Bloody Sunday."
After repeatedly hyping the IRS' targeting of political groups, Fox News is ignoring new evidence undermining its scandal mongering that only conservative organizations were targeted.
On August 20, Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI), the Ranking Member of the House Ways and Means Committee, released information providing more evidence that the IRS targeted progressive groups in addition to conservative ones. As Salon's Alex Seitz-Wald reported:
Democrats say the new information should put to rest any lingering embers of the IRS scandal. "This new information should put a nail in the coffin of the Republican claims that the IRS's actions were politically motivated or were targeted at only one side of the political spectrum," said Elijah Cummings, the Maryland Democrat who is the ranking member on the House Oversight Committee.
The term "Emerge" had been redacted from an earlier version of a document released by the IRS, but was present on a newer version made available today. The new documents also showed that successors to ACORN, the liberal grass-roots organizing group that became a bugaboo of conservatives and that Congress defunded (again and again). The instructions on "ACORN successors" came on a BOLO (be on the lookout) list that included healthcare organizations, medical marijuana groups, newspapers, open source technology groups and other non-political organizations.
Fox News has promoted selective clips of interview transcripts leaked by House Republicans that fit a predetermined narrative, ignored previous revelations that progressives had been targeted, and hyped old news as a "bombshell" and explosive evidence that proved the IRS's behavior went straight to the White House. Time and again the IRS "scandal" has proven to be nothing more than a scam.
There is now even more proof that progressive groups were subjected to the same type of scrutiny as conservative groups.
Carolyn Ryan, political editor for The New York Times made the case for assigning a reporter to cover Hillary Clinton full-time more than three years before the next presidential election by claiming "[w]ith the Clintons ... there is a certain opacity and stagecraft." Ryan's caricature of the Clintons alongside the Times' recent reporting raises significant questions about how they will be covered by the paper.
An August 17 New York Times article from public editor Margaret Sullivan described the "potential benefits and the possible pitfalls" of assigning a reporter to a full-time beat of Hillary Clinton -- someone who "holds no political office and has not said she's running for one" -- more than three years removed from the next presidential election.
From Sullivan's conversation with Times' political editor Carolyn Ryan:
Carolyn Ryan, The Times's political editor, made the case to me for the assignment. Mrs. Clinton, she said, "is the closest thing we have to an incumbent, when we look at 2016." And getting in early allows The Times to develop sources and get behind the well-honed facade.
"With the Clintons," she said, "there is a certain opacity and stagecraft and silly coverage elsewhere. Amy can penetrate a lot of that." She praised Ms. Chozick as a relentless reporter who is "very savvy about power and has a great eye for story."
Ryan's description of "a certain opacity and stagecraft" surrounding the Clintons, as well as the decision to assign a full-time reporter to Hillary Clinton, raises questions about the publication's coverage of the family. Indeed, the same article addresses this concern when Brendan Nyhan, assistant professor of government at Dartmouth College, said, "a dedicated beat creates the incentive to make news."
Evidence of Nyhan's concerns can be seen in a flawed report the Times published on August 13 which speculated that The Clinton Foundation was experiencing financial and management issues, questioned the capabilities of senior Foundation employees, and asserted that the Foundation "ran multimillion-dollar deficits for several years." This prompted a letter from former President Bill Clinton where he corrected the record by pointing out several key flaws in the Times' story. Furthermore, Mr. Clinton released an executive summary of a 2011 review of the Foundation by the law firm Simpson Thacher & Bartlett which refutes the Times' assertion of mismanagement. The review states that "[i]nterviewees uniformly praised the effectiveness of the Foundation and its affiliates, noting the enormous amount they have accomplished over a ten-year period."
Times readers are already experiencing the "pitfalls" of the paper's approach to this subject without the "benefits", as the drive to make news outstrips verifiable facts and misinforms the public in the process.
Washington Times columnist Charles Hurt claimed that "[l]iterally, revolutionary wars have been fought over less" than what right-wing media are calling an Obamacare "exemption" for members of Congress and assured his readers that they "should be sharpening the tines of [their] pitchforks."
In his August 13 op-ed titled "Obamacare exemption - none dare call it treason," published in The Washington Times and promoted on FoxNation.com, Hurt argued that were it not for citizen apathy, America "would already be in all-out political revolt":
Had we innocent, taxpaying citizens not long ago lost our capacity to be outraged by the disgraceful manner in which this place operates, we would already be in all-out political revolt. Against President Obama. Against Democrats in Congress. And, especially, Republicans.
Literally, revolutionary wars have been fought over less.
Last week, while many Americans spent hard-saved money on long-overdue vacations, the snakes and weasels inside the federal bureaucracy schemed until they hatched an evil plan. It would feather their own nests with more of your money, protect themselves from the ravages of the laws they foist upon us, desecrate our Constitution and then smear us with insult so putrid it would make a roadside vulture gag.
All the legal, constitutional and parliamentary maneuvering is enough to confuse Albert Einstein, but here is the bottom line: Congress and staff managed to get themselves exempted from the single, most-punishing aspect of Obamacare.
Yes, you should be sharpening the tines of your pitchforks.
Fox News host Eric Bolling and Daily Caller senior editor Jamie Weinstein continued Fox's attempt to breathe life back into its manufactured Benghazi scandals by suggesting that issues debunked long ago were still open questions.
Fox News personalities, Eric Bolling and Marc Siegel made false claims about the Individual Payment Advisory Board (IPAB) included in the Affordable Care Act in an attempt to revive the "death panel" lie. This claim has been repeatedly debunked and has no basis in the law itself.
Bolling's claim that "the whole point of [IPAB] is to decide what medical treatment I'm going to be able to get" and Siegel's conclusion that IPAB is "a death panel - it's a rationing board," has been a proven falsehood dating back to 2011.
In June 2011, Georgia Representative Phil Gingrey claimed that the IPAB board could "decide whether you get care, such as continuing on dialysis or cancer chemotherapy." Gingrey concluded, "it's rationing."
PolitiFact addressed this claim in August of that year:
Gingrey is "not even close to correct," said Michael Tanner, a scholar with the libertarian Cato Institute. He opposes the IPAB.
"It [IPAB] has nothing to do with individual care at all. It's not making decisions on individuals," Tanner said.
Experts agree that the IPAB has no say in whether a specific person receives dialysis, chemotherapy or any other such treatment. The board does not intercede in individual patient cases. It makes broad policy decisions that affect Medicare's overall cost.
Furthermore, the IPAB is barred from making policy recommendations that would block patients from receiving needed care, experts told PolitiFact Georgia.
"The legislation explicitly forbids the board from rationing care," said Stuart Guterman, a health policy expert with the Commonwealth Fund, a nonpartisan group which works to improve health care access, quality and efficiency. Guterman said he thinks the IPAB can help with health care savings.
Finally, the law itself makes it clear that IPAB is forbidden from making "any recommendation to ration health care ... or otherwise restrict benefits."
CNN's initial reporting on its Benghazi special raises serious questions about the integrity of the special, as factual inaccuracies and uncritical reporting privileges the conservative witch hunt.
At 10 PM on August 6, CNN's Erin Burnett will host an hour-long special, The Truth About Benghazi. To preview the special, Burnett appeared on The Situation Room. When asked by host Wolf Blitzer, "What's the biggest takeaway that you take yourself from this documentary?" Burnett responded, "Among our conclusions, Wolf, is that the administration was focused foremost on re-election. It's a painful truth, but it appears to be the case."
If that is one of Burnett's biggest takeaways from her special, it does not bode well for the factual accuracy of the upcoming report. The day following the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, President Obama addressed the nation in the Rose Garden where he referred to the attack as an "act of terror." Obama then referred to the attack as an "act of terror" twice on September 13, 2012, once in Colorado and once in Nevada.
Furthermore, on October 4, 2012, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton convened an Accountability Review Board "to examine the facts and circumstances of the attacks." Additionally, the FBI began its investigation in the first days following the attack.
Hardly the work of an administration "focused foremost on re-election."
Earlier in the day, CNN's John King previewed the special with a CNN.com piece that was also full of manufactured Benghazi controversies that have been debunked numerous times. King's piece included questions such as "Why, especially given the weeks of threat warnings, there was no viable military option to assist the State Department personnel at the Benghazi mission," and "the warnings didn't reach the point where the State Department either sent more security help or ordered the Benghazi mission closed."
King's question regarding the lack of military options to assist the Benghazi mission has been answered numerous times, but most recently by Marine Corps Colonel George Bristol who told a congressional panel in late July that the site security team in Tripoli was given initial freedom of action to respond to the attack.
Also, King's query into the supposed warnings of a potential attack on the mission has no basis in fact. In September 2012, the Republican Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Mike Rogers (R-MI), appeared on Fox & Friends and declared, "I have seen nothing yet that indicates that they had information that could have prevented the attack."
Additionally, as The New York Times reported in October, 2012, there were no warnings that the embassy in Benghazi was going to be targeted:
Interviews with American officials and an examination of State Department documents do not reveal the kind of smoking gun Republicans have suggested would emerge in the attack's aftermath such as a warning that the diplomatic compound would be targeted and that was overlooked by administration officials.
State Department officials have asserted that there was no specific intelligence that warned of a large-scale attack on the diplomatic compound in Benghazi, which they asserted was unprecedented. The department said it was careful to weigh security with diplomats' need to meet with Libyan officials and citizens.
"The lethality of an armed, massed attack by dozens of individuals is something greater than we've ever seen in Libya over the last period that we've been there," Patrick F. Kennedy, the State Department's under secretary for management, told reporters at a news conference on Oct. 10.
Burnett and King's inaccurate reporting isn't the only reason to doubt the veracity of the forthcoming CNN special. A "Benghazi attack timeline" posted on CNN's website in preparation for the event features multiple errors. CNN gets the name of the deputy chief of mission in Libya wrong (his name is Gregory Hicks, not Gregory Wallace, as CNN claims). The timeline also states that the final attack on the annex began at 4:00 a.m. local time; both the State Department's Accountability Review Board and the Pentagon say it began at 5:15 a.m.
For the second time in a week, Fox host Greta Van Susteren dedicated the full hour of her show, On The Record, to an interview with controversial radio host Rush Limbaugh. The hour long interview was little more than a platform for Limbaugh to ingratiate himself with the Fox audience while completely ignoring his recent controversies and the revelations of his current contractual problems with Cumulus radio.
On July 28, Politico reported that Cumulus Media, "the second-biggest broadcaster in the country," is on the verge of dropping Limbaugh from its 40 stations by the end of the year. The move comes after a year of advertisers fleeing his show following a multi-day attack on then-law student Sandra Fluke.
More recently Limbaugh was widely criticized for his remarks on race in the wake of the "not guilty" verdict in the murder trial of George Zimmerman.
On the July 16 edition of The Rush Limbaugh Show, Limbaugh claimed that he could say "Nigga' with an a" because "it's not racist." A week later Limbaugh declared "If any race of people should not have guilt about slavery, it's Caucasians." "It's time for all this white guilt to end," Limbaugh said.
Although Van Susteren asked Limbaugh for his thoughts on the trial, she failed to mention his recent inflammatory comments.
On the August 2 edition of her show, Van Susteren once again asked softball questions and offered Limbaugh a platform to attack President Obama, leftists, feminists, and the welfare state. The interview consisted of questions such as: "Why is there no enthusiasm to go after waste and fraud?", "Why do you do your job?", and "Twitter - what do you think of it?"
This was the fourth time a Limbaugh interview has aired on Fox News in the past month after only three interviews the previous three years.
Fox News' James Rosen claimed that Marine Corps Colonel George Bristol admitted to giving what "some will call" a stand down order to Lieutenant Colonel S.E. Gibson during the September 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. But both Bristol and Gibson have said that no "stand down" order was given.
Rosen appeared on the July 31 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor to discuss a briefing on Benghazi given to the House Armed Services Committee by Bristol, who commanded an Africa-based task force at the time of the Benghazi attack. Rosen claimed that Bristol acknowledged he had given Gibson, who commanded a small team of special forces troops in Tripoli, what "some will call ... a stand down order":
O'REILLY: Now there was a hearing today, the House Armed Services Committee. General George Bristol who was in charge, I guess, of the African forces that could have helped the four Americans, including the Ambassador to Libya killed in Benghazi, he testified. But I'm reading over the notes here Rosen, and I've only got thirty seconds, Bristol would not say who told him not to help them. Is that true?
ROSEN: Well, first of all this wasn't a hearing, it was a briefing, which was being kind to the guy. He wasn't put under oath, so he didn't really have to testify. But he led this task force in Northern and Western Africa, and he acknowledged that he was the guy, a Marine colonel, who had the conversation with an Army lieutenant colonel who was on the ground in Tripoli and who was ready to get a whole bunch of guys on an airplane and fly from Tripoli to Benghazi to try and rescue our guys, which is the distance from Richmond, Virginia to Chicago, Illinois. It's not a short trip. And Col. Bristol, who is retiring effectively tomorrow, did acknowledge that he told Lt. Col. Gibson "stay in Tripoli." Some will call that a stand down order, Bill.
O'REILLY: Is Bristol taking the rap? That he did it? That he wouldn't order anybody?
ROSEN: He's saying, in essence, "I told them stay in Tripoli in case our embassy there -- "
O'REILLY: Did he say if anybody ordered him to say that?
ROSEN: No. He said it was his decision.
Rosen's claim is at odds with statements by both Bristol and Gibson. The Hill reported that Bristol told the congressional panel that no "stand down" order was given. Furthermore, according to a press release issued by the House Armed Services Committee, Bristol told the committee he gave Gibson "initial freedom of action to make decisions in response to the unfolding situation in Benghazi."
The former commander of a four-member Army Special Forces unit in Tripoli, Libya, denied Wednesday that he was told to stand down during last year's deadly assault on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi.
In a closed-door session with the House Armed Services Committee, Lt. Col. S.E. Gibson said his commanders told him to remain in the capital of Tripoli to defend Americans in the event of additional attacks and to help survivors being evacuated from Benghazi.
"Contrary to news reports, Gibson was not ordered to 'stand down' by higher command authorities in response to his understandable desire to lead a group of three other special forces soldiers to Benghazi," the Republican-led committee said in a summary of its classified briefing with military officials, including Gibson.
Fox News host Martha MacCallum claimed that a "stand down" order was given the night of the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi - an order that prevented U.S. troops from saving the lives of Americans stationed there. MacCallum's claim ignores the reality that no "stand down" order was ever given.
In the months following the September 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate, Fox hosts accused the Obama administration of ordering troops to "stand down" and not respond immediately to the attack. Media Matters analysis shows that on at least 85 different occasions Fox mentioned this accusation during segments in prime time.
On the July 26 edition of Fox News' America's Newsroom, MacCallum said, "My mind goes back to the order to stand down, and how none of this may have happened if that order to stand down had not been given. And we still don't know who gave that order, so that remains a really serious question here as well."