Last time I checked in with American "Thinker," they were quoting an imaginary person talking about huge crowd turnouts at the 9-12 protests. Based on this latest story, their standards haven't improved.
Yesterday, Cat Corben published an investigative report speculating that the President lied about attending his daughter's soccer game this past weekend. No, really:
Something is most definitely wrong. The President of the United States venturing out to a soccer game that didn't exist in a high-crime area may have been lying about attending his daughter's soccer game last weekend.
Indeed, something is "most definitely wrong" here: Cat Corben.
Ever since news reports surfaced a few weeks ago that tea partiers hurled racial slurs at Democratic members of Congress as they made their way through the tea party crowds on the Capitol before the big health care vote, Andrew Breitbart and several prominent conservatives have engaged in a concerted effort to prove that civil rights hero John Lewis and the other representatives are "liars."
Some lowlights from this effort include Breitbart claiming that Lewis was "squandering" his status as his civil rights icon by "lying;" Breitbart calling the Congressional Black Caucus "despicable;" Breitbart asserting that he doesn't care what Lewis "did 40 years ago, he's trying to rip this country apart;" and Breitbart saying that the CBC went "searching for....racism" by walking through the crowd. See, even if someone yelled the n-word at them, it's their fault because they were asking for it. Or something.
Throughout this effort, countless conservative blogs have posted a short video clip of the members of the CBC walking through the crowd as "proof" that Lewis and co are "lying." Like clockwork, Breitbart and conservative bloggers encounter their usual problem here: reality disagrees with what they are yelling about.
Proving yet again that the editorial standard at Fox Nation appears to be, "Does this story reflect poorly on Obama? Print it!" they are now featuring the following "report" on their homepage:
The ridiculously sketchy "report" in question is from the European Union Times. Never heard of them? I hadn't either, but as Roy Edroso explains at The Village Voice:
Also, the EU Times is itself crazy. They reported in November of last year that "Obama Orders 1 Million US Troops to Prepare for Civil War." And some of their stories might be described as anti-Semitic ("China finally Learns the Truth about the Jews"). The Southern Poverty Law Center reported that the EU Times site "is registered to the wife of a racist skinhead gang member who was involved in a bizarre stabbing incident last month."
To give you some idea of the quality of news site we are dealing with here, I had to remove the links to the EU Times stories from Edroso's article because their website is infested with Spyware.
His reporting on the anti-semitic article checks out, though. Last year, EU Times reprinted a story by Ynetnews that was headlined "Anti-Semitism makes it to China?" and discussed a "bestselling book in China" that blames Jewish people for the global financial crisis. EU Times changed (spyware-free Google Cache version) that headline to "China finally Learns the Truth about the Jews." They also added this lovely image:
Considering Fox News regularly smears anyone who suggests the tea party movement is steeped in extremism, their article titled "Tea Party Rallies Remain a Cauldron for Conspiracy Theories" is both important and entirely out of character. And of course, being Fox News, it does a lot of whitewashing to separate "Tea Party leaders" from the "mistruths, exaggerations and conspiracy theories" while completely ignoring Fox's own role in pushing them.
Let's start with a question: Why is Fox News calling tea partiers Nazis? Accompanying the article is this picture:
Discussing the video clip of Michelle Obama referring to Kenya as Barack's "home country" that has been circulating the usual birther hotspots, Beck got to the bottom of the story:
Got all that? Beck "believe[s]," but he "could be wrong on this," that the tape has been released by "operatives on the left" who want to "stir the pot" on the birther issue. As usual, Beck didn't bother providing any evidence. Luckily for these "operatives on the left," they have some powerful allies embedded within the conservative movement helping them "stir the pot."
As I pointed out yesterday, Fox Nation, the website run by Glenn Beck's employer, posted this video with no context whatsoever. Providing no explanation for who exactly was "up in arms," they posted the video under the headline, "Birthers Up in Arms Over First Lady 'Home Country' Video." As of this writing, the video is still on their home page. Showing how effective Fox Nation has been at helping the liberal operatives stir the pot, the comments section has since devolved into a cesspool of the usual birther lunacy.
During the clip, Beck begged people to "run away" from the birther issue. He should probably circulate that memo around the building.
Today on his Fox News show, Neil Cavuto kicked off a segment by asking his viewers if they have seen a recent rash of anti-Obama billboards in Atlanta. Cavuto pointed out that the group behind the billboards is "trying to raise money to take them nationwide" - which is where Fox News comes in.
During the segment, Cavuto hosted Tommy Newberry, spokesman for Billboards Against Obama, to discuss how he and his partners would, in Newberry's words, use "their free market skills to help slow the slide into socialism."
Throughout the segment, Fox repeatedly flashed the URL of Newberry's website and displayed several examples of the anti-Obama billboards. As Cavuto helpfully explained, "[p]eople get to the site and they can make a donation. Because some of these billboards, they don't come cheap."
If you visit Newberry's website, you are greeted with several examples of anti-Obama billboards -- which you may recognize from the Cavuto segment -- a paypal link for donations, and this introductory text:
Do you love freedom? Do you love independence? Do you value the opportunity in the United States to work hard, take risks, and succeed? If the current administration completes the process they are racing to achieve, all of this will be gone! To stop the madness, we must speak out now. BILLBOARDS AGAINST OBAMA is a practical and effective way to join the battle, be seen, be heard, before it's too late!Isn't it ironic...letting capitalism fight socialism!
Newberry mentioned that their campaign has been more successful than they could have hoped so far, but "in the last three days" they have been getting almost a donation a minute. One possible explanation for the uptick in attention? Fox Nation promoted the anti-Obama billboards last week.
And in a nice bit of "we're not even trying to be a news organization any more" synergy, Cavuto seamlessly transitioned from promoting the anti-Obama billboards into hyping his upcoming Tax Day Tea Party:
As we documented, last week marked the one year anniversary for the Fox Nation. In stark contrast to the advertised promise of a non-"biased" outlet, Fox Nation's year was marked by a deluge of misinformation, conspiracy theories, political activism, and irresponsible rhetoric.
It looks like Fox Nation is starting year two by picking up where they left off. Visitors to the Fox Nation today are greeted with this:
The headline and image link to a page with this YouTube video embedded:
First and foremost, the point of the video -- which is from 2008 -- is absurd. The suggestion seems to be that the First Lady accidentally let slip that her husband was born in Kenya by referring to it as his "home country." It's depressing to have to explain this, but the president's ancestors on his father's side hail from Kenya, so referring to it as his "home country" is not exactly a startling admission.
More importantly, Fox Nation includes no context whatsoever for the video. Typically, when they want to promote something disreputable like birtherism, they'll link to someone else making an incendiary accusation or throw an exculpatory question mark at the end of the headline. But in this instance, Fox Nation informs their readers that birthers are "up in arms" over this video, but includes no evidence to support that claim. Who are these "birthers" that are "up in arms?" People that are emailing Fox Nation? There's been some chatter about the video on Free Republic. Is that now the threshold for a news story on Fox Nation?
Perhaps Fox Nation meant the birther who posted the video in the first place. Here's an excerpts from that person's profile on YouTube:
Barack Hussein Obama is an un-documented illegal alien. Regardless of his birth location, admitted having a foreign national as his father, disqualifies him from being a 'Natural Born Citizen' as required by the United States Constitution.
Nice company you are keeping, Fox Nation.
Of course, this isn't the first time Fox Nation has pushed the debunked birther conspiracy. Last May, in one of their "we're just wondering" questions, Fox Nation posted a headline at the top of their website asking, "Should Obama Release Birth Certificate? Or Is This Old News?" It was old news.
In July, Fox Nation posted a birther story with the subtle-as-a-jackhammer image of Obama in Somali clothes...twice.
In pushing the new video, Fox Nation once again joins with the birthers, a group of people Glenn Beck and his radio crew have called "stupid" and "morons" that sound like "flat earthers."
Last month, I pointed out an instance where RedState contributor "Hogan" essentially called RedState Editor and CNN Contributor Erick Erickson a "freaking idiot." Today, RedState continues the self-flagellation by hosting an article that essentially calls RedState out for "blatant misinformation."
Quick background: For the past few months, conservatives have been engaged in an ongoing campaign to demonize the census as an evil liberal plot. For example, here's Glenn Beck on March 9:
BECK: At least in 1790, they were doing it to slow the South down on slavery. To try to stop it as much as they can. Today they are asking the race question to try to increase slavery. Your dependence on the master in Washington. No way, don't answer that question.
Beck certainly wasn't alone in demonizing the census. Fox Nation fear mongered about census workers being "Obama's Army." On Fox News, Michelle Malkin called the census "indoctrination," "Alinskyite," and a "way to ensure a permanent [Dem] ruling majority."
Throughout all of this, conservatives were trying to thwart the census from gathering race data needed to enforce federal laws. This took the form of a childish campaign to fill in the "race" question on the census as "Amercan." For example, here's Moe Lane writing at RedState, in a post titled "I Am An American," subtitled "Pass it on":
With regard to the Census, that is. Particularly with regard to the Census.
So is Gabriel Major.
So is Scott Johnson.
So is Mark Krikorian:
So remember: Question 9 -- "Some other race" -- "American". Pass it on.
Indeed. Unfortunately for irresponsible conservative media figures -- and, some might say, "everyone" -- a large number of people take what they say seriously. Their campaign of fear and misinformation about the census has had some unintended consequences. Here's a Houston Chronicle article from March 27:
Texas is counting on the 2010 Census to deliver four new congressional districts, four new Electoral College votes in presidential elections, and millions of dollars in additional federal aid. But, as some elected officials are starting to worry, Uncle Sam can't deliver anything to the rapidly growing Sun Belt state unless Texas residents deliver their forms back to the government.
As of Friday afternoon, only 27 percent of Texas households had filled in and returned their census forms -- well below the national average of 34 percent -- according to computer data from the U.S. Census Bureau. In Harris County, the response rate is 23 percent. Houston's returns are running at 21 percent.
Contrary to historical trends, some of the toughest challenges facing the agency responsible for measuring the nation's population are not from counting the traditionally undercounted groups such as African-Americans and Latinos. Instead, a new and growing threat to an accurate national head count is coming from anti-government conservatives who may not fill out their forms to protest against "Big Brother" in Washington.
So, what now? Well RedState, a mere three weeks after encouraging their readers to not accurately fill out the census and to "pass it on," is hosting a piece from Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) titled "Returning the Census is Our Constitutional Duty." From the post:
No, what worries me is blatant misinformation coming from otherwise well-meaning conservatives. They are trying to do the right thing, but instead they are helping big government liberals by discouraging fellow conservatives from filling out their census forms.
Anyone who tells you that this year's census is unconstitutional and that you are not required to fill out the form completely is flat out wrong. They argue that because this year's census asks for more than a simple count of how many people live in your home, it is unconstitutional and therefore should not be completely filled out. That argument doesn't stand up to either history or the Constitution's text.
Good to know.
This entire episode is reminiscent of Rep. Michele Bachmann's (R-MN) crusade against the census. As documented by TPM back in January, Bachmann joined Glenn Beck in demonizing the census last year, claiming that she would refuse to fill it out. Surely by coincidence, once it came to light that incomplete census data could result in Minnesota losing Bachmann's seat, she dropped her opposition.
Hey, what's a little "slavery" if we can get some more congressional seats?
As we've established, conservative blogger Pam Geller's hatred of President Obama and Democrats is pathological.
Today she's managed to do something I didn't think possible: Make me read one of her posts and proclaim, "Wow, that's ridiculous - even by her standards!"
Let's start with the headline, which encapsulates the premise. Geller's latest investigative piece is titled "Flying The Gangsta Colors At The White House: SEIU, The Color Purple." Surely this will be a well-reasoned argument.
Yes, it seems this can no longer be written off as pure coincidence. The color purple is the fighting color of this administration. It is painfully clear who and what is running the show. Historically the color purple has signified royalty which, ironically, is exactly how the power mad pres thinks of himself. But this is SEIU, all the way. The Chicago way.
Her first piece of evidence? A picture of President Obama signing the health care bill, wearing what she describes as a "purple" tie. Big problem here: Judging from video of the event, and various other photos of the bill-signing, Obama appears to be wearing a blue tie.
Last night on his show, Glenn Beck took a quick break from his over-the-top ranting to deliver a heartfelt message to President Obama:
Barack Obama said he wouldn't use the fear of politics [sic] like George W. Bush did. America, I have to tell you, this man has violated every single campaign promise he has made - except those to the labor unions.
This is a big one, because that's exactly what he's doing now. He is breaking the one that really, America, really wanted to stop. Just do anything for politics: that's the change we wanted. And here he is, using the politics of fear, to rally his base.
See, President Obama has broken his promise that he wouldn't use the politics of fear. And that just breaks Glenn Beck's heart, because he hates the politics of fear so much. Right.
Let's rewind the clock a few days, and take you through just one week of Beck's non-stop fear mongering.