Apparently tired of being wrong about current events, Jim Hoft has dredged up a video from the 2008 campaign to attack Obama for saying that his father served in World War II. Here's the shocking video that Hoft claims the "state-run media never followed up on":
This, like most other things, confused Hoft, who wrote:
His 'official father' was a 10 year old Kenyan at the end of WWII.
Who's he talking about?
While his father - or his 'official father,' as Hoft calls him -- did not serve in WW2, his grandfather (on his mother's side) served in Europe during the war. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess that's who Obama was "talking about." Though most people would chalk this up to a simple case of Obama misspeaking, conservative bloggers like Hoft thrive on asinine conspiracies, so they need to suggest this is some kind scandal.
Yesterday, Fox News legal analyst and Fox & Friends guest host Peter Johnson Jr. joined the conservative chorus claiming that opposition to the Islamic community center in downtown Manhattan does not constitute an attack on Muslims' freedom of religion.
Johnson Jr. stated that he didn't "think anyone is talking about" restricting "the free exercise and practice of religion," which he categorized as an "unassailable, black-letter, red-line rule in American constitutional history." As we pointed out, despite Johnson Jr.'s claim that opposition to the community center does not constitute an attack on freedom of religion, numerous mosque opponents have openly advocated for government intervention to stop construction of the center.
While this apparent attack on constitutional rights did not bother Johnson Jr., he did discover a troubling assault on our freedoms today. This morning, the Fox & Friends crew reported on posters for Will Ferrell's latest movie that, in accordance with the San Francisco MTA's policy of not depicting violence in advertisements, were altered to replace a gun with a can of mace. Johnson Jr. got to the real heart of the issue: whether this was a "backdoor" attack on the right to bear arms.
So, just to recap: according to Fox News' "legal analyst," preventing a religious group from building a place of worship is not at all an attack on the "free exercise and practice of religion." However, photoshopping a can of mace into Will Ferrell's hand on an advertisement may very well constitute a "backdoor attack on Americans' constitutional right to bear arms." Good to know.
On Friday, I noted how Glenn Beck has been increasingly employing overtly religious rhetoric to discuss the current political situation in the country. Beck clearly believes (or at least claims to) that he is fighting on behalf of God against the forces of Satan. Last week, Beck announced a new event on the eve of his 8-28 rally, humbly titled "Glenn Beck's Divine Destiny." The event, scheduled to take place at the Kennedy Center, will bring together people from "all faiths" and "help heal your soul."
Continuing his transition from demagogue to televangelist -- while simultaneously portraying himself as doing the direct work of God -- Beck announced on his website last night that there will be a daily morning prayer on his website, titled "Glenn Beck Morning Prayer."
Gathering for a morning prayer is certainly all well and good. However, the prayer quickly (and predictably) transforms into yet another way to inflate Glenn Beck's brand while suggesting that he is working on behalf of God.
After some technical difficulties and a few minutes of silence, Beck and conservative activist David Barton engage in some small talk. Barton then starts the prayer, during which he states that God "conceived," "planned," and "called" for Beck's 8-28 rally:
There are times when mocking NewsBusters' ongoing ineptitude feels almost gratuitous. They clearly have no clue what they're doing, and there's no real challenge in it. But if Fox News wants to keep hosting staff members from the Media Research Center to give lectures about journalism, then we'll keep pointing out that they are painfully incompetent.
Today, Tim Graham - the Director of Media Analysis at the Media Research Center - uncorked a stem-winder aimed at the supposedly "shameless" Jon Stewart for The Daily Show's (hilarious) segment last night railing on conservatives' ridiculous freak-out over the NYC mosque.
Setting aside Graham's heartfelt defense of GOP Lt. Gov Ron Ramsey's supposedly taken-out-of-context comment that "you could argue whether being a Muslim is actually a religion, or is it a nationality way of life, or cult or whatever you call it," he makes a fool of himself by trying to paint Stewart as a hypocrite. According to Graham, Stewart has no standing to attack conservatives over religious freedom because he works for Comedy Central, which censored South Park's attempted illustration of Mohammed:
Jon Stewart landed both his jokey feet on the Ground Zero Mosque controversy on The Daily Show Tuesday night. He mocked conservatives for having no respect for freedom of religion. This, from Comedy Central? The network that mocks Jesus and Christians relentlessly, but censors whenever the radical Muslims threaten them? Yes. Stewart was arguing for the "greatness" of Islam, that it should be accepted with great tolerance as a global religion - regardless of how much tolerance Islam demonstrates for freedom of religion.
But it is Stewart and the Comedy Central crowd that are the shameless hypocrites about religious liberty. If they really believed in free expression, they might dare to mock radical Muslims instead of cower before them.
If this were true, it would have been a great point. Unfortunately for Graham, after Comedy Central censored South Park's attempted portrayal of Mohammed, Stewart led off his show with a long segment addressing the controversy. And Graham could have read all about it on his own website, which praised Stewart for being "one of the few left-leaning media figures to note a glaring double standard: in popular culture, religions of all kind are regularly mocked but Islam mostly gets a free pass."
In an April 23 post, NewsBuster Lachlan Markay wrote about how Stewart "noted the blatant censorship his employer Comedy Central exercised," and added that his "extensive recap of all the religions has made fun of over the years was clearly a critique of Comedy Central's decision."
Take heed, Jon Stewart - you need to redouble your efforts. According to Tim Graham, you need to "mock radical Muslims instead of cower before them." Apparently singing a song to radical Muslims with a refrain of "go fuck yourselves" doesn't count.
As we've noted, NewsBusters is currently celebrating their 5th anniversary, and they are doing their best to start year six the way they spent the previous five: by embarrassing themselves and proving they are uniquely awful media critics.
Today, "Senior Contributor" Mark Finkelstein is upset with MSNBC's Willie Geist (which Finkelstein explains is "a first" for him) for taking issue with an ad an anti-mosque group is running on NYC buses that includes an image of one of the planes flying into the WorldTrade Center on 9-11. Finkelstein's complaint is that Geist said using the image of the plane is "always in bad taste."
Finkelstein then announced that the "ad was illuminating for another, chilling, reason," which I'll let him explain. Take it away, Mark:
Have a look at the screencap below showing the mosque's proposed design [note that the anti-mosque group wasn't misrepresenting the design. See mosque architect's rendering here]. Sure looks a lot like the WTC towers themselves, doesn't it? Hard to imagine that's a coincidence. A certain implicit triumphalism involved?
To save you the click, here's the artist's rendering that Finkelstein links to:
Shocking, right? Look at it just standing there, mocking us with its four sides and rectangular shape - almost like a building.
As a side note, the ad in question, aside from being "in bad taste," is extremely misleading. It repeats the falsehood that the mosque is scheduled to open 9/11/11. Also, Finkelstein's claim that the "anti-mosque group wasn't misrepresenting the design" is false, as the organization clearly added an imaginary star and crescent to the top of the building that isn't on the original artist's rendering.
These are all superfluous details to Finkelstein, though -- he's busy uncovering the "certain implicit triumphalism" in shaping the mosque like a building.
Earlier today, we pointed out that Andrew Breitbart's Big Government published posts from Dr. Kevin Pezzi smearing Shirley Sherrod as a racist.
Pezzi is rather overtly racist, and has repeatedly used racial epithets like "Japs" and "Chinks," and claimed Native and African Americans should have been grateful for their subjugation by whites. Additionally, Pezzi is a doctor/"sex expert"/author/inventor/huckster, who, among other things, says he has "beaten Bill Gates" on a math aptitude test, is "bigger than some porno stars," and stumbled upon a cure for cancer. Pezzi has also apparently created a series of at least six fake MySpace profiles of women claiming to be big fans of his sex books.
In response to our posts, Big Government has now disappeared Pezzi's articles. If you attempt to visit the pages for his posts and bio, you are greeted with an error. While Big Government has disappeared Pezzi from their website, they posted the following "Editorial Note" from "Publius," which doesn't mention Pezzi by name:
Earlier this week, we read an on-line column which provided one of the most thorough and well-researched examinations of the many controversies surrounding former USDA employee Shirley Sherrod. We asked the author of the column for permission to reprint his article. Since publishing the articles, we have been made aware of other writings from this author which do not reflect the principles and values of this site. Because of this, we have removed the articles from Big Government. While we stand by the information contained in the articles we published, we do not wish to see the underlying issue confused or diminished by other work the author has done. We regret the error.
So, let me get this straight: After Breitbart and his "Big" websites became the focus of well-deserved criticism and national ridicule for posting a misleadingly edited video and smearing Shirley Sherrod as a racist, their defense was that Breitbart merely posted the video he was given, and he didn't bother doing any extra research. (Breitbart later conceded that the video was out of context and that he "should have waited for the full video.")
Yet in the wake of this embarrassment, Big Government sought out posts from a guy smearing Sherrod as a racist without doing any research into his background. Notice a pattern here? Breitbart and co. are so eager to cover their tracks and somehow "prove" that Sherrod is a racist that they have long-since abandoned any pretense of responsible behavior.
Big Government would not have had to do anything more than read the bio he posted on their website to realize something was amiss. Among other claims, Pezzi claimed that he was "making a robotic chef."
In two posts on Andrew Breitbart's BigGovernment website, Dr. Kevin Pezzi smears Shirley Sherrod as a racist, claiming that "if someone deserves to be put on a pedestal for overcoming racism, it isn't Sherrod." The racism criticism is ironic coming from Pezzi, who has repeatedly used racial epithets like "Japs" and "Chinks," and claimed Native and African Americans should have been grateful for their subjugation by whites.
Pezzi, who says that "Breitbart asked me to write for BigGovernment.com," has a peculiar self-described history. Pezzi claims to be responsible for "over 850 inventions" and schemes such as a "magic bullet" for cancer, a "robotic chef," and sexual inventions like "penile enlargement techniques" and "ways to tighten the vagina" (because "men like women with tight vaginas"). Pezzi has started multiple websites, from term paper helpers to a sexual help site that answers "your questions about sexual attraction, pleasure, performance, and libido" (Pezzi is qualified to do so because "No doctor in the world knows more about sexual pleasure than I do").
Pezzi also claims to have "beaten Bill Gates" on a math aptitude test, turned down a blind date with Katie Couric, and says he's "bigger than some porno stars."
Earlier today, I pointed out that conservative media figures have recently been ramping up discussion of possible civil war and armed revolt. Conservative blogger Bob "Confederate Yankee" Owens, who was recently hired by the Washington Examiner, stated that nations that have supposedly collapsed as far as ours have the need to either "reform or replace their governments," and "reform increasingly seems to be a fleeting option." Perhaps to prove my point, Owens now says Media Matters should "feel threatened" by him, and even suggests that violence will be necessary.
In a new post titled "Closer to Midnight", Owens responds to my earlier post by writing: "They portray it as a threat when 'Conservative media figures openly discuss armed revolution.' I hope they do feel threatened." He adds that our "feigned ignorance" and "mockery" in the face of "peaceable protests" means that "perhaps it will take a serious review of our capacity for violence to get them to realize we shall not surrender our individual liberties to their lust for power."
We have moved "closer to midnight" not because of any singular act , but because of inertia of a political class that does not respect or enforce the laws, or this nation's sovereignty. We have diametrically opposed views of how our nation can and should be run, and it appears that there is very little room left for negotiation.
Propagandists for the elitists at Media Matters seem troubled by A Nation on the Edge of Revolt. They portray it as a threat when "Conservative media figures openly discuss armed revolution."
I hope they do feel threatened. Attempts at peaceable protests have been met at turns by feigned ignorance, then mockery, then attacks on the character and motives of those would not sit quietly by. Perhaps it will take a serious review of our capacity for violence to get them to realize we shall not surrender our individual liberties to their lust for power.
I have not yet been swayed to the point of view that an armed conflict is inevitable, TN_NamVolunteer. But we are close enough that one would be wise to prepare for a possible conflict, just as one would prepare for any coming storm.
I wonder what the Washington Examiner's policy is for employees who openly speculate on the need for politically motivated violence.
Back in April, responding to Bill Clinton's comments that media figures should be careful not to advocate violence, the Washington Examiner's Byron York said that only the "fringes" of the tea party movement are "people who talk about revolution." In order to make this blanket statement, York conveniently ignored Sarah Palin telling the Tea Party convention that "America is ready for another revolution and you are a part of this" and Glenn Beck asserting that "the second American revolution is being played out right now."
Since then, conservative media figures upset with the Obama administration over health care reform, possible immigration reform, and other legislative items they disagree with have apparently become more comfortable with talk of revolt, openly discussing potential "civil war" or a "Second American Revolution."
Glenn Beck has only amped up his rhetoric, insinuating that the administration is intentionally trying to destroy the country and push us towards "civil war," and has even stated outright that he thinks "we're headed for a civil war."
This week, conservative media figures are seizing on an Investor's Business Daily editorial from the weekend that asked in its headline if "Washington's Failures" will "Lead To Second American Revolution." Limbaugh labeled the editorial "amazing" yesterday, adding: "I would not call it a revolution; I'd call it a restoration."
Conservative blogger Bob "Confederate Yankee" Owens -- who was recently hired by the Washington Examiner -- also weighed in on the IBD editorial. In a post titled "A Nation on the Edge of Revolt," Owens discusses how our current Congress has "won in a bloodless coup" and that nations collapse at this point unless "people reform or replace their governments." Owens adds that "reform increasingly seems to be a fleeting option."
While Owens states early in his post that he is not making these statements as "hyperbole," or to "incite violence," he later discusses how "revolution is a brutish nasty business," in which "innocents will fall along with patriots and the corrupt":
Newsweek's Daniel Stone just posted a very interesting interview with Andrew Breitbart. While the entire thing is well-worth reading, this question and response is particularly notable:
Stone: But do you agree that the edited video took things out of context?
Well, yes. But I put up what I had. It granted a great portion of her redemptive tale, but not all of it. If I could do it all over again, I should have waited for the full video to get to me.
It's interesting that Breitbart not only doesn't object to Stone's characterization of the video as "edited," but also agrees that it "took things out of context." Breitbart's "Big Journalism" website has been using its ridiculous "correction Alpaca" to demand corrections from outlets - including Media Matters - that correctly referred to the video as "edited."
I guess Retracto needs to turn on his owner now.
Second, "I put up what I had" is an absurd defense. Telling people that you were sent a tape, but didn't bother to fact check it before using it to smear someone as a "racist" does not absolve you of wrongdoing. If Media Matters ran a completely misleading story, but our defense was that someone sent us an inaccurate tip, we would be (justly) pilloried.