On his syndicated radio show last night, conservative talker Hugh Hewitt asked listeners to forgo marches between now and November, imploring them instead to donate that money to "candidates who support the right things." Hewitt said: "I know some of you are planning on going to marches between now and then. I sure wouldn't spend a dollar on going to a march. I really wouldn't. That's money. That's real, cash money that could be given to a candidate." Hewitt listed various Republican candidates to give money to including Texas Gov. Rick Perry, "a great governor," and Jane Norton of Colorado, whom he has especially endorsed.
But the most important conservative rally all year is Glenn Beck's upcoming "historic" Restoring Honor Rally on August 28 -- well, at least from Beck's perspective. For the past few months, we've been treated to the relentless refrain that this march -- this "turning point" in American history, rather -- "will be remembered as the moment America turned the corner." This is not just a "rally," you see; this is going to be "an iconic event" that will "reclaim the civil rights movement." Keep the rally "in your prayers," he has even asked.
Fox hosts are falsely claiming that a provision in the financial reform legislation gives a "complete pass" to the Securities and Exchange Commission from complying with the Freedom of Information Act. In fact, the provision reportedly only protects proprietary information gathered from regulated firms during the course of examinations or investigations, which mirrors exemptions that exist for bank regulators.
In his latest Washington Times op-ed titled, "Wanted: Grown-up governance," Robert Knight of Coral Ridge Ministries sought to paint the current administration as "a gang of perpetual adolescents," adding that brain research "has shown that adolescents ... haven't developed the part of the mind that governs risk aversion." He went on to berate the Obama administration for its fiscal policies and accused "the Washington gang" of "yearn[ing] to surrender American sovereignty to the United Nations and international legal elites."
That inanity aside, Knight went on to unleash a torrent of misinformation -- not the first time he's done so.
In the name of love and peace, our nation's adolescent leaders are ignoring the constitutional mandate to secure our border. Instead, Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.'s Justice Department is suing Arizona for acting like a state run by grown-ups and enforcing federal immigration law. At the same time, Justice is blessing "sanctuary cities" that explicitly vow to ignore the law. Right on, dudes! Mr. Holder also dropped charges against members of the New Black Panther Party who were videotaped intimidating Philadelphia voters in 2008. Wow, look at those cool fatigues and baton!
Many of these power-wielding adolescents in government and the media apparently are unfamiliar with our Constitution. This is by design. When Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan was dean of Harvard's Law School, constitutional law was dropped from the list of mandatory courses, while international law was added.
Some basic facts: The Holder Justice Department is not suing the state of Arizona for "enforcing federal immigration law"; DOJ believes the Arizona immigration law is unconstitutional -- and numerous experts agree -- and its lawsuit is centered on the fact that immigration policy is "strictly" the purview of the federal government. Further, the Arizona law does not simply "enforc[e] federal immigration law" -- the state law is a dramatic departure from federal policies.
Knight's claim that the attorney general "dropped charges" against members of the New Black Panther Party also has been thoroughly debunked. Fact: The Bush Justice Department made the decision not to pursue criminal charges in the case, and in May 2009, the Obama DOJ "sought and obtained" the "maximum penalty" against one of the New Black Panthers accused of carrying a baton outside the polling station.
Knight's claim that as dean of Harvard Law, Kagan "dropped" constitutional law from its list of "mandatory classes" in favor of international law is false as well. The facts: Prior to Kagan's tenure, constitutional law at Harvard was not a requirement for first-year law students. Furthermore, Kagan did not drop con-law, but added "new first-year courses in international and comparative law, legislation and regulation, and complex problem solving," which were unanimously approved.
To grown-ups, facts do matter.
As readers of the Atlas Shrugs website can attest, Pam Geller is far from a moderate voice on anything regarding Islam. So it was a bit surprising to see her on NBC, of all places, talking about the proposed mosque to be built just a few hundred feet from Ground Zero in Manhattan.
Geller, who never misses the chance to malign Islam, Muslims, or President Obama, said during the report: "Why should there be a mosque in there? On the top floor, looking down at Ground Zero?" Under her name, NBC featured the text: "Stop Islamization of America." Geller then added: "It's offensive to people."
What is truly offensive is Geller -- who has accused Obama of speaking "like an ... anti-Semitic Muslim terrorist" and claimed that he "wants Jihad to win" -- being given a platform to voice an opinion on this issue. Geller has traded in the sort of "offensive" -- read hateful -- commentary about Muslims and the religion of Islam that should get her banned from appearing on any network.
The NBC report rightly pointed out that this proposed mosque, the Cordoba House, is supposed to be a monument to religious tolerance and anti-extremism. Then why did NBC feature hatemonger Geller as a credible source to voice opposition to it?
I mean, this is the same person who, in a post titled "Forecast: Blood On The Streets," has said Obama "is itching for a civil war. And at the rate he is going, he is going to get one," and doctored an image of Supreme Court nomine Elena Kagan to look like she was wearing a Nazi uniform. Kagan is Jewish.
In May, Geller appeared on Fox News' Fox & Friends to discuss the mosque, saying she was leading an effort against the project. She went on to say that "there's no tolerance there" and wondered: "I don't know why they'd want to stab Americans in the eye with that."
This morning, Media Research Center president Brent Bozell appeared on Fox News' Fox & Friends to talk about new CMS head Donald Berwick and, even without listening to the segment, one can pretty much guess what he said. Though Bozell took pains to stress that his statements were "not right-wing talking," he nevertheless went ahead and parroted the right-wing line that Berwick is "a proud socialist," adding, "Karl Marx would be proud of this man."
Beginning around 10 a.m., Bozell passed the baton onto his NewsBusters site, where writers put up a slew of posts trying to hammer home the point that Berwick has "pro-socialized medicine views," is "controversial" because he has "promised" that the "decision is not whether or not we will ration care, the decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open," and has "insisted that health-care systems must redistribute wealth." Yep, I'm pretty sure that covers your run-of-the-mill "right-wing talking" points, no matter what Bozell claims.
Well, let's review those claims, which, incidentally, Glenn Beck has pushed for the last couple of days. As we pointed out when Beck accused Berwick of being a "blatant socialist" because of his "redistribute wealth" comments, health programs like Medicare and Medicaid -- which Berwick will oversee -- actually are explicitly redistributional (and incredibly popular); they redistribute wealth from those who can afford health care to those who can't. Even Fox News' Laura Ingraham has acknowledged that Berwick's comments are "right." So there is no reason to make out that there is something unusual about what Berwick has said.
Conservative media figures have also used Berwick's call to "ration with our eyes open" to attack him, with NewsBusters touting Fox News' Jim Angle's flawed reporting on the matter. In his report, Angle claimed that Berwick "laments the amount of money spent on people in their final weeks of life" and quoted his "eyes open" statement. But Angle cropped out the portion of the statement in which Berwick noted that rationing is already occurring. Indeed, the insurance industry has readily admitted to using cost-benefit analyses in coverage decisions.
Rush Limbaugh attacked the Center for Science in the Public Interest as a "wacko bunch of leftist kooks" who "want to ban Chinese food." In fact, CSPI, which advocates for nutrition, health, and food safety, has lauded Chinese restaurants and labeled most Chinese dishes "healthy."
John Fund continues to promote an outdated lawsuit connected to the Bush-era politicization of the Justice Department to smear the Obama Justice Department as hostile to enforcing voting laws, which he called "outrageous" and "suspiciously like the Black Panther case." But the Justice Department moved to dismiss the case due to outdated evidence.
In recent weeks, conservative media have been consumed by "Obama Derangement Syndrome," accusing President Obama of being insane, of colluding with Russian spies, of trying to create a civil war and implement one world government, among other things, while also claiming that his administration is trying to control everything under the sun, including the Internet and, inexplicably, your toilet.
Conservative media figures have distorted comments President Obama made during Senate hearings in 2007 to accuse him of "chastising" and "excoriating" Gen. David Petraeus, who he recently tapped as the top commander in Afghanistan. In fact, during the hearing, Obama specifically said his criticism was directed at former President Bush, not Petraeus.
This morning, we noted ABC World News' apparently faulty reporting on how Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is lambasting the federal government for ordering 16 barges to stop vacuuming crude oil off his state's coast. As we wrote, the report ABC aired on the June 17 edition of World News left viewers with the impression that the clueless Coast Guard had ordered the barges temporarily grounded for no reason at all, giving weight to Jindal's assertions and reinforcing claims that the federal government has been botching this operation from Day 1. In its online report, however, ABCNews.com included this little nugget:
[T]he Coast Guard ordered the stoppage because of reasons that Jindal found frustrating. The Coast Guard needed to confirm that there were fire extinguishers and life vests on board, and then it had trouble contacting the people who built the barges.
Today, the Daily Caller's Jonathan Strong further reported:
Sixteen crude-sucking barges are back in the Gulf of Mexico working to clean up oil, but the Coast Guard is defending its decision to ground the vessels because it couldn't verify whether there were fire extinguishers and life vests on board.
"The Coast Guard is not going to compromise safety ... that's our No. 1 priority," Coast Guard spokesman Robert Brassel told The Daily Caller.
Brassel said the barges are now "back in operating order."
On Thursday night, the Incident Commander in Houma, Roger Laferriere, decided with the captain of the port in New Orleans to inspect the barges when they realized the ships did not have a certificate of inspection to demonstrate safety equipment on board. Thursday morning, the ships were inspected and grounded because they did not have the proper fire-fighting and life-saving equipment. There were also concerns about the stability of the barges. During the day Thursday, the problems were fixed, and the barges are back out on the water today.
So let me see if I've got this straight: The Coast Guard says that while they were just as concerned with the urgency of the situation as any entity out there on the water, they didn't want to take a gamble on workers' safety and demanded that proper procedures be taken to ensure against the very real possibility of another Gulf catastrophe -- barges catching on fire.
But thanks to ABC's apparently flawed reporting, conservatives are outraged that this is just another show of red tape from the government.
Heckuva job, ABC.