The right-wing media have reacted to President Obama's speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) by complaining either he "flip-flop[ped]" or "double[d] down" on his previous comments or both. However, in his speech to AIPAC, Obama simply reiterated his earlier call that negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians should be "based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps."
Right-wing media unleashed a crazed onslaught after President Obama's speech on the Middle East, outrageously asserting that Obama "sided with terrorists" by saying that the 1967 borders should guide negotiations over the formation of a Palestinian state. But this position is nothing new, and American Jewish groups praised today's speech.
Conservative media figures have criticized President Obama's upcoming visit to Ground Zero after the killing of Osama bin Laden as a "political victory lap." Glenn Beck called the planned trip "disgusting," "obscene," and "grotesque."
In the latest desperate attempt to criticize President Obama in the wake of Osama bin Laden's death, right-wing media are hyping a U.K. Daily Mail article to attack Obama for taking 16 hours to consider his decision regarding the assault on bin Laden--which reportedly had several potentially harmful consequences--by calling Obama "feckless" and "our sleepy president."
The gall of this right-wing media is literally quite astounding at times.
Following weeks of intense racially charged attacks on President Obama and their nonstop promotion of the birther myth, conservative media are today incensed at what Donald Trump had to endure at Saturday's White House Correspondents' Dinner. They complain that "Trump didn't get to respond" to the "attack[s]" by the "two antagonists" -- presumably, President Obama and SNL's Seth Meyers.
Jim Hoft's Gateway Pundit blog blared: "Boorish Obama Attacks Trump Repeatedly at Media Dinner While He Is Sitting in the Room." The post that followed read:
It was beat up on Trump night...
It took Obama about 10 seconds before he attacked Donald Trump at the White House Correspondents' Dinner Saturday night. Of course, Donald Trump was sitting in the room and did not have an opportunity to respond.
How sad... He also attacked FOX News.
Allahpundit at HotAir.com congratulated Trump for showing up at all "knowing what was in store." He continued:
[B]ut to his credit, he turned out and took his lumps -- stone-faced, as the crowd around him roared. It was kind of him to provide a designated target for the evening: The days of comics speaking hijinks-y truth to power by ripping on the president to his face a la Colbert and Bush ended abruptly in January 2009, of course.
Allahpundit went on to criticize Meyers' "nasty shot at O's opponents."
Ace at the Ace of Spades blog wrote:
I thought, dumbly I guess, that Trump would actually get to go to the dais and speak. Wouldn't that make it more interesting? You know the guy is going to get ripped; wouldn't it be more interesting to let him give the "rebuttal" as they do in a roast?
I'm not even talking about fairness -- I'm talking about entertainment value, which this yearly paean to Obama's aweomeness could surely use.
So you have two antagonists here and you could have a bit of a show but no, of course you set it up so it's Obama goofing on Trump, and then Seth Meyers goofing on Trump, and the liberal audience galing in (somewhat forced, I-agree-with-you-so-I'm-laughing laughter at Trump, and Trump just sitting there.
Trump didn't get to respond until a phone call on Fox & Friends.
Not sure why Trump went under those circumstances.
Since Glenn Beck announced he would be ending his daily show with Fox News, conservative bloggers have reacted with a mixture of sorrow, skepticism, and, of course, conspiracy theories about why his show is ending.
This month, right-wing media figures are arguing that President Obama should be impeached for actions he has taken with respect to Libya. Undermining the possibility that they really care about the constitutional issues involved, this argument is just the latest in the right-wing media's neverending quest to see Obama impeached.
In a characteristic bout of classlessness, the right-wing blog Ace of Spades wrote a horrible little post about a new column by Daily Beast columnist Meghan McCain. From Ace's March 14 post, headlined "Meghan McCain Attempts Humor With About As Much Success As You'd Guess" (emphasis added):
Less ha-ha and more ta-ta. Stick to what you're enhanced at.
As (I think) the late lamented Greg Giraldo said, Meghan McCain is to comedy what Einstein was to comedy.
Incidentally, she goes after Sarah Palin as if the poor woman were a pork chop sauteed in Haagen-Dasz [sic] and Axe body spray.
This seems to be the go-to topic for un-bright women posing dishonestly as conservatives.
Keep trying, Meghan! Hopefully you'll find something you're good at some day!
This isn't the first time someone on the right has used cheap sexist attacks against McCain. Media Matters has documented several instances of right-wing bloggers belittling her because of her body, including referring to her as "Meggie 'Big Mac' McCain" and a "self-indulgent set of mega-breasts." The attacks also haven't been limited to conservative men. Guest-hosting The O'Reilly Factor in March 2009, Laura Ingraham showcased a supposedly satirical segment from her radio show where she called McCain a "plus-sized model."
Conservative media have compared the federal budget deficit for the month of February to that of fiscal year 2007 in order to dishonestly attack President Obama for the rising national debt. However, critics are comparing current deficits to the year before the recession with record federal revenue, and experts agree that Bush policies are largely to blame for the growing deficit.
Today, Congressional Budget Office director Douglas Elmendorf sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) estimating that the bill to repeal the health care reform "would cause a net increase in federal budget deficits of $210 billion over the 2012-2021 period." You might think this might stop people from claiming that health care reform repeal is fiscally responsible. But that doesn't account for the dishonesty of the right-wing blogosphere.
Several headlines on conservative blogs are shouting some variant of: "CBO Says Repealing ObamaCare Would SAVE 1.4 TRILLION DOLLARS Over 10 Years"
Where are they getting this? Well, the blogs quote this passage from Elmendorf's letter outlining some of the effects of H.R. 2, the health care reform repeal bill:
The enacted legislation contained a set of provisions designed to expand health insurance coverage that was estimated to increase federal deficits. The costs of those coverage expansions--which include the cost of the subsidies to be provided through the exchanges, increased outlays for Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and tax credits for certain small employers--will be partially offset by revenues from the excise tax on high-premium insurance plans and net savings from other coverage-related effects. By repealing those coverage provisions of PPACA and the Reconciliation Act, over the 2012-2021 period H.R. 2 would yield gross savings of $1,390 billion and net savings (after accounting for the offsets just mentioned) of $1,042 billion. [emphasis added by NRO]
But that was just one paragraph in Elmendorf's letter. The next two paragraphs of the letter explained that other provisions in the repeal bill would "increase direct spending in the next decade by $732 billion" and "would reduce revenues by an estimated $520 billion over the 2012-2021 period":
PPACA and the Reconciliation Act also included a number of other provisions related to health care that were estimated to reduce net federal outlays (primarily for Medicare). By repealing those provisions, H.R. 2 would increase other direct spending in the next decade by $732 billion.
The enacted legislation will increase federal revenues (apart from the effect of provisions related to insurance coverage), mostly by increasing the Hospital Insurance payroll tax and imposing fees on certain manufacturers and insurers. Repealing those provisions would reduce revenues by an estimated $520 billion over the 2012-2021 period.
Elmendorf then summarizes:
H.R. 2 would, on net, increase federal deficits over the next decade because the net savings from eliminating the coverage provisions would be more than offset by the combination of other spending increases and revenue reductions.
In total, CBO and JCT estimate that H.R. 2 would reduce outlays by about $604 billion and reduce revenues by about $813 billion over the 2012-2021 period (see Table 2).
So, CBO is not saying, in any way shape or form, that the health care reform law repeal will save the government money. CBO is saying that certain provisions would save the government money, but that those provisions are more than offset by other provisions that would cost the government money.
Once again, in their rush to attack President Obama, conservatives failed to check the accuracy of their claims. Yesterday, as part of their attacks on Obama over his widely praised speech at the memorial for the victims of the Tucson, Arizona shooting, conservative media figures cooked up the claim, absent any evidence, that the White House was behind the memorial's "branding." They accused the White House of coming up with the memorial's slogan, "Together We Thrive," and the design logo of the T-shirts that were handed out to attendees. Some even admitted that they had no evidence on which to base their claim.
Today, the "Truth-O-Meter" at PolitiFact.com rated the conservative claim "False," writing that "officials at the University of Arizona said the White House had nothing to do with the name or the logo." Discussing Michelle Malkin's post claiming that Obama was behind the event's branding, PolitiFact continued:
"The name of the event and the logo for the event were done entirely by the university," said Johnny Cruz, a spokesman for the University of Arizona. "Branding of the event was not done in consultation with the White House, or any elected officials or political organization."
The T-shirts were also the university's doing, Cruz said.
"That was the university's idea," he said. "We wanted to give people something to remember, to symbolize the community spirit."
The university bought the shirts without the use of taxpayer dollars, although he wasn't sure if the cost was borne by donations.
"Almost everything was done by the university," Cruz said, including selection of the location for the event and planning the agenda. Once the president accepted an invitation, he said, the White House helped coordinate some logistics, such as security, but that was the extent of the White House involvement.
And "Together We Thrive" was conceived by a University of Arizona student, he said.
Right-wing media that ran with the claim include:
Following Obama's widely praised address at the memorial for the victims of the Tucson shooting, the right-wing media have nonetheless strained to find ways to attack him. Their attacks have included the presence of T-shirts at the event -- which were reportedly handed out by the university -- the "pep-rally" atmosphere, and the timing of Obama's speech, among other things.
Conservative bloggers are denouncing President Obama for his statement condemning a terrorist attack against a church in Egypt on New Year's Day. These bloggers are falsely claiming that, in the words of Jim Hoft, "Obama is making up Muslim victims" of the attack. In fact, there were reportedly Muslims wounded in the attack.
Ace of Spades' Gabriel Malor followed up on Hoft's attack, claiming that Obama "create[d] Muslim victims" of the bombing. And Pam Geller wrote today that the president's statement "was grotesque, misleading, and deceptive."
All three blogs quoted Obama's statement that "[t]he attack on a church in Alexandria, Egypt caused 21 reported deaths and dozens of injured from both the Christian and Muslim communities." Hoft explicitly drew the conclusion that Obama had falsely claimed that there were Muslims among the fatalities saying of Obama's statement: "Not true. All 21 of the victims in the attack were Christian. No Muslims died in the attack."
Of course, only people intentionally trying to gin up phony outrage would read that sentence and argue that Obama was trying to claim that there were Muslim fatalities and hoping that no one would fact-check the claim. Who knows? Maybe Hoft really believes what he wrote. But a rational person would see that Obama was saying that there the injured came from both the Christian and Muslim communities.
And it is true that there were Muslims among the injured. Indeed, Hoft included a quote from a Catholic Online article saying: "All but eight of the injured and all the fatalities were Christians from Saints Church, located on the eastern side of the coastal city.." Furthermore, Agence France-Presse reports that according to Egyptian authorities, "The hospitals have taken in seven deceased and 24 injured persons, eight of them Muslims."
All three bloggers also falsely suggest that Obama refused to call the church bombing an attack on Christians. Geller, for instance, wrote: "These were jihadi attacks against Christians. Islamic supremacists slaughtering non-Muslims. Does Obama the mourn the deaths of homicide bombers as well?"
In fact, Obama made very clear that this was an attack against Christians. Indeed, in the very next sentence after saying that "[t]he attack on a church in Alexandria, Egypt caused 21 reported deaths and dozens of injured from both the Christian and Muslim communities," Obama stated: "The perpetrators of this attack were clearly targeting Christian worshipers, and have no respect for human life and dignity."
President Obama's statement concluded with the following line:
The United States extends its deepest condolences to the families of those killed and to the wounded in both of these attacks, and we stand with the Nigerian and Egyptian people at this difficult time.
If only these right-wing bloggers had responded to the attack concern for the victims, regardless of religion, rather than launching another desperate attack on Obama. Alas, that was not the case.
In a recent profile in the Weekly Standard, Mississippi Gov. Harley Barbour (R) heaped praise on the white supremacist Citizens Councils for its role in barring KKK activity in his hometown of Yazoo City. After significant criticism, Barbour later stated that "the 'Citizens Council,' is totally indefensible, as is segregation."
However, following the Weekly Standard piece, right-wing media rushed to Barbour's defense, dismissing his remarks as innocent nostalgia and decrying a left-wing smear campaign. For instance, Hot Air's AllahPundit asserted that "maybe [Barbour] was simply naïve about" the Citizens Councils' purpose.
In addition, linking to a National Review Online post defending Barbour, Fox Nation posted the headline "Haley Barbour Fends off Left-Wing Racial Smears with Ease."
When we talk about a far-right echo chamber and how more and more right-wing media players want to proudly be part of a parallel universe where they can wallow in their own sets of 'facts' and their own versions of reality, this is the kind of thing we have in mind. In fact, this delusional claim from far-right bloggers like Hot Air that Sarah Palin came out the winner in her dust-up with a Wall Street Journal reporter this week over the issue of food prices is a perfect example of how the GOP Noise Machine is now entrenched in their own make-believe world.