This year, Fox has continued to push the right-wing talking point that "America is a center-right country." In fact, on issue after issue, polls are clear that Americans favor progressive policies.
Sometimes it's useful, as well as entertaining, to note just how clueless Andrew Breitbart bloggers are when it comes to critiquing the media and analyzing the news.
Just take a look at the misguided post yesterday in which a Breitbart blogger at Big Journalism condemned the "liberal" media for supposedly manufacturing the claim that Republican candidate Rick Perry had gone birther by questioning Obama's birther certificate. The blogger angrily insisted Perry had done no such thing and attacked the press for making up the nasty claim about Perry and the thoroughly debunked Obama smear.
Except that for anyone who saw what Perry told Parade, it was clear Perry had expressed doubts about the president's birth certificate:
PARADE: Governor, do you believe that President Barack Obama was born in the United States?
PERRY: I have no reason to think otherwise.
PARADE: That's not a definitive, "Yes, I believe he"--
PERRY: Well, I don't have a definitive answer, because he's never seen my birth certificate.
PARADE: But you've seen his.
PERRY: I don't know. Have I?
PARADE: You don't believe what's been released?
PERRY:I don't know. I had dinner with Donald Trump the other night.
PERRY: That came up.
PARADE: And he said?
PERRY: He doesn't think it's real.
PARADE: And you said?
PERRY: I don't have any idea. It doesn't matter. He's the President of the United States. He's elected. It's a distractive issue.
No, no, no, the blogger insisted. Perry would never go birther. Journalists were twisting his words and reading that exchange all wrong.
Fast forward and note the recent interview Perry gave CNBC during which he insists the birther story is a "good issue to keep alive":
Yes, it appears Perry has doubled down on the birther nonsense, and did it on a nationally televised interview. Can't wait to see how Breitbart's confused site blames the press for this one.
Right-wing media have been hyping the claim that a diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks shows that President Obama had planned to "apologize" for the bombing of Hiroshima during his 2009 visit to Japan. But the cable only shows there was speculation from "anti-nuclear groups" that Obama might travel to Hiroshima after expressing support for a "nuclear-free world," and the Obama administration has said no apology was ever planned.
Sean Hannity, Andrew Breitbart, and others pushed the falsehood that in 2007, then-Senator Barack Obama appeared and marched with the New Black Panther Party in Selma. In fact, Obama's visit was sponsored by the Faith & Politics Institute, a non-partisan organization that has prominent Democrats and Republicans among its leaders.
During the 42nd anniversary of the 1965 march from Selma, Obama pushed the wheelchair of the late Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, a civil rights icon, across the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
The Faith & Politics Institute released this picture of Obama, former President Bill Clinton, Shuttlesworth, and Rev. Joseph Lowery, another civil rights leader, during the event in Selma:
Yesterday, Andrew Breitbart, Sean Hannity, and National Review Online's Andrew McCarthy claimed that, in Sean Hannity's words, then-Senator Barack Obama was "hanging out" with a group of New Black Panther Party members during a 2007 event in Selma, Alabama. The charge was totally false, as it was based on cropped photos and dishonest descriptions.
In reality, the event was the 42nd anniversary of the 1965 march from Selma, a pivotal event in the civil rights movement that ended when the marchers were attacked by law enforcement at Edmund Pettus Bridge.
During the commemoration, Obama was in the company of people like the Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth, who Martin Luther King Jr. once described as "the most courageous civil rights fighter in the South." Shuttlesworth died today at the age of 89.
Here's a picture from Reuters of Obama pushing Shuttlesworth in a wheelchair across the Edmund Pettus Bridge during the event mentioned by Breitbart, Hannity, and McCarthy:
This closes the book on the latest shameful attempt at race-baiting by Breitbart, McCarthy, and Hannity.
Sean Hannity is turning to Andrew Breitbart for race-baiting smears.
Hannity on Monday promised to "show a tape" of Obama "hanging out during the campaign" with a member of the extremist New Black Panther Party (NBPP):
Incidentally this fake story was hyped earlier today by Andrew Breitbart on his Big Government website. Breitbart claimed to have unearthed "shock photos" from a March 2007 march where he claimed "then-Senator Obama was joined by a group of Panthers who had come to support his candidacy." Breitbart linked to a YouTube video of Obama walking several feet ahead of the Panthers amidst a large crowd of people.
That march was not an Obama campaign event, nor one sponsored by the NBPP. It was a 42nd anniversary of the 1965 march from Selma which ended when the civil rights marchers were attacked by law enforcement at Edmund Pettus Bridge. Several thousand people were in attendance of the march, celebrating this historic civil rights moment in American history. During that event, Obama and New Black Panthers leader Malik Zulu Shabazz gave speeches from the same podium, and both were part of the crowd that then marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
Andrew Breitbart wants you to know that he doesn't think President Obama is "a secret member of the New Black Panther Party." But he's more than willing to hide the truth in order to conjure up the ridiculous smear that sometimes, they hang out.
Under the headline "Shock Photos: Candidate Obama Appeared And Marched With New Black Panther Party in 2007," Breitbart reports that at a March 2007 march in Selma, "then-Senator Obama was joined by a group of Panthers who had come to support his candidacy."
Breitbart is providing some publicity for charges that New Black Panther Party fabulist J. Christian Adams leveled at the president in his new book Injustice: Exposing The Racial Agenda Of The Obama Justice Department, which comes out tomorrow. Breitbart provided a blurb for the back of the book, and in the acknowledgements Adams thanks Breitbart, whom he describes as his "soul brother and pied piper."
In claiming that Obama was "joined by" the Panthers, "appeared and marched with" them, and "shar[ed] the same podium" with them, Breitbart carefully avoids explaining just what the event in question was. References to Obama campaigning "in Selma, Alabama in March 2007" and a mention of how "then-Senator Hillary Clinton and Al Sharpton were also in Selma at the same event" do more to confuse the readers than explain it to them.
What Breitbart is trying to avoid acknowledging is that several thousand people "appeared and marched" with the New Black Panthers that day. The event in question was the 42nd anniversary of the 1965 march from Selma, which ended when the civil rights marchers were attacked by law enforcement at Edmund Pettus Bridge. The Birmingham News reported:
Former President Bill Clinton and presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama locked arms with civil rights icons Sunday and marched through thousands of wellwishers, crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge to cap the 42nd anniversary Right to Vote and Bridge Crossing Jubilee.
It wasn't Obama's event. It wasn't the Panthers' event. They were all in Selma for an annual celebration of an historic civil rights moment. During that event, Obama and New Black Panthers leader Malik Zulu Shabazz gave speeches from the same podium, and both were part of the crowd that then marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
Breitbart says that the Panthers "explicitly came to Selma to support Obama," and basically establishes that they followed Obama around that day. For Breitbart, this constitutes "an association between a vile racist organization and a future President of the United States."
From Andrew Breitbart's September 30 speech at Tea Con 2011:
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From the September 28 edition of Fox Business' Follow the Money:
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For somebody who runs around the media landscape demanding the press fix its mistakes, Andrew Breitbart turns an amazingly blind eye when his own sites are caught fabricating information. And Breitbart remains quite disciplined in terms of ignoring repeated requests that his sites fix blatant factual errors.
Recently, Mother Jones, MediaBugs, and a New York Times reporter all highlight the hypocrisy that fuels Breitbart and his sites.
Specifically, on Sept. 6, Breitbart's Big Government published a piece that made this claim [emphasis added]:
Nature Journal of Science, ranked as the world's most cited scientific periodical, has just published the definitive study on Global Warming that proves the dominant controller of temperatures in the Earth's atmosphere is due to galactic cosmic rays and the sun, rather than by man. One of the report's authors, Professor Jyrki Kauppinen, summed up his conclusions regarding the potential for man-made Global Warming: "I think it is such a blatant falsification."
Slight problem. Profession Jyrki Kauppinen was not one of the report's authors.
Not very complicated, right? Breitbart's blogger made a glaring error in the first paragraph of his piece and that error ought to be acknowledged and corrected. Ah, but this is Andrew Breitbart we're talking about.
New York Times environmental writer Andrew Revkin noticed the "cosmic" blunder and submitted it to MediaBugs, a site that tries to keep the press honest. MediaBugs contacted Big Government and informed editors about the error. Then via Twitter, MediaBugs requested several times that Breitbart address the misinformation. But as Mother Jones notes, he won't respond and nobody at Big Government will concede the error was made, or make any effort to correct it.
One of the animating principles of the right-wing blogosphere is that the mainstream media are composed almost entirely of snooty liberals who work in concert to promote progressive interests, elect Democratic officials, and suppress conservative thought.
It's a useful trope, in that it angries up the faithful and provides a convenient scapegoat for when the American public rejects conservative policies and/or politicians. However, it often butts up against the reality of a disjointed and hypercompetitive media landscape in which pageviews, not ideology, rule the day -- which itself is broken up into segments that must be "won."
Thus, when the press start reporting on something like the Obama administration's loan guarantees to the failed solar company Solyndra in ways that do not reflect well on the administration, the adherents of the "liberal media bias" theory have to somehow square the circle.
Enter Breitbart footsoldier John Nolte, who argues that the press are only reporting on Solyndra because we're too far from the election for the story to matter:
For now, these media reports might help to drag Barack Obama down into the thirties approval-wise, but we're only in the middle of the second act of The One's political story which means plenty of time remains for the thrilling 2012 comeback climax the MSM is most certainly crafting this very day.
You see, there's no mustache-twisting villain yet. Republicans haven't chosen a front-runner. But once the Right has a standard-bearer, the MSM will have their target -- their villain -- and Solyndra, the rise in poverty, chronic unemployment and even a second Great Recession will disappear from media-memory like last week's thrilling chapter of "The Perils of The One!"
Nolte also posits that the media are collectively "looking for cover," meaning that when Nolte and his comrades inevitably accuse them of bias sometime down the road they can hold up Solyndra as evidence of balance:
In the future, when the breathtaking bias they've shown these last few years is thrown in their smug faces, they'll attempt to defend their corruption by pointing to Solyndra in the same way they once pointed to their heavy coverage of Whitewater, which also hit its peak -- wait for it, wait for it -- when it didn't matter.
So the media aren't just liberal: they're diabolically liberal. Also, the Whitewater press frenzy set the table for the Clinton impeachment, which kinda undermines the idea that it ultimately "didn't matter."
The kind of mental gymnastics required to arrive at this explanation are pretty remarkable, and Nolte's theory does less to explain media behavior than the degree to which cynicism born from the "liberal media bias" canard has become inextricably woven into the modern conservative identity.
Right-wing media have continued their long history of attacking President Obama's speeches by scrambling to criticize his September 8 address in which he proposed the American Jobs Act.
This morning Andrew Breitbart, Dana Loesch and Mike Flynn dropped by Media Matters asking for a copy of our IRS 990 form.
Right-wing bloggers misled by dishonest Fox News video editing are attacking Teamsters President James Hoffa for supposedly urging violence against Tea Party activists during a Labor Day speech. Conservatives are also attacking President Obama, who appeared at the event, for "sanctioning violence against fellow Americans" by failing to denounce Hoffa. But fuller context included in other Fox segments makes clear that Hoffa wasn't calling for violence but was actually urging the crowd to vote out Republican members of Congress.
During the segment that the bloggers have latched onto, Fox edited out the bolded portion of Hoffa's comments:
HOFFA: Everybody here's got to vote. If we go back and keep the eye on the prize, let's take these son of a bitches out and give America back to America where we belong! Thank you very much!
In an initial report on Hoffa's speech at 1 p.m. on Fox News, Ed Henry reported that Hoffa said that "we'll remember in November who's with the working people" and "said of the Tea Party and of Republicans, 'let's take these sons of bitches out.'"
Henry made clear during that segment that Hoffa's comments were references to voting out Republican members of Congress, not to violence. And roughly 20 minutes later, he explained on Twitter that the "full quote" of the "take these son of a bitches out" comment is "Everybody here's got to vote. If we go back & keep the eye on the prize, let's take these sons of bitches out":
But in a second segment that ran at roughly the same time as Henry's tweet, Fox News dishonestly edited the speech in the manner seen above. Andrew Breitbart's Big sites, Real Clear Politics, The Daily Caller, the Media Research Center, and the Drudge Report have all highlighted that footage, using it to condemn "the violence emanating from union thug bosses" and demand that Obama "denounce" the comments.
From the August 29 edition of Fox Business' Follow The Money:
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