For the second year in a row, right-wing media have complained that Time magazine did not choose the Tea Party as Person of the Year, despite the fact that the Tea Party was chosen as one of four "Runners-Up."
Give Andrew Breitbart credit for trying. Since his promotion of James O'Keefe's thoroughly boring Census videos went nowhere, he's dusted himself off and is now running with a new scandal -- one that he thinks is exciting enough to deserve the dreaded "-gate" suffix. Unfortunately for Breitbart, his new story is even more of a snore than his old one.
In short, Breitbart seems to have discovered that liberal college professors occasionally engage in liberal political activism. His website has apparently uncovered a Request for Proposals circulated by several liberal academics calling on like-minded historians and social scientists to document instances in which conservatives have "captured the rhetorical high ground" by making dire claims about the possible impact of progressive policies which did not come to pass after those policies were implemented.
According to the document posted on Breitbart's site, participants will be paid $1,000 for each brief that meets certain standards; the organizers hope that the impact of their project will be to "construct a counter narrative that demonstrates the falsity or exaggeration" of such conservative claims in order to undermine them.
Such a project certainly seems worthwhile -- for example, we've documented that over 75 years and with respect to at least 16 different proposals, conservatives have falsely claimed that progressive health-care reform efforts constituted "socialized medicine."
To Breitbart, however, this is "Academia-gate," a "Call for Pay-to-Play Academic Propaganda."
Oh dear. I certainly hope all of the college professors in Breitbart's conservative movement aren't offended.
BigJournalism contributor and all-around clown Matthew Vadum is very upset with Media Matters for posting a clip of Glenn Beck speculating on the presence of special Venezuelan sabotage teams in the United States helping to "nudge" the country towards "collapse." According to Vadum, we're not taking the threat seriously enough, and we treat national security as "one big joke."
And just how serious is the threat? So serious that Vadum himself is scared to death, even though he has no evidence it's actually happening:
While I have no proof Chavez has agents in the U.S., the notion isn't as farfetched as Media Matters would suggest. Beck didn't just conjure up the idea out of thin air.
The unintentional hilarity continues later in Vadum's entry:
Chavez already runs what political scientists call a "public diplomacy" campaign in the U.S. to help bolster American support for his regime.
The propaganda effort consists of funneling discounted home heating oil to former U.S. Rep. Joe Kennedy's (D-Mass.) nonprofit group, Citizens Energy Corp. The nonprofit then distributes the oil to poor people, and useful idiot Kennedy gets to pose as a humanitarian.
The CITGO program is not terrorism - technically - but it is a soft attempt at domestic subversion.
And supposedly we're the ones treating national security as a joke.
At this point the only question worth asking of Andrew Breitbart's BigJournalism is why we must continue to use the word "Journalism" when referencing the website. It's a bit like a restaurant using the word "tasty" in its name. The name itself doesn't make the food the slightest bit tasty.
Take this post for example. Gregg Opelka spends nearly 900 words, a few images, and a YouTube video to make the point that President Obama can't be considered a "Master Communicator" because his April 13 press conference was his first since July 2009:
The April 13 press conference -- a short one consisting of only 8 questions, all quite understandably on the nuclear security issue-was the first solo presser since July 22, 2009.
That's a 265-day desert without presidential communication.
The problem for BigJournalism is that Opelka's claim just isn't true. You see, President Obama had a press conference in February -- something anyone with an internet connection and access to Google could have found. I'll assume Opelka has both since he is posting on a... website.
It's worth noting that Opelka makes no mention of the media's obsession with Obama's "overexposure" - an issue the "MSM" seems to hit on every few weeks.
From Pamela Geller's March 25 BigJournalism.com post titled, "Barack Hussein Obama II's War Against Israel" [emphasis added]:
Obama is not a passive, weak or naive player in the Muslim/Jewish conflict. He was wet-nursed on Jew-hatred. He grew up in a Muslim country and studied the Koran. He knows what is prescribed for the Jews in Islam. He knows that the Koran says that the Jews are the Muslims' worst enemies (5:82) and that "ignominy shall be their portion wheresoever they are found" (3:112).
He knows that Islamic tradition records Muhammad saying:
The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him; but the tree Gharqad would not say, for it is the tree of the Jews.
He must know all this, and yet has never renounced it. On the contrary, he embraces it, calling upon us to "respect" Islam.
I am staggered by the speed with which Obama has sought to undermine the Jewish people. But knowing what I know of him after my three years of investigation for the book I wrote with Robert Spencer, The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration's War on America , I expected nothing different. In the summer of 2008, I trekked to Florida to warn the alter cockers who were seduced by the idea of Obama, but to no avail: my voice and the voices of those like me are kept neatly tucked away in the blog box.
But now here we are. Jews may then have tried to avoid Obama's anti-Semitism, but they cannot now avoid the consequences of avoiding Obama's anti-Semitism. He has unleashed an evil in this world the extent of which we are only now beginning to see. He has made the world safe for haters and killers. The post-World War II peace was no accident; it was a direct result of American hegemony. But now he is following the European lead and unraveling it. Europe learned the wrong lessons from the war and the Holocaust. The lesson that Europe decided to take from Auschwitz was that everything was caused by nationalism. European leaders decided that therefore what they really needed was a European Union that would obviate their need for nationalism and prevent another Auschwitz.
The Jewish people, both in Israel and the diaspora, seem to be suffering from the Stockholm Syndrome. There can be no logical reason why an American Jew could intellectually excuse Obama's twenty-year friendship and closeness with the anti-Semitic Farrakhan acolyte Jeremiah Wright. There is no way an American Jew could explain away or rationalize Obama's connections to Rashid Khalidi, Ali Abunimah, Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn, and know about those connections without knowing what was coming. These Jews (and our history is plagued with them) love ideas, not people. They are so married to their dogma, their ideology, that they cannot, will not, see what is right in front of them. They worship at the church of human secularism. That is their religion. They have no G-d. They are merely wearing a Jewish coat, but do not speak for Jews.
The six million looked like you, laughed like you, denied like you. The six million loved their country - some were war heroes for Germany in World War I. They too thought the fringe would stay relegated to the margins of society.
The six million are cold in their graves, weeping for what awaits you.
The only difference between American Jews of the 2000s and the European Jews of the 1930s is Israel. This is what separates you from the dehumanization, the oven, the end. A Jewish homeland is the thin blue and white line between civilized men and bloodthirsty savages.
And look what Barack Obama is doing to the Jewish homeland. This is the same "Stephen Wise " Jewish mentality that sold us out and delivered us into the hands of the Third Reich during WWII. It was Wise who prevailed, not Peter Bergson .
Will the American diaspora repeat the same ghastly mistake again, while Shoah victims still walk the earth?
Right-wing blogs have responded to reported threats against Democrats who voted for the health care reform bill by trivializing the threats or suggesting that the reports are false, condemning the threats but making excuses for them, suggesting that Democrats themselves are to blame for receiving the threats, or suggesting other acts of violence that people could commit against their congressional representative.
Andrew Breitbart's elite squad of nitwit "journalists" have put their heads together and reached a conclusion on the spate of threats directed at Democratic lawmakers: it's all the Democrats' fault.
BigJournalism.com's Michael Walsh built upon BigGovernment.com's claim that the threats are "bogus" by warning the media that the Democrats are likely "exaggerating or even lying." According to Walsh, the perpetrators behind the threats are probably "agents provocateurs" of the type that started the Reichstag fire in Nazi Germany, and the media should report the story with that "historical context" in mind. Walsh, like his colleagues at BigGovernment, offered absolutely nothing in the way of evidence (unless you count the Saul Alinsky quote he provided, but since Alinsky passed away almost 40 years ago his relevance to this story isn't what you'd call high).
Breitbart's flunkies see threats of violence against the Democrats, and imply that not only are the Democrats at fault, but they're just like the Nazis. It'd be sad if it weren't so despicable.
Reacting to progress on health care reform legislation, conservative media figures have repeatedly referred to President Obama and Democratic officials as "health care suicide bombers" and characterized their efforts to pass a bill as "a kamizake mission" and "political suicide missions."
In a February 26 post on Andrew Breitbart's BigJournalism.com, titled, "Palin v. Obama: 'Real' American v. the 'Citizen of the World,'" Kyle-Anne Shiver bashes President Obama for proclaiming himself a "citizen of the world":
Barack Obama, in keeping with international socialists throughout the last century, has proclaimed himself loudly-and-clearly a "citizen of the world." He conducted his entire campaign as a lecture to greedy, over-consuming Americans on the necessity of propping up the lagging third world and the inherent goodness of his redistributive plans for government.
At present, with a "post-American" president at the helm, Sarah Palin carries the torch of liberty and American exceptionalism in the palm of her lovely hand. She is the surviving embodiment of the spirit of 1776 and the Reagan reformation.
Who else "has proclaimed himself loudly-and-clearly a 'citizen of the world'"? None other than Shiver's hero and apparent international socialist Ronald Reagan:
In a July 2008 speech in Berlin, Germany, Obama described himself as "a citizen -- a proud citizen of the United States, and a fellow citizen of the world." In a June 17, 1982, speech to the United Nations General Assembly, Reagan similarly said, "I speak today as both a citizen of the United States and of the world."
As an investigative journalist, my goal is to expose corruption and lack of concern for citizens by government and other institutions, as I did last year when our investigations revealed the massive corruption and fraud perpetrated by ACORN. For decades, investigative journalists have used a variety of tactics to try to dig out and reveal the truth.
I learned from a number of sources that many of Senator Landrieu's constituents were having trouble getting through to her office to tell her that they didn't want her taking millions of federal dollars in exchange for her vote on the healthcare bill. When asked about this, Senator Landrieu's explanation was that, "Our lines have been jammed for weeks." I decided to investigate why a representative of the people would be out of touch with her constituents for "weeks" because her phones were broken. In investigating this matter, we decided to visit Senator Landrieu's district office - the people's office - to ask the staff if their phones were working.
On reflection, I could have used a different approach to this investigation, particularly given the sensitivities that people understandably have about security in a federal building. The sole intent of our investigation was to determine whether or not Senator Landrieu was purposely trying to avoid constituents who were calling to register their views to her as their Senator. We video taped the entire visit, the government has those tapes, and I'm eager for them to be released because they refute the false claims being repeated by much of the mainstream media.
In a January 27 post to his BigJournalism.com site, Andrew Breitbart writes:
For those in the mainstream media committed to report the false and libelous narrative of "Watergate Jr.," "wiretapping" and "bugging," I predict much egg on your J-school grad faces. In your rush to judgment to convict James O'Keefe and his companions, you vengeful political partisans of press forgot to ponder: "Was Mr. O'Keefe up to one of his patented and obvious clown nose-on hidden camera tricks, trying to make his subjects look foolish?" Blog commenters seem to be quicker on the uptake than six-figured Washington-based pundits these days. And I predict there will be tape to vindicate these four pranksters, too.
Andrew Breitbart's "Big" websites -- Big Hollywood, Big Government, and Big Journalism -- as well as his breitbart.tv website, have in recent months laid claim to many "exclusives," touting controversial and sensationalist storylines that have been picked up by other conservative media outlets, from Fox News on down. However, a closer examination reveals that many of Breitbart's "scoops" have been based on speculation, gross distortions, and outright falsehoods.
Last week, I preemptively noted that conservatives thinking about using the shuttering of Air America to argue that there is no market for liberal media should keep two things in mind: That they cannot simultaneously argue that the establishment media is liberal and that there is no market for liberal media, and that conservative news outlets like Fox News and the Washington Times benefited from massive subsidies from their right-wing billionaire owners.
Over at Big Journalism (last seen accidentally attacking its sibling site, Big Government), Billy Hallowell calls my post "vapid," while demonstrating an unwillingness or inability to understand the written word. I'll get to that in a second.
First, Hallowell insists that CBS and the New York Times are in fact "biased" in favor of liberals:
First and foremost, research backs up the notion that outlets like CBS News and the New York Times are biased ...
Hallowell links no such "research," so here's some he should read over: New York Times | CBS. Then he should consider the Times' disparate treatment of Al Gore and George W. Bush in 2000, and the paper's role in the rush to war in Iraq -- among many, many other shortcomings. And CBS ... Well, CBS anchor Bob Schieffer is a longtime friend of Bush's -- Schieffer's brother was a Bush business partner, later given an ambassadorship by Bush -- who has regularly opined in favor of Bush and harshly condemned Democrats. Again: among many, many other examples.
...but even if there were no scholarship to corroborate this notion, Foser's argument makes little sense. Most conservatives aren't claiming that liberal media outlets can't succeed (though the left has had a tough time pushing unabashedly liberal outlets to the top); they're making the case that liberal radio, absent public monies, cannot stand on its own. Those are two very different ideals.
OK ... but I was addressing the first of those "two very different ideals." So I'm not really sure what Hallowell thinks he's proving by saying my post doesn't apply to people it wasn't addressed to.
Additionally, Foser's statement that The Washington Times has lost money for decades is a silly corroborative comment. Tell me Mr. Foser, how many newspapers are posting record profits these days?
Got that? It's no big deal that The Washington Times has always lost money because other newspapers are currently losing money. Hallowell doesn't know the difference between a newspaper whose massive losses have been subsidized for every minute of its existence and newspapers that are currently facing financial difficulties as the entire industry undergoes massive transformation. And he thinks my post was "vapid"!
There's a bunch of other nonsense in there, in which Hallowell argues with things he imagines I wrote. For example, Hallowell is just furious at my non-existent statement that Rupert Murdoch's payments to cable carriers were a "moral problem." I wrote nothing of the kind -- I didn't criticize the payments on any grounds, moral or otherwise -- and can only conclude that Billy Hallowell either can't read or enjoys lying. Either way, it seems best to leave it at that.
After Anti-Defamation League (ADL) national director Abraham Foxman criticized Rush Limbaugh for his January 20 statement that "a lot of those people on Wall Street are Jewish. So I wonder if there's starting to be some buyer's remorse there" -- remarks Limbaugh later lied to defend -- the right-wing media has rushed to defend Limbaugh and to attack Foxman. Foxman has been smeared as a "terrible Jew" and a "plague on his people," and described as a "disgusting, craven little twerp."
This January, major meteorological organizations throughout the world -- including NASA -- released reports showing that the past decade, 2000-2009, was the warmest on record. The reports undermine the right-wing media's numerous claims that recent snow and cold weather shows that climate change does not exist or has slowed over the past 10 years.