Earlier this week, Rock and Roll legend Tom Petty requested that Michele Bachmann stop playing "American Girl" at her campaign events.
The Guardian explains:
Petty's problem appears to be with Bachmann's politics. In 2008, the singer allowed Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton to use American Girl for her unsuccessful presidential bid. But he was much less sympathetic in 2000, when Republican candidate George W Bush was discovered to be playing I Won't Back Down at his rallies. "This use has not been approved," Petty's representatives told the future president. "Any use made by you or your campaign creates, either intentionally or unintentionally, the impression that you and your campaign have been endorsed by Tom Petty, which is not true." Bush , er, backed down.
Petty's request might not be enough to stop the conservative echo chamber from turning the song into Bachmann's theme anyway.
Right-wing media have claimed that President Obama attacked Israel in his recent restatement of U.S. policy that a peace agreement between Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 borders with agreed upon swaps. These criticisms follow a long series of falsehoods, distortions, and smears advanced by the right-wing media to claim that Obama and his administration are anti-Israel or even anti-Semitic.
Right-wing media have launched a torrent of attacks on President Obama for saying that "[w]e believe the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states." In fact, Obama's policy is in line with statements made by former President George W. Bush, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, and others.
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.
From the May 19 edition of KFTK's The Dana Show:
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From the May 19 edition of KFTK's The Dana Show:
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On Tuesday I noted that Philip Christofanelli -- the undergrad "whistleblower" helping Big Government go after two labor studies lecturers at the University of Missouri -- is a former James O'Keefe collaborator. It seemed like an important detail, given that video from the class somehow ended up in the splice-happy hands of Insurgent Visuals.
Anyway, it didn't take long for me to get a response from Big Government. And I have to admit, for once they scored a direct hit against Media Matters: they correctly identified a typo in my post. What they didn't do was give a direct answer to the central question: Is James O'Keefe playing a role in Project "Go After The Teachers?"
They get close to a response. They claim I'm arguing that James O'Keefe is "secretly behind the revelation of communist indoctrination," and that this is a "conspiracy theory." But that's just sneering, not a categorical denial. And if the answer to my question is "no," it'd be nice to hear them come out and say it.
After all, I don't think my question is too unreasonable. Given that he's a clear link between Christofanelli and Big Government, you can see why I might think O'Keefe has something to do with this whole smear campaign. Plus, as News Corpse first reported, someone named James O'Keefe is listed as the contributor on the now-defunct insurgentvisuals.blogspot.com. Crooks and Liars has a screenshot here. It's certainly possible that that's a different Insurgent Visuals, or a different James O'Keefe, or both. But -- and this might just be the tinfoil hat talking -- that seems like an awfully big coincidence.
So how about it, Big Government? Did Christofanelli give O'Keefe the video or not? And does O'Keefe have any connection to the group that released them to the public?
CNN's Dana Loesch is trying to pretend away the deceptive editing practices at the center of the Andrew Breitbart campaign to "go after the teachers."
Yesterday, officials at the University of Missouri-St. Louis concluded that the videos Breitbart's site Big Government used to smear two of the university's labor studies lecturers were "highly distorted through splicing and editing."
Loesch rejected their findings on her radio show today:
This story, it began with a whistleblower who got some video of some of the things that were being said in his class, sent it out to a bunch of people, and progressives freaked out. And because they went up on the Breitbart sites, of course they immediately said Andrew Breitbart has some sort of magical editing, video editing, equipment, which, I -- if it's out there, please show me where I can purchase stock, because it's just magical. Now you can get people into scenes and you can manipulate them so that say things that they can try to deny later. There is absolutely nothing that has been put out there that is out of context.
This is demonstrably false.
Earlier today, officials at the University of Missouri-St. Louis released a statement concluding that Andrew Breitbart's Big Government team used distorted and out-of-context video to smear university lecturers teaching labor studies. Breitbart editor Dana Loesch took school officials to task via Twitter:
It's not clear that Loesch - a CNN contributor - understands the difference between an excerpt, and distorted splicing and editing. Perhaps an example will help.
Take Loesch's May 6 appearance on CNN. This is an excerpt from her comments that day:
One decision, which I applaud -- I applaud the decision of the president to send in a human ops team instead of bombing the compound at Abbottabad. But I think the way you can follow this up and show that Democrats have really made a really good turn is to stop the investigation into the CIA members who are interrogating detained terrorists. At the same time, while you're celebrating the victory of the death of bin Laden, which was achieved by those interrogations.
This is distorted splicing and editing:
I applaud ... the investigation into the CIA members who are interrogating detained terrorists.
Breitbart's writers and editors have a long and shameful history peddling the latter.
As we proceed deeper into the Obama presidency, we're getting a clearer picture of just how radical some of the president's far-right adversaries are. We're starting to understand the depths to which the partisan extremists in the media will stoop, to the point where many this week seemed incapable of celebrating the execution of Osama bin Laden or extending a job well done to the White House.
That's pretty low.
The bin Laden story has provided a useful filter, or a demarcation line, within the right-wing media and has helped illustrate which strident Obama critics are still in touch with some strands of common sense and common decency, and which ones are not.
The bin Laden story has provided the minimal bar for irrational Obama haters to hop over: Toast the news that bin Laden had been killed and toast the administration for being able to accomplish the long overdue task. But it's a low bar that lots of dead-enders can't clear. (Thankfully, some conservative pundits were willing to leap over it.)
Led by Rush Limbaugh, the Washington Times, portions of Fox News, and bloggers who write for Andrew Breitbart, the dead-enders have spent this week not only refusing to credit Obama, but have been parading their contempt around in full view. The dead-enders have been attacking Obama in every way possible, from relentlessly critiquing his bin-Laden-is-dead declaration, to raising hysterical objections to the president's wreath-laying visit to Ground Zero.
A wreath-laying visit.
Phrases like 'inappropriate' barely begin to describe the oddity of watching the nasty Obama attacks unfold in response to the wonderful news about bin Laden's death.
In the aftermath of Osama bin Laden's death, numerous right-wing media figures have insisted that the United States would never have found him without information obtained through torture. However, there is considerable dispute among experts over whether torture played a role in developing critical intelligence that led officials to bin Laden's whereabouts.
Right-wing media continue to attack President Obama over his speech announcing that U.S. forces had killed Osama bin Laden in a firefight. These attacks even include people saying that Obama should not have made the announcement himself.
Immediately following President Obama's announcement that Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden had been killed in Pakistan, right-wing media took every opportunity to attack the president for his actions and remarks regarding the mission that led to bin Laden's death. Conservative media outlets and personalities have declared that the death of the world's most famous terrorist was just another opportunity for the president to "strut like [a] peacock" and make it all about himself.
CNN contributor Dana Loesch is helping to promote Andrew Breitbart's latest big deception by saying that a series of chopped up videos of labor studies courses "absolutely" shows college instructors in Missouri engaged in terrorism.
But in the process, Loesch criticized the very deceptive editing practices that went into producing the tape.
Loesch hosted Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder on her radio show to discuss the selectively edited videos. After the videos had already been promoted to local and national media outlets, the editors themselves acknowledged that they excised content from the tapes.
During her interview, Loesch proclaimed:
The only way that that any of this, sir, would be - that they could take this out of context is if, at the very end of all of this, at the very end of all their statements, and their discussion, and telling their students that, "Oh yeah, we love to screwdriver by, oh you know, whatever, just to kind of scare people, and we followed them around - we showed up at this baseball game where they were," is if at the very end of it they said, "Not," and then that was cut off though in the editing.
That is precisely what happened.
Last night, Glenn Beck's website streamed a video that it billed as a "a special prime time broadcast celebrating the 1-year anniversary of Insider Extreme," Beck's $75-a-year Web subscription service. Beck's site described the video as "an exclusive glimpse inside Glenn's New York City home as he hosts a very special dinner" with four guests to "tackle the issues the mainstream media just won't talk about."
Beck promoted the special on his Fox News show yesterday as well, encouraging viewers to visit GlennBeck.com to see "a conversation with four experts that I had the other night on what is coming in the next 12 months. It is a conversation that America must have. And not one that I expected, actually, to have when we started. It's amazing."
He was right -- it was amazing. In the course of the video, Beck and CNN's Dana Loesch expressed a baffling sympathy for anarchism. Loesch said, "I'm two steps above anarchy conservatism, just as it was intended by the Founding Fathers. I mean, really, that's really what we're supposed to be." In response, Beck said, "[W]hen you say we're two steps -- you're two steps above an anarchist -- and I think I am, too. I mean, I'm really closer to Washington than any president, even Reagan. They really were organized, controlled anarchists."
Beck also returned to drawing parallels between current conditions and the conditions that led to the Holocaust. While discussing the "better natural side of man" and the "dark side of natural man," Beck said, "[T]hey don't co-exist. I mean, there is a time when you do have to say enough is enough. And we always bury our head in the sand. We're doing -- mark my words. We are doing what we did with Nazi Germany right now. And the trains will return someplace on the earth. It will happen again. All the same seeds are here."